Toronto Film Society presented Mad Wednesday (1950) on Sunday, March 29, 1981 in a double bill with Kim as part of the Season 33 Sunday Afternoon Film Buff Series, Programme 8.
First released (briefly) as The Sin of Harold Diddlebock in 1947 (89 mins)
“Preston Sturges’s Mad Wednesday (1950) was briefly released in 1947 in a somewhat longer version as The Sin of Harold Diddlebock. The two versions reflect the rupture that occurred in the interim between madcap producer Howard Hughes and madcap director Preston Sturges. Mad Wednesday is thus, in effect, the Howard Hughes cut. I have seen both versions, and there is not that much essential difference between them. An unexplained glimpse of Rudy Vallee in one scene in Mad Wednesday is amplified somewhat in Diddlebock, and there is more folksy-slangy Sturges dialogue in the original than in the shorter work. Whereas Diddlebock is fuller, Wednesday is crisper. By this tine Sturges’s dialogue was beginning to lose its pithiness, and the director’s alliance with Harold Lloyd did not enchant post-World War II audiences. Mad Wednesday begins with the last reel of Lloyd’s 1925 classic The Freshman, and takes the ’20s football hero from Calvin Collidge’s administration up to Harry Truman’s.
Andrew Sarris, Village Voice, October 15, 1979
(after New York Festival retrospective showing)
Note by Clive Denton
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