Monday, June 25, 2012

091 For Better or Worser

Title: For Better or Worser
Studio: Fleischer
Date: 06/28/35
Directed by
Dave Fleischer
Animated by
Seymour Kneitel and Roland Crandall
Series: Popeye
Running time (of viewed version): 7:46
Commercial DVD Availability: Popeye v1

Synopsis: Popeye would rather get married than cook.

Comments: Pan up on a bachelor apartment building exterior. Popeye is a troubling cook. Can't tell if the list of phone numbers are jokes. Kind of a mail order bride type situation; were there matchmaker places like this? Stereoptical background. "C'mon baby"; I didn't realize that was a saying at the time. "We're gonna get married" sounds a bit like Rodney Dangerfield saying "we're all gonna get laid". Olive has no  preference. As always. Beard extending over portrait. Olive turns out to be too ugly for Popeye. So he beat up Bluto and abandoned Olive to her fate. Not the nicest guy. Spinach spittoon. Jaunty brass music. Greg Ford's commentary mentions the '75 issue of Film Comment discusses this (Mark Langer?) mentioning its "grotesquerie and pessimism". There was a PDF of that issue online, but I believe it was only supposed to be up for a short period. Greg Ford brings up the brothel similarities; I had decided to go for the mail order bride angle instead, but it's on the official DVD, so there you go. 


  1. Since we're a year into the the Hays Code era, it's definitely a male order bride (and Irv Spector would use something similar 20-plus years later for his 'matchmaker' trilogy at Paramount). Still, a Popeye rhyming end couplet of If you want a looker/don't pay for a hooker would have been an interesting one for audiences of 1935 to hear.

  2. This cartoon is awesome! One of my favs!

  3. You can still read that Jan.-Feb. 1975 issue of Film Comment online. The cartoon is discussed in the first column on page 51:

    Great cartoon!