Category Archives: 1930s

City in Darkness (1939)

*. Coming after Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, widely regarded as the best of the Sidney Toler Charlie Chan movies, City in Darkness has to register as a big disappointment.
*. It’s a mess. I found the plot impossible to follow. Victor Sen Yung’s Jimmy Chan is missing, replaced by veteran series hand Harold Huber, who this time is playing the enthusiastic but bumbling godson of the Paris police chief. An indispensable figure in a Charlie Chan movie, it seems.
*. The setting is Paris on the eve of the Second World War, specifically during the days of the political crisis brought on by Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia. This context is, in turn, the only thing that makes the movie of any interest today.
*. An opening newsreel outlining rising tensions in Europe sets the scene. Paris is on high alert, having already put in place blackout precautions (giving the film its title, as well as a plot point near the end). I’m still not entirely sure what was going on, but I think the bad guys are smuggling weapons to the enemy. Or something. Which in turn means that killing them isn’t really a crime.
*. The twist here is that, in John Cork’s words, this is “a World War Two propaganda film before World War Two had broken out.” The movie was made before fighting started, though it only opened in November 1939, just after Germany invaded Poland. This makes the final lines in the movie prophetic, as everyone celebrates the parties getting together at Munich to discuss peace in our time and Charlie isn’t buying any part of it.
*. Germans weren’t quite the enemy yet in Charlie Chan at the Olympics, but there were plenty of misgivings on display in that film. Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t start fighting Nazis until 1942’s Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror. So give Charlie some points for being quicker off the mark. Unfortunately, such a footnote is all this movie amounts to now.

Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939)

*. Fox did a great job bringing out the Charlie Chan movies on DVD, including lots of bonus featurettes on various Chan-related topics as well as audio commentaries. But while you get two featurettes for Charlie Chan at Treasure Island, and they’re both interesting, I didn’t think they added much to my appreciation of the film.
*. The first is a documentary on “The Real Treasure Island.” I’ll confess that when I went into this one I was actually hoping for something a little more along the lines of Robert Louis Stevenson, with Charlie looking for buried pirate gold. But the real Treasure Island is a man-made island in San Francisco Bay (it’s still there) that was built to host the World’s Exposition in 1939-40. Apparently they gave it that name because they thought there might have been some gold in the muck they were dredging up to build it.
*. Anyway, like I say, this is interesting enough but kind of beside the point because the movie really doesn’t make any use of the setting at all. Treasure Island is seen in one aerial shot as Charlie’s plane lands in San Francisco but that’s it. I’m not sure Treasure Island is even mentioned again and the movie doesn’t make any use of the fact that the World’s Fair was going on.
*. The second bonus featurette tries hard to make something out of the fact that the killer here is named Dr. Zodiac, and that this might have some connection to the Zodiac Killer who terrorized northern California in the 1960s and ’70s (and about whom David Fincher later made a rather ho-hum movie). This is something I wondered about for a few seconds, but I quickly dismissed the thought of there being any connection. After watching the featurette I still don’t see it.
*. In this movie he’s Dr. Zodiac, after all, and a public persona. Specifically, he’s a charlatan magician who seems to be involved in the murder of various people as part of a blackmail scheme. What’s really going on is more complicated than that but I won’t bother to explain because it would take too long and none of it makes any sense anyway. As Ken Hanke and John Cork say on their DVD commentary, the matter of Zodiac’s motivation really doesn’t stand up to close examination.
*. Hanke begins the commentary by saying that Charlie Chan at Treasure Island is “widely regarded as the best of the [Sidney] Toler Chan films.” If so it marks another instance of what Cork and Hanke talk about in their commentary to The Black Camel relating to the superiority of films that come second in a series. This is also the case here, because even though it’s the third Toler Chan film Charlie Chan in Honolulu was a bit of a bridge picture and might not count.
*. What makes it the best of the Toler films? Well, Norman Foster’s direction is sprightly. The big reveal is quite theatrical, though it plays off all the usual formulaic elements (the lights going out, the hand holding a pistol appearing from a doorway). But a lot of the credit goes to the co-star. And I don’t mean Sen Yung (though he’s fine).
*. If The Black Camel was the one with Bela Lugosi and Charlie Chan at the Opera was the one with Boris Karloff then Charlie Chan at Treasure Island is the one with Cesar Romero. Romero is probably best known for playing the Joker in the Batman TV series (and the movie), but he was multitalented and had charisma and energy to burn. Admittedly it’s not hard to upstage Toler’s Chan, but while Romero’s on screen here he’s the only one you’re watching.
*. The plot really is kind of nutty but the movie as a whole is fun to be sure. I’ve said before that I don’t care for Toler’s Chan very much but he’s bearable here and at least doesn’t get in the way. The proceedings are interesting and there are lots of things happening. The behind-the-scenes look at how the magic trick was being done was the icing on the cake. I don’t know about it being the best of the Toler Chans, but it’s better than average and one to enjoy.

Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)

*. The banter from a loquacious cab driver (Eddie Collins, somehow even more irritating than he was playing the lion handler in Charlie Chan in Honolulu) lets us know what the purpose of Reno, Nevada, “the biggest little city in the world,” really is. Liberal divorce laws, passed in 1927, allowed people to divorce each other after six weeks of residency. So for six weeks you stayed at a Reno hotel and then left when your divorce was finalized. Maybe you gambled a bit while you were waiting. But in 1936 “Reno” was essentially shorthand for “divorce.”
*. Though this was common knowledge at the time, I think it was still a somewhat unseemly subject for movies to take on. But Charlie Chan in Reno doesn’t shy away from it. Indeed, it rubs our noses in the (then) shady business of divorce, as we’re immediately taken to a divorce hotel and introduced to Mrs. Bentley, a really unpleasant soon-to-be divorcee who is also soon to be murdered. This leads us into a plot where everyone is a suspect because the deceased was such a bitch. All Charlie has to do is get his chemistry set out (Number Two Son can help in this regard, as he’s studying chemistry at USC) and set his trap.
*. Not a bad entry, though Toler wasn’t warming up to the part yet. Director Norman Foster, who had been doing the Mr. Moto films, keeps things interesting on a visual level. It’s not much, but I like juxtaposing the high-angle shot looking down into the lobby when the body is discovered, and then the low-angle shot when Jimmy tackles Iris and they end up together on the floor. The cutting also seems to be a lot faster than in previous films.
*. The main story isn’t very interesting. Nor are some of the detours, like Jimmy having his car stolen. I’d like to know what happened with that. But the trip to the ghost town was fun and Slim Summerville as Sheriff “Tombstone” plays well as comic relief against Charlie. Ultimately though it’s not essential viewing for anyone but completists, and you should feel comfortable letting what happened in Reno to stay there.

Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1939)

*. Neither as good nor as bad as you’d be justified in expecting it to be. Warner Oland and Keye Luke were gone, to be replaced by Sidney Toler and Victor Sen Yung (as Number Two Son Jimmy Chan). But H. Bruce Humberstone, who had directed Charlie Chan at the Race Track, the Opera, and the Olympics, was back and there’s actually a decent little murder plot set aboard a freighter bound from Shanghai to Hawaii (despite the title, almost the entire film takes place on the ship and not in Honolulu, which isn’t even evoked in any stock footage).
*. I don’t think it’s saying anything surprising to recognize that Toler is no Warner Oland. As Chan authority Ken Hanke puts it in the DVD’s accompanying featurette there’s just “something about Toler that’s not as likeable.” He has a robotic delivery and always has a somewhat angry expression on his face (if that’s not just the make-up). Toler’s Charlie has none of the warmth or geniality of Oland’s, even when interacting with his family. A family that continues to grow, as there’s a subplot playing in the background throughout this movie that has his daughter giving birth to a Number One Grandson.
*. Victor Sen Yung is a step down from Keye Luke too, but he’s still energetic and has appeal. Elsewhere in the cast the presence of George Zucco helps quite a bit. He’s good in just about everything. And there’s also a good turn put in by Oscar the grumpy lion, as for some reason the freighter is conveying a menagerie.

*. At least we can be thankful that the animal handler who’s scared of his own shadow isn’t Black this time, though the script does throw in the one casually racist joke (Charlie is first shown a Black baby at the hospital and says “Wrong flavour”).
*. Given Oland’s illness it was likely always going to be an awkward transition for a series that had become a cash cow for Fox and so had to be kept going. Hanke describes this one as an uncomfortable apparition between the two eras, and thinks that when Norman Foster took over the directing reins for the next couple of films it helped. I don’t think Humberstone does anything wrong here, but Oland isn’t good, Charlie is no longer the focus even of the detective story, the villain is oddly laid back, and the animals are just something for the circus crowd. Not a good beginning then, but better (and worse) was to come.

Charlie Chan in Monte Carlo (1937)

*. Warner Oland’s final film playing Charlie Chan, and indeed his last film (he only made it a week into the filming of Charlie Chan at Ringside before succumbing to ill health). At least they sent him out with a bang.
*. Alas, that bang is courtesy of a taxi’s backfire, which is one of the laboured running gags that burden this weak instalment. Though just before we get to that final backfire we do get to see the villain being run down by a car, which is actually quite impressively rendered, for the time.
*. This would also be the last entry for Keye Luke as Number One Son Lee Chan. I can’t say it’s an especially strong outing for him either. His place is partially usurped by Harold Huber as the Monte Carlo Chief of Police Jules Joubert. Huber was a versatile character actor who had also played the tough-talking New York detective Inspector Nelson in Charlie Chan on Broadway, and he’d go on to play in the Sidney Toler Chan pictures City in Darkness and Charlie Chan in Rio. These guys were plug-and-play. He’d also go on to provide the voice for Fu Manchu and Hercule Poirot in some radio adaptations.
*. Why is this episode so weak? I’d blame the script on two counts. In the first place, it’s tired. Charlie’s patter feels played out. “Questions are keys to door of truth,” has to be one of the lamest Chanagrams ever. Then there is the complexity of the plot. Now many of the Charlie Chan movies have plots that are hard to follow, but this is the first one that I found literally impossible to keep up with. Even reading a detailed synopsis I found online left me confused. It has something to do with stolen bonds and blackmail, but I wasn’t clear who was doing what to whom. And as I’ve said before on more than one occasion, when a movie is confusing it’s usually boring because when we stop being able to follow what’s going on we stop caring.
*. One of the female characters is said to have had a previous job as a “mannequin.” I was surprised by that. I don’t know what that meant in the 1930s. She was a live model who stood in store windows? Or did she just dress mannequins?
*. Not worth bothering with, even if you’re a fan. But if you are a fan you’ll want to see them all anyway. And if you stick it through to the end you do see someone getting hit by a car.

Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937)

*. Charlie Chan was an ethnic Chinese detective based out of Honolulu but in the series of films based on his character he turned into quite a globetrotter. Hawaii was exotic enough for one movie (The Black Camel, extravagantly shot on location), but after that he took flight for such foreign destinations as London, Paris, Egypt, and the Berlin Olympics, while visiting domestic spots of nearly equal drama like the Opera, the Circus, and the Race Track. Given that the stories were all pretty similar, it’s no big stretch to say that the location was everything that set these films apart.
*. Which is a roundabout way of introducing Charlie Chan on Broadway. A title that, alas, means nothing at all. Charlie does go to New York City, and the opening credits are presented over some stock shots of Times Square, but that’s it.
*. “Broadway” is usually taken as shorthand for New York City’s theatre district, so with a title like this you’d expect it has something to do with that world. It doesn’t. I’m not sure Broadway — referring to either theatre or just the street — is even mentioned. I guess they just went with the title for what Miles Kreuger, an authority on American musicals interviewed for the featurette included with the DVD, refers to as Broadway’s “cachet of glamour.” Struggling to find some connection between the title and what’s actually going on in the movie, Kreuger says the only reason it’s called Charlie Chan on Broadway is because of the newspaper gossip columnists being such an important part of the plot. Which isn’t very much to hang your hat on.
*. Overall this is one of the weirder of the Warner Oland Chan films. The female lead the movie begins by introducing actually pulls a Janet Leigh and turns into the murder victim halfway through. Then the romance angle is frustrated when the heroine’s love interest turns out to be a heel. Though I don’t know what she would have been expecting from a guy with a name like Speed Patten.
*. The other thing that makes it weird is that the murder takes place at a dance joint called The Hottentot Club on “candid camera” night. On candid camera night the guests go around taking pictures, mainly of the dancing girls, hoping to win a prize. This made no sense to me and I wondered if this really was a thing in the 1930s. It seemed really pervy, what with horny-looking guys running around snapping pics of girls.
*. Photos are brought into the plot in a few different ways though, so they do make something out of it. But to be honest, I felt like they were reaching here.
*. One of the more compact stories in the series, which makes it easier to follow. And it mostly plays fair. Harold Huber is also pretty memorable as a New York police detective. Not a bad entry at all, but not one of the best.

Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937)

*. A movie that’s primarily of historical interest today. Charlie heads off to the 1936 Berlin Olympic — where his son Lee is swimming in the 100 m freestyle race — in order to retrieve a device that allows for the remote radio control of airplanes, effectively turning them into drones.
*. What makes this interesting for viewers today is the way the Nazi swastikas have been crudely painted over in all the shots where they appear. A nice indication of how attitudes toward Germany were hardening. Note that in the film itself the police inspector Strasser is a martinet, but honourable, and that the bad guys are from some unnamed Ruritania (the chief villain is named Zaraka, which is exotically indeterminate). It wouldn’t be until Charlie went up against them in City in Darkness that the Germans would become the enemy (and even then it was a precocious call).
*. But I found lots of other historical footnotes interesting as well. Take the men’s 4×100 m track race. The American team win with a time of 39.8, which was a new world and Olympic record. Did you know that in the 2016 games in Rio the same race was won by Jamaica in 37.27? I would have thought they would have lowered the time by more than that. Today’s runners seem a lot faster.
*. Some curious word use. The remote-control device is called a “robot.” This was a new word, invented by a Czech writer named Karel ńĆapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which was published in 1920. By our standards it really doesn’t seem like much of a robot, since it’s just a small box that fits into the plane’s control panel. But I guess if you stretch the definition of “robot” enough it might work.
*. Another word is “filibuster.” One of the characters here is called “a notorious filibuster” because he “made a fortune selling arms to revolutionists in every part of the world.” This is a historical usage of “filibuster,” where it referred to “a person engaging in unauthorized warfare against a foreign country.” I don’t think it’s used that way today. Instead it’s meaning only has reference to a legislative tactic.
*. Explaining how he’s going to get to Berlin from Honolulu Charlie says how he’s going to “take Zeppelin Hindenburg from Lakehurst, New Jersey.” Well, I guess that was better than taking the Hindenburg to Lakehurst, which is where it turned into a fireball just two weeks before this movie was released. Ouch.
*. That’s Katherine DeMille, adopted daughter of Cecil B. playing Yvonne Roland. She was actually born in Vancouver and later married Anthony Quinn. Quite a looker, but I don’t think I’ve seen her in much else.
*. Ironic that the movie begins with Charlie getting a physical. This was nearing the end of the line for Warner Oland, who would die the next year, his body weakened by heavy smoking and alcoholism. He was only 58.
*. That’s all I’ve got. The actual movie here was a let-down for me coming after Charlie Chan at the Opera. This just seemed like standard spy nonsense, with another plot I had trouble following. Charlie Jr. was cute at the beginning, and DeMille looked sultry, but aside from that . . . historical interest.

Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936)

*. The best of the Warner Oland Charlie Chan films? It’s considered so by many and I think it gets my vote. A polished entertainment that’s fun and has a decent plot. Plus Boris Karloff.
*. Film historian Courtney Joyner says Karloff gave us “the best villain of any Chan movie.” Given that I can barely remember any of the others that’s probably a fair assessment. He was certainly the biggest star, as Karloff (as he was often credited) was a big name by 1936. So much so that he shares top billing with Oland. Above the title they are announced as Warner Oland vs. Boris Karloff.
*. You’d think that would give the game away. Plus the fact that Karloff’s character escapes an insane asylum at the beginning of the picture. But in fact Gravelle (Karloff’s character) is a red herring throughout, only part of a melodramatic subplot. A role he performs admirably.
*. Instead of the anti-Black racism in some of the earlier movies (Charlie Chan in Egypt, Charlie Chan at the Race Track) there’s a more progressive angle played, with the proletarian detective coming to admire Chan despite his prejudice, as well as a comic bit playing on the notion that all Chinese men look alike to the dull-witted cops. Other formula elements include the use of cutting-edge technology, the trick at the end to get the killer to reveal him or herself, and the way Charlie has to solve the crime in order for the young couple to be reunited.
*. The point about technology is maybe worth expanding on. In my notes on Where Danger Lives (1950) I expressed some surprise at the ability of the police to transmit a photograph over phone lines (what’s called a “telephoto”). But apparently AT&T had developed a system for doing this as early as 1924, which is, I suppose, what the police are using here. I wonder what the first movie to make use of this was. It might have been even earlier. Movies have always loved gadgets like this.
*. All this and a bit of opera (written specially for this movie) too. Not a classic, but good entertainment that marked a high point for the series with this star.

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

*. The title was the result of a clash of egos between two of Warner Bros. biggest stars. The source play by Maxwell Anderson was Elizabeth the Queen. Errol Flynn, however, demanded that his character be acknowledged. Bette Davis then objected to the studio’s compromise, The Knight and the Lady, because it gave Flynn precedence in what she felt, correctly, was “a woman’s story.”
*. All of this is juicy stuff for film historians or anyone interested in tales of old Hollywood. What I found puzzling, given Flynn’s objections, is why he even wanted to be in this picture, playing this character. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex was a fool and his life ended in a bathetic attempt at a coup. On top of that, the romance here was a decidedly odd sort, as Essex was a pretty toy-boy and Elizabeth a toothless horror held together by corsets and face paint. In real life Flynn and Davis were nearly the same age, but the historical Elizabeth was more than thirty years older than Essex. They were never lovers. The “romance,” in other words, was just another chapter in the Tudor myth.
*. Well, the movies have always loved the Tudor myth. Given a choice between filming the fact or the legend, they’ll go with the legend. Hence The Private Life of Henry VIII and, closer to our own time, Shekhar Kapur’s double-barreled Elizabeth biopics (Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age). But the thing is, in this case wouldn’t the actual historical story have been more interesting? Maybe not in 1939, but today? I think it would. I mean, even Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous (2011) was more historical than this, at least in some ways.
*. One has to wince at the palpable dishonesty in the romantic coupling. Davis and Flynn disliked one another pretty intensely, with bad blood spilling over from The Sisters, a movie they had played together in a couple of years earlier. Davis had wanted Olivier to play Essex but the studio wanted a bigger name.
*. To say that the two have no chemistry would be an understatement. Flynn in particular seems to almost recoil within their passionate embraces. Even their acting styles are awkwardly juxtaposed, with Davis creating an affected Elizabeth all tremulous voice and fidgety hands, with a nodding head suggesting senility. Thrown in a scalp shaved back two inches off her forehead and eyebrows plucked and you’re not far from the grotesqueness of her turn in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

*. Flynn, playing opposite, looks as though he isn’t even trying. Which in itself might have been interesting, as Davis is seen doing all the work while he just has to strut about in tights looking good. This, in turn, would have fit with a more realistic interpretation of the historical events being dramatized, with the foolish Essex trying to play the queen and ending up getting burned. But as it is I think we’re meant to take seriously the idea that the two are in love, with poor Penelope (Olivia de Havilland) left to pine in the wings (actually, Lady Penelope Gray was Essex’s sister).
*. So instead of really digging into this weird anti-romance we’re stuck with “a woman’s story,” full of clenches and protestations of love that can never be consummated. The dialogue is hard to take, at least at this distance. Saith the earl: “If things had been different, you simply a woman, not a queen, and I a man, with no crown between us, we could have searched heaven and earth for two perfect lovers and ended the search with ourselves.” A warning: It’s all like that.
*. Directed without much imagination by Michael Curtiz. Shot in Technicolor with lots of cardboard sets and heavy costumes (literally heavy; apparently some of Davis’s dresses weighed 60 pounds). Plenty of veteran hands in the background: Donald Crisp as Francis Bacon, Alan Hale, Sr. (the Skipper’s dad) as the Earl of Tyrone, Henry Daniell as Sir Rober Cecil (the snake who would survive), and Vincent Price just introducing himself as Raleigh in pink tights. I doubt Clive Owen was taking notes. A great score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
*. I’m not sure what people thought of Davis’s performance at the time. Today it’s too much, especially piled on top of such a melodramatic script, which even gives her a mirror-smashing scene to go full diva in. I’d call it camp, but when you set it alongside something like Elizabeth: The Golden Age it doesn’t seem that out of place, making me think that maybe camp was somehow of the essence of the Tudor myth. And further wonder why the silliest parts of that myth have been so long lived. I understand the perennial appeal of the Tudors, but the way we see them really should have evolved more than it has.

Mary of Scotland (1936)

*. Katharine Hepburn had a long career that began strong but, by the time of this film, it was entering into a bit of a slide. The press was turning against her (dubbing her “Katharine of Arrogance”) and she had never cared much for them. This movie was one of a few flops she had come out at this time, leading to her being considered box office poison.
*. Well, she was a great actor, and she’s very good here. But I can see why Mary of Scotland didn’t take off. While Hepburn tries to breathe some life into the proceedings (literally with some heavy breathing in her big love scenes), this is a stiff historical costume drama, which is a genre not known for being very supple in the first place.
*. I don’t think I’m wrong in attributing most of the film’s failures to its genre. Hepburn is good and Frederic March (playing the Earl of Bothwell) is at least in there trying. Director John Ford apparently had no interest in the project at all, occasionally leaving the work for others, but it’s still reasonably well put together. And yet it’s thick and sticky as pitch.
*. The story itself has always been a draw. Mary Stuart’s life is presented as having only one chapter, beginning with her arrival in Scotland and ending with her quick execution. Her childhood here is, as would become usual, left out (and she’d been Queen of France!), as is her long imprisonment (some twenty years in England, as Elizabeth tried to figure out what to do with her). Instead we get marriage to the fop Darnley, the murder of David Rizzio (a towering John Carradine) and her husband, marriage to Bothwell, and then a quick trip to the chopping block.
*. There’s nothing wrong with focusing on the dramatic highlights of such a life, but Mary of Scotland goes further than most of her biopics in taking historical liberties. And by this I don’t mean the meeting with Elizabeth at the end, a bit of fiction that has become obligatory in every Mary movie. What I’m talking about here is how Mary is forced to marry Darnley against her will, all the while pining for her true love Bothwell. This is pretty much the opposite of what really happened.
*. But what drags Mary of Scotland down the most is its script. This was written in blank verse (honest!) and it’s fully of fusty stuff that must have had audiences laughing even at the time. When Bothwell comes on to an imperious Mary he begins with “Do you expect me to bow and scrape and make pretty speeches? I’m a soldier! I love you!” Mary, getting all breathy, can only rejoin: “You forget I’m your queen!” To which there can be only one proper response: “Have I ever forgotten that? But I remember you’re a woman! Don’t ever forget that yourself!”
*. It’s all that silly. When Bothwell is dying in jail he wants his servant to go to Mary and tell her that he’s still planning on rescuing her from her prison in England this is what he says: “Tell her she’ll hear the pipes when I come for her! Tell her to listen! Tell her my pipers . . . my pipers are coming . . . ” And then he expires. As we hear bagpipes playing, somewhere in the distance. So obviously he isn’t going to rescue Elizabeth. But the message is faithfully passed along, with the servant telling Elizabeth that Bothwell will always be waiting for her where the bagpipes are a-playin’.
*. Troops of pipers march across the stage (it really is a stage) several times throughout the film, letting us know where we are. We also get some actors who throw in the odd burr, because nothing says you’re in Scotland like hearing people rrrrrrroll their r’s.
*. Yes, it’s all this silly. And at the end it’s even a bit surreal, with a gigantic courtroom set that looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, and a long, long climb up the scaffold at the end, as though Mary’s going to meet her fate on a mountaintop. As the lightning sparks in the sky and the thunder rolls and the music soars.
*. Perhaps, no matter how hard you try to twist this story, there just isn’t a great movie in it. Heaven knows they’ve tried and tried with some regularity over the last hundred years. I’d call this one a production of its time, but it actually feels a bit older than that. And while it doesn’t play at all well today, I can’t say it’s much worse than what was to come.