speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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36 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Career Girl (1944) -. Langford seems nice enough, and her singing voice is good, but the songs are unmemorable, and her 1940's mega-mullet hairstyle is not a good look.

I blame GINGER ROGERS for that trend.

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Charlie Chan in the Secret Service (1944) - First in the revived series of mysteries, from Monogram Pictures and director Phil Rosen. Honolulu police detective Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is sent to solve the murder of an important scientist working on cutting edge weaponry. Not only was the scientist killed, but the plans for his latest bomb have disappeared. Chan has a whole house of suspects to choose from. Featuring Mantan Moreland, Arthur Loft, Gwen Kenyon, Sarah Edwards, George J. Lewis, Muni Seroff, Marianne Quon, Benson Fong, and Gene Roth.

Sidney Toler bought the rights to the Chan character from Fox and took them to poverty row studio Monogram. The production quality is inferior, with flat lighting and pedestrian camerawork. The script, too, is below the standard of the Fox films. It's not terrible, though, with some amusing bits with Mantan Moreland, and Quon and Fong as two more of Chan's meddlesome children. Gene Roth, as a particularly surly suspect, is also a hoot.   (6/10)

Source: MGM DVD.

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The Children Are Watching Us (1944) - Italian melodrama from Scalera Film and director Vittorio De Sica. The story concerns the effects on 4-year-old Prico (Luciano De Ambrosis) of his parents' dissolving marriage. His mother (Isa Pola) is having an affair, and is planning on abandoning the family, while Prico's father (Emilio Cigoli) seems powerless to fix the situation. Even when the mother's guilt from leaving her son becomes too much and a reconciliation is attempted, old passions rise up, all before the watchful eyes of young Prico. Also featuring Adriano Rimoldi, Giovanna Cigoli, Jone Frigerio, Maria Gardena, Dina Perbellini, Nicoletta Parodi, and Ernesto Calindri.

On paper this sounds like something I'd detest, an overheated melodrama with a kid as the central focus. However, De Sica maanages to handle the story with finesse and style, and it ended up being one of the best movies that I've seen in a while. Young De Ambrosis is very good as the wide-eyed little boy, imbuing the proper sadness when needed. The supporting performances are all good, and much of their inner lives and motivations are left up to the viewer to suss out, as things are seen from the child's point of view. De Sica's camerawork is also noteworthy, with a few striking scenes, such as the camera moving lithely through a crowded hotel dining room, or a series of dramatic close-ups late in the film. The powerful ending is moving and memorable. Recommended.   (8/10)

Source: FilmStruck.

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The Chinese Cat (1944) - Muddled mystery from Monogram Pictures and director Phil Rosen. Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is on the trail of a gang of diamond thieves. Chan gets unwanted assistance from son Tommy (Benson Fong), and taxi driver Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland). Also featuring Joan Woodbury, John Davidson, Ian Keith, Sam Flint, I. Stanford Jolley, Dewey Robinson, Weldon Heyburn, Betty Blythe, and Cy Kendall.

The supporting characters are a confused mess, and the central mystery isn't very interesting. What entertainment exists comes mainly from the goofy comedy scenes with Fong and Moreland. One unusual scene has Chan getting punched in the face by a bad guy, something which I don't recall seeing in any earlier Chan outing.   (6/10)

Source: MGM DVD.

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7 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I blame GINGER ROGERS for that trend.

Ginger also seemed to love the pompadour during this era as well.  She had really cute hairstyles in her 30s films. 

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Black Magic aka Meeting at Midnight (1944) - Spiritualism meets murder in this mystery from Monogram Pictures and director Phil Rosen. Detective Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) gets involved with phony spiritualists when a seance leads to a killing. Chan is "assisted" by daughter Frances (Frances Chan) and reluctant chauffeur Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland). Also featuring Joseph Crehan, Helen Beverly, Jacqueline deWit, Geraldine Wall, Ralph Peters, Frank Jaquet, Edward Earle, Claudia Dell, and Darby Jones.

The spirit sessions are fun, and you get to see a lot of the old tricks used for such occasions. Having one of Chan's daughters as the sidekick is unusual, although her character talks about clothes shopping more than solving the mystery. I liked this one the best out of the Monogram Chans that I've watched so far, but they are definitely lacking in the script and casting departments. The alternate title was used for later TV broadcasts.   (6/10)

Source: YouTube.

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"The Scarlet Letter" (1934) I download a week ago.  Decided not to make a DVD, movie is not good.  Resembles a very bad Shakespearean stage play. 

One review from Imdb adds to my comment...

The only real let-down is the inclusion of strange, slapstick comic characters who show up every ten minutes, like clockwork, to perform some unfunny bit of business. A perverse part of me kinda liked them, maybe because they were so crass, and such an obvious attempt to lighten the mood. I also got a strange joy out of seeing some totally inappropriate costumes among the villagers, including what appeared to be a group of Conquistadors (!) loitering in the background.

 

I disagree in that it "works well".  Movie doesn't have a beginning of how they met, just TADA, Hester is carrying a baby. :huh:

 

To be or not to be, rather be somewhere else than in this bore.

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Chinese Cat (1944) - Muddled mystery from Monogram Pictures and director Phil Rosen. Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is on the trail of a gang of diamond thieves. Chan gets unwanted assistance from son Tommy (Benson Fong), and taxi driver Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland). Also featuring Joan Woodbury, John Davidson, Ian Keith, Sam Flint, I. Stanford Jolley, Dewey Robinson, Weldon Heyburn, Betty Blythe, and Cy Kendall.

The supporting characters are a confused mess, and the central mystery isn't very interesting. What entertainment exists comes mainly from the goofy comedy scenes with Fong and Moreland. One unusual scene has Chan getting punched in the face by a bad guy, something which I don't recall seeing in any earlier Chan outing.   (6/10)

Source: MGM DVD.

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Is the Chinese Li Hua in it? :blink:

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Thanks for your impressions of The Children Are Watching Us (1944) -as a Shelly Winters fan I've always wanted to see a DeSica film. I often have trouble with foreign films, preferring to see them on the big screen which so rarely happens.

Last night I watched Woody Allen's WONDER WHEEL I'd been on on the library waiting list since it's release in 2017. Anyone who knows me on these boards knows why: I like Allen's work & I'm an amusement park historian.
So of course the setting appealed to me personally. The production set dressers did a great job in creating the atmosphere & look of the times. Just like the earlier seen ALI BABA & THE FOURTY THIEVES, the Coney Island interior sets combined different "cultures" meaning it was historically inaccurate. But for anyone else it's no distraction. I know what they were going for & they achieved it. Same for costumes, make up and other visuals.

I was thrilled however to see a carousel I worked on featured prominently, housed in nearby Rye's Playland. In one pivotal scene, a horse I painted was centered in the frame! (our staff was 3 painters) The whole carousel is slated for repainting, so I get great satisfaction knowing my work is now preserved in a Woody Allen film forever!

The movie was another good convoluted story of mid life disatisfaction, seedy side of show business, with a little classic movie love & gangsters thrown in. It was well acted by the principles, none of whom I was familiar with.
I was especially impressed with Jim Belushi whom I barely recognised. He played a loudmouth boozer type completely channelling Broderick Crawford, Paul Douglas or Creighton Chaney. His sincerity kept it from being over the top cartoony.

I was surprised Kate Winslett played his floozy wife, although I think she was made up to make her look older. Excellent performance as the neglected, wandering eye wife.
Not so impressed with Justin Timberlake. Guess he did OK acting, but I just didn't like him, his demeanor. Glad I've never heard him sing. And Juno Temple as the young girl on the lam was cartoonish. Allen seems to enjoy the "30's gangster" genre that comes across as failed comic relief to me.

The music was Allen's typical soundtrack, which is my personal favorite genre too. But the lighting director-whoa. The WORST. There were several key moments with the actor's head centered in the frame, and people were sliding the lighting effects offstage. Subtly done with limited palette so almost imperceptible, it can be a very effect dramatic punctuation. But in this movie, they were so heavy handed they stood out like a sore thumb. Effects are not impressive when they fail or distract from the drama of the moment.
The CGI recreating the effect of Coney Island of yesteryear was pretty good. The only "fail" is the colors were too strong making it look like a Thomas Kinkaid painting. As objects get farther away from you, they fade so you can create depth by fogging objects as they recede from your view. The CGI effects people missed the opportunity to have made the Coney Island rides looked larger & more realistic with the added bonus of making it "feel" like a humid summer day.

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1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

I'm an amusement park historian.

Ever do any research on North Beach, Coney Island's Northern competition? 

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Scene Of The Crime (1949) Shootout at the L.A. Corral

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Directed by Roy Rowland Witness to Murder (1954), Rogue Cop(1954), The Girl Hunters (1963). The film was Produced by Harry Rapf, It was written by Charles Schnee and based on the story "Smashing the Bookie Gang Marauders" by John Bartlow Martin. The great cinematography was by Paul Vogel (Lady in the Lake (1946), High Wall(1947), A Lady Without Passport(1950), Dial 1119 (1950), The Sellout (1952), The Money Trap (1965)). Music was by André Previn.

The film stars "bland" Van Johnson in his only Film Noir as Mike Conovan, Arlene Dahl (No Questions Asked (1951), Slightly Scarlet (1956), Wicked as They Come (1956)) as Gloria Conovan, Gloria DeHaven as Lili the stripper, Tom Drake (Sudden Danger (1955)) as rookie Detective "C.C." Gordon, Leon Ames (the father in Meet Me In St. Louis (1944), as Captain A.C. Forster, John McIntire (seven Classic Film Noir) as Detective Fred Piper, Donald Woods (13 Ghosts (1960)) as Bob Herkimer, Norman Lloyd in Noir since Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942) and Spellbound (1945), Jerome Cowan one of the earliest Noir actors (The Maltese Falcon (1941), Moontide (1942), Street of Chance (1942), Deadline at Dawn (1946), The Unfaithful (1947), Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948), The Fat Man (1951) who then also segued into early TV.

You can see why Van Johnson never made any more Noirs. He just doesn't seem quite hard boiled enough, another song and dance man who was trying to harden his image, sort of like Dick Powell, although Powell easily made the switch Johnson didn't.  He's too vanilla. The rest of the cast are quite adapt in their rolls. Arlene Dahl is fine but wasted in the good girl role though she does look stunning. Gloria DeHaven is an eye opener. She's another refugee from musicals and she's quite believable as the stripper.  In fact, she would have been good in Noir but she never appeared in another. However since this was 1949 her strip act is pretty tame. McIntire is doing a variation of his his usual shtick, and Norman Lloyd is very entertaining as Sleeper.

The battle between the police and Turk's armored car is unusually detailed and quite drawn out. It is an interesting sequence that would be more at home in a 30s gangster flick, check it out. Screen caps in Film Noir Gangster pages, are from a DVDr. 7/10

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13 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Ginger also seemed to love the pompadour during this era as well.  She had really cute hairstyles in her 30s films. 

and for that, I blame the OSCAR- which won at early-mid career has, I think, a tendency to make already neurotic people (actors) even more so.

Honestly, it wasn't 'til she won for KITTY FOYLE that GINGER started slathering on the war paint and working the HIGHLY ARCHITECTURAL HAIR (which first showed up in her Oscar-winning role)

so NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL and so NATURALLY TALENTED, I kinda honestly think her dressing up like a float at the Rose Bowl and working such outre hairstyles was a way of dealing with the stress to "prove it wasn't a fluke" afterwards.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

and for that, I blame the OSCAR- which won at early-mid career has, I think, a tendency to make already neurotic people (actors) even more so.

Honestly, it wasn't 'til she won for KITTY FOYLE that GINGER started slathering on the war paint and working the HIGHLY ARCHITECTURAL HAIR (which first showed up in her Oscar-winning role)

so NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL and so NATURALLY TALENTED, I kinda honestly think her dressing up like a float at the Rose Bowl and working such outre hairstyles was a way of dealing with the stress to "prove it wasn't a fluke" afterwards.

Agreed.  I also think Ginger's Kitty Foyle win also aligns with the period in her career where she wanted to break away from being Fred Astaire's dance partner and prove herself a dramatic actress.  This is also where she went brunette for awhile.  I think she was actually very pretty as a brunette btw.  In her autobiography, she mentions her real hair color actually being auburn and it was bleached for her first film in the early 1930s.  Ginger said that she initially was very upset about her hair color being changed, but ended up embracing it. 

In The Major and the Minor, when she is supposed to be "11, 12 next week," she washes off all the makeup to look younger and I think she looks very pretty and younger! Which obviously looking younger was the point, but the makeup aged her.  Ginger had beautiful skin and she aged herself when she applied the makeup on with a trowel.  I also read somewhere that Ginger apparently had an excess amount of peach fuzz and that she tended to also slather on the makeup in an attempt to hide it.  I would think more makeup would make it more obvious, but what do I know.  I read somewhere that after Ginger replaced her in The Barkleys of Broadway, Judy Garland, apparently feeling catty and upset, sent Ginger a shaving cup and brush as a "congratulations" gift.  Hilarious and mean if that's true.

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The Conspirators (1944) - WW2 espionage tale from Warner Brothers and director Jean Negulesco. Paul Henreid stars as Vincent, a Dutch resistance fighter who has been so effective that the Nazis have a bounty on his head. He is smuggled out of the country and is ordered to go to London to help organize things there and let the heat diminish. Vincent has a brief stopover in neutral Lisbon, where he gets involved with various underground agents, including the beautiful Irene (Hedy Lamarr). Also featuring Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Victor Francen, Joseph Calleia, Vladimir Sokoloff, Carol Thurston, Eduardo Ciannelli, Steven Geray, Kurt Klatch, Luis Alberni, Anthony Caruso, Gino Corrado, George Macready, Carmel Myers, Jay Novello, and Edward Van Sloan.

Warner was hoping for a Casablanca redux, but this isn't anywhere near that classic. It's still enjoyable, though, mainly for the excellent supporting cast. I can think of few Hollywood pictures that assembled so many of their stock "ethnic" character actors in one movie. Hedy Lamarr is incredibly beautiful, while Henreid is rather dull.  (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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The Falcon Out West (1944) - Western mystery from RKO and director William Clemens. Tom Lawrence (Tom Conway), aka the Falcon, heads out west to a working cattle ranch to try and solve the murder of a wealthy rancher. Also featuring Barbara Hale, Carole Gallagher, Joan Barclay, Cliff Clark, Edward Gargan, Minor Watson, Donald Douglas, Lee Trent, Perc Launders, Lawrence Tierney, and Lyle Talbot.

The unusual setting doesn't do much to enhance this pedestrian outing in the series. I did enjoy seeing Barbara "Della Street" Hale as a rough-riding cowgirl, though. Comic relief cop Edward Gargan crosses the line from humorous to moronic too often, although I believe this is both his and fellow cop Cliff Clark's last appearance in the series.    (6/10)

Source: TCM.

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The Falcon in Mexico (1944) - More mystery from RKO and director William Berke. Tom Lawrence (Tom Conway), aka The Falcon, finds himself accused of murder, so he heads south of the border to look for the real culprit and find out how the killing is connected to a valuable painting. Also featuring Mona Maris, Martha Vickers, Nestor Paiva, Mary Currier, Cecilia Callejo, Emory Parnell, Joseph Vitale, Fernando Alvarado, Bryant Washburn, and Pedro de Cordoba.

This one is pretty routine, with little to make it stand out. The highlight for me was Nestor Paiva as an overly helpful taxi driver who just won't go away.   (6/10)

Source: TCM.

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The Falcon in Hollywood (1944) - Tinseltown mystery from RKO and director Gordon Douglas. Tom Lawrence (Tom Conway), aka The Falcon, is in Los Angeles for a vacation. When a damsel's purse is stolen, he tries to get it back, leading to unauthorized tour of a movie studio, a pushy cab driver "assistant" (Veda Ann Borg), and a dead body, with a studio's worth of suspects. Also featuring Barbara Hale, Sheldon Leonard, John Abbott, Konstantin Shayne, Emory Parnell, Frank Jenks, Jean Brooks, Rita Corday, Walter Soderling, Useff Ali, and Robert Clarke.

This was a lively entry in the series, helped immensely by the presence of Veda Ann Borg as a bored cab driver who follows the Falcon around. Add Sheldon Leonard as a dangerous thug, Barbara Hale as his moll, and talk of numerology and cursed jewels, and this ended up being one of the better Falcon movies featuring Conway.   (7/10)

Source: TCM.

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The Hidden City (1950).  Chimps in the jungle, helping Bomba; Marlene Dietrich in an ape suit -- what a carefully planned, thematic day at TCM!

I've always enjoyed jungle movies, from an early age, when I watched Tarzan, Bomba, Sheena, Jungle Jim, and Gunga Ram (Andy's Gang). The Hidden City is a fine example of the genre: a white guy in the jungle helps the animals and fights naughty tribes and naughty white men, although there are usually good tribes and good white men as well. In The Hidden City, Bomba helps a young woman regain her family's position in the hidden city. The tribespeople in this film are primarily white and Moslem. Smoki Whitfield, who plays one of the few black characters, appeared in all the Bomba films.

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Four Jills in a Jeep (1944) - Morale-booster musical from 20th Century Fox and director William A. Seiter. Kay Francis, Carole Landis, Martha Raye, and Mitzi Mayfair star as themselves in this look at their time working to entertain the troops overseas during WW2. The four ladies endure uncomfortable and even hazardous conditions to try and bring a little bit of joy and the homefront to the soldiers. Also featuring Phil Silvers, Dick Haymes, John Harvey, Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra, Kirk Alyn, Ralph Byrd, Reed Hadley, Miles Mander, and, in cameos as themselves, Alice Faye, George Jessel, Betty Grable, and Carmen Miranda.

The flimsy plot is just an excuse for a number of song and dance performances, which is fine, and probably what the audience of the day wanted. The performances themselves are a bit uninspired, though, with no real stand-outs. I've seen a few people on the boards mention Kay Francis having a bad lisp, but I've never noticed it before this movie. I still wouldn't call it bad, but it was noticeable. Martha Raye and Phil Silvers comic shtick can get a bit loud. I didn't know Mitzi Mayfair, but I read that she was a Broadway dancer who never appeared in another movie.   (6/10)

Source: Fox DVD. This was included in The Alice Faye Collection: Volume 2, although Faye only performs one song and is then gone from the movie.

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Frenchman's Creek (1944) - Ornate Technicolor period romance based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, from Paramount Pictures and director Mitchell Leisen. In 1668 England, Dona St. Columb (Joan Fontaine) grows tired of the dissolute ways of her husband Harry (Ralph Forbes), so she takes their young children and goes to their country estate on the Cornish coast. After settling in, she learns that the area has lately been targeted by French pirates. She surprises even herself when, instead of being afraid, she becomes thrilled by the idea of the pirates, and eventually tracks them down. She falls in love with their captain Jean Benoit Aubrey (Arturo de Cordova), and even journeys with the pirates on their ship, but soon her husband comes to the area, and the other local noblemen vow to capture and kill the pirates once and for all. Also featuring Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway, Nigel Bruce, Harald Maresch, Billy Daniel, Moyna MacGill, and Patricia Baker.

There's a lot good here, and some not so good, too. The sets and costumes are sumptuous and eye-catching, and the use of color is thoughtful and artistic rather than arbitrary. The central performance by Fontaine is at times surprisingly sensual and human, and others artificial and forced. Arturo de Cordova isn't bad, but an actual Frenchman may have been a better casting choice. Rathbone gets to be dastardly (he dresses in black, so you know he's no good), and Kellaway is always a welcome presence. One fault with the film, which I'll address below, isn't to be blamed on the filmmakers. The movie won the Oscar for Best Color Art Direction.    (6/10)

Source: TCM. My recording was made that initial showing TCM made that was much discussed on these boards at the time. The print is awful, with the brightness level too high, with many scenes washed out. I'm not sure if subsequent showings have improved, but I certainly hope so.

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Here Come the Waves (1944) - Morale-booster musical rom-com from Paramount Pictures and director Mark Sandrich. Twin sister entertainers Susan and Rosemary Allison (both Betty Hutton) decide to join the U.S. Naval Women's Reserve, aka the Waves. Stable and practical Rosemary fits right in, but wacky Susan has trouble adjusting. She's also pining for her "boyfriend", entertainer Johnny Cabot (Bing Crosby), who also decides to join the Navy. Various romantic shenanigans ensue, as well as the prerequisite "big show" for the sailors. Also featuring Sonny Tufts, Ann Doran, Noel Neill, Gwen Crawford, Catherine Craig, Anabel Shaw, Kay Linaker, Mona Freeman, Yvonne De Carlo, and Mae Clarke.

Betty Hutton is the big showcase star here, with her dual role. She's quite good as the more serious-minded Rosemary, while her Susan is typical Betty Hutton mania. Sonny Tufts isn't bad as Crosby's Navy pal/rival. The film's Oscar nominated song "Accentuate the Positive" is performed by Crosby in blackface.   (6/10)

Source: Universal DVD.

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Maisie Was a Lady (1941) is perhaps the best entry in the Maisie franchise.  Ann Sothern is perfectly cast as the brassy, smart, and kind-hearted show girl, Maisie Ravier. This film adheres to the familiar path of Maisie slumming in a third-rate venue, trying to scratch out a living while fending off lecherous cads. 

We find Maisie working in a carnival as The Headless Woman, her head seemingly detached from her body, as spectators look with wonder.  Then Lew Ayres, playing a drunk playboy, staggers in, and begins tickling Maisie’s exquisite nylon-clad legs. (Ann Sothern had quite a pair of gams). Maisie tumbles over. The act is ruined. Maisie gets fired. 

Feeling guilty, Ayres hires Maisie as a maid, where she imposes order over a rich but neglected family.  The cast includes Maureen O’Sullivan, and C. Aubrey Smith, whom I can hear speak all day, with that smooth, actorly, refined voice. Here he’s playing a well-meaning butler.  O’Sullivan plays Ayres’s lovelorn sister (a complete 180 from her Tarzan films).  And Ayres plays an alcoholic who, thanks to Maisie, sobers up, and falls in love with you know who.  Being a B movie, this lacks the MGM signature gloss.  The images hew toward monochromatic.  What’s interesting about the Maisie character is she’s a showgirl with a strict, rather conservative, moral code. But thanks to Ann Sothern’s portrayal, in all the Maisie films I’ve seen, she never comes across as a moralizer.

Ann Sothern is a talented comedienne, and fine dramatic actress (Cry Havoc, A Letter to Three Wives), with a rapid-fire delivery and sexiness to boot.  I could picture her going toe to toe with Cary Grant in Front Page Woman.  She didn’t reach the levels of, say, Carole Lombard, or Claudette Colbert, mostly because Ann starred in B movie screwball comedies.  Two good ones are Walking on Air and Smartest Girl in Town, both from 1936, and both co-starring Gene Raymond.  

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13 minutes ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

Maisie Was a Lady (1941) is perhaps the best entry in the Maisie franchise.  Ann Sothern is perfectly cast as the brassy, smart, and kind-hearted show girl, Maisie Ravier. This film adheres to the familiar path of Maisie slumming in a third-rate venue, trying to scratch out a living while fending off lecherous cads. 

I agree that Maisie Was a Lady is well made and has a higher production value then the other films in the franchise.  What I find interesting about this series is that there is no connection between the films even though films were released shortly after each other.     E.g.  In Maisie Was a Lady,   the ending suggest that Ayres's character were going to get married.   The next film starts off with Maisie back working in a dance club.    

Yea,  I understand why this was done (so Maisie could have another love interest in the next film, and the film after that etc....),   but I wonder how audiences at the time felt about this.    I don't recall if there was ever a love interest that was carried forward from one film to another.  

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51 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I agree that Maisie Was a Lady is well made and has a higher production value then the other films in the franchise.  What I find interesting about this series is that there is no connection between the films even though films were released shortly after each other.     E.g.  In Maisie Was a Lady,   the ending suggest that Ayres's character were going to get married.   The next film starts off with Maisie back working in a dance club.    

Yea,  I understand why this was done (so Maisie could have another love interest in the next film, and the film after that etc....),   but I wonder how audiences at the time felt about this.    I don't recall if there was ever a love interest that was carried forward from one film to another.  

Yeah, it hinted at a nice finale, Maisie marries Ayres's character and they live happily ever after.  I guess the film was popular with audiences, so MGM cranked out more of them.  The audience didn't care or just assumed it didn't work out and Maisie was back to square one.   

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In Society (1944) - Slapdash comedy from Universal Pictures and director Jean Yarbrough. Eddie (Bud Abbott) and Albert (Lou Costello) are bumbling plumbers who mistakenly get invited to a ritzy party. There's also young romance between rich Peter (Kirby Grant) and taxi driver Elsie (Marion Hutton). Also featuring Margaret Irving, Ann Gillis, Thomas Gomez, Arthur Treacher, Thurston Hall, Luis Alberni, Ian Wolfe, George Dolenz, Steven Geray, Will Osborne & His Orchestra, and the Fontane Sisters. 

The script seems very piecemeal. The highlight of the film for me was a sequence with A&C walking down a sidewalk trying to sell hats. It seemed very much like one of their old vaudeville bits put to film, and it's very funny. Much of the rest of the film is a letdown, with unfunny bits, lengthy song numbers, and a finale that's largely made up of footage from another movie (Never Give a Sucker an Even Break). In a strange coincidence, my previously watched movie was Here Come the Waves, featuring Betty Hutton as twin sisters. This movie co-stars Hutton's actual sister Marion, who was a singer with Glenn Miller's orchestra.    (6/10)

Source: Universal DVD.

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