A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
Mickey Rooney is an actor that I have always thought is pretty good, but his role as Puck in this one is nothing short of terrible. A constant annoyance that ruins an otherwise pretty good movie. I'm less annoyed by the incredibly racist Japanese character he plays in Breakfast at Tiffany's
and that is saying something.
The rest of the movie is a pretty delightful, with wonderful music, extended dance scenes and touches of magical realism that is a good time. I also really loved the scenery throughout, with these terrific castle backgrounds that look like something out of a Georges Melies movie. Other than when the aforementioned “nails on a chalkboard” performance is on the screen, the movie really feels like the pleasant dream that it should.
James Cagney plays Bottom, and is the highlight of the movie as far as I'm concerned. His performance is by far the most funny, as he spends a good portion in a pretty cool looking donkey mask. He is wonderful in every beat of the ending “play within a play”. It takes a darn good actor to play a bad actor in such a funny way. There are a few other big stars in this one too, including Olivia De Havilland and Dick Powell who are fun enough.
This one is a big time production, with the overture, intermission, and exit music. Watched it all and thought it was an ok time all things considered.