It’s got Robert Ryan and some great noir lighting, and it’s of undoubted historical interest. Yet, I Married a Communist aka as The Woman on the Pier 13 is hard to watch and even harder to say anything good about. Ostensibly Howard Hughes used it as a loyalty test for directors. Many (Huston, Ray etc) turned him down. Robert Stevenson took the job. Ryan’s wife told their son that the choice the actor faced was take the job or lose the career.
Mary Poppins is back after a mere 54 years since the first film. The kids have grown up, life has grown difficult, and a magical undying supernatural flying nanny is precisely what they need.
What they don’t need are new ideas. Mary Poppins Returns copies the structure and concepts of the first film almost to the point of parody, today’s Disney operating in a world in which people apparently want low-effort, straight-up nostalgia (as their spate of CGI-laden remakes of their animated classics can confirm). However, the film has its charms, in time the songs may become memorable – one can rarely tell on first viewing – and children are sure to love it as previous generations loved the last.
The podcast can be listened to in the players above or on iTunes.
With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.