Before Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez teamed up for 2007's Grindhouse, there was another film that paid homage to the double feature—spoofing popular 1930s movie genres along the way. No, Stanley Donen's Movie Movie was not a hit in 1978, but the script—written by Sly Fox playwright Larry Gelbart—offers several delights for cinephiles and theatrelovers alike. And now you can watch it for yourself via Amazon Prime Video.
Somewhat inexplicably introduced by George Burns, who explains the concept of a double feature, the movie—starring George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere—begins with Dynamite Hands, a loving send-up of 1930s morality/boxing movies featuring Harry Hamlin in his first screen role. A law student who has a knack for boxing (and a sister who's going blind), Joey finds himself falling in with the wrong crowd—including nightclub chantootsie Troubles Moran, played by Ann Reinking seemingly wearing Gilda's dress and Dietrich's Blonde Venus wig. Watch Reinking's introduction in the film in the video above.
The second movie, Baxter's Beauties of 1933, finds Barry Bostwick and Tony winner Barbara Harris co-starring in a Broadway backstage musical spoof, in which the leading lady is dead drunk, the accountant is actually a composer, and the ingenue is a star-to-be and a long-lost daughter and someone with a healthy savings account for when the show gets into trouble. Somehow the segment never spills over into camp (despite Harris' rather extreme makeup), and the songs are surprising ear worms. Just try getting "Just Shows to Go Ya" out of your head.