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Forbidden Hollywood Night 12/4/2006


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In regards to PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART, While the movie herald I mentioned in a previous post has a fair amount of "sex appeal" to it (no doubt to put male butts in the seats), the thing that makes this movie so much fun is the satire it presents of the radio business. With the two rival dish cloth makers trying to get the most listeners by presenting some of the silliest acts on their shows.

"Ipsy-Wipesy" wash cloths presents the "Purity Girl" (Rogers), who off mike wants to be able to go night clubbing in Harlem, but can't because of a conduct clause in her contract. Kelsy dish rag is trying to woo the Purity Girl away, with a contract that includes visits to Harlem. The movie gets crazier when there is a contest to find a boyfriend for the Purity Girl, who ends up to be some hick from Kentucky (Norman Foster). The dialogue is very witty and the some of the incidental music in it is on the hot side. It is a topical film (of sorts), in that it pokes fun at dominate entertainment industry. It is one of RKO's better comedies.

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But PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART (1933) has been available on VHS for at least a decade. Still, it would be a wonderful addition to the growing number of pre-codes being released on DVD.

 

Ginger Rogers is the star -- her first starring role, I believe -- and here she bears a strong resemblance to Honey Hale, the band singer that Ms. Rogers would portray a little later, in FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933). Think of Honey as she stands in front of the orchestra in the first reel of that film, and sings "Music Makes Me." She is wearing the sheerest black gown imaginable, and I could swear she is wearing black bikini bra and panties underneath -- although bikinis didn't become fashionable until the 1960s. Anyway, in that scene she is not Irene Castle or Kitty Foyle, she is the continuation of Glory Eden (of PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART) or Anytime Annie (from 42ND STREET).

 

It may be only a romantic notion that PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART deserves a DVD release. Such decisions are usually made on a bottom-line basis, i.e., will it sell? My guess is that it would sell much better today, while Ginger Rogers is still well-remembered by most of us, than if the decision were delayed until later in this century.

 

At any rate, PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART is a first-rate comedy, with a saucy performance by Ginger Rogers, plenty of good wisecracks by Gregory Ratoff, ZaSu Pitts, Frank McHugh, and Franklin Pangborn. It deserves to be seen. I think I'll go see it now.

 

Dan N.

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> But PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART (1933) has been available

> on VHS for at least a decade. Still, it would be a

> wonderful addition to the growing number of pre-codes

> being released on DVD.

>

> Ginger Rogers is the star -- her first starring role,

> I believe -- and here she bears a strong resemblance

> to Honey Hale, the band singer that Ms. Rogers would

> portray a little later, in FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933).

> Think of Honey as she stands in front of the

> orchestra in the first reel of that film, and sings

> "Music Makes Me." She is wearing the sheerest black

> gown imaginable, and I could swear she is wearing

> black bikini bra and panties underneath -- although

> bikinis didn't become fashionable until the 1960s.

> Anyway, in that scene she is not Irene Castle or

> Kitty Foyle, she is the continuation of Glory Eden

> (of PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART) or Anytime Annie (from

> 42ND STREET).

>

> It may be only a romantic notion that PROFESSIONAL

> SWEETHEART deserves a DVD release. Such decisions

> are usually made on a bottom-line basis, i.e., will

> it sell? My guess is that it would sell much better

> today, while Ginger Rogers is still well-remembered

> by most of us, than if the decision were delayed

> until later in this century.

>

> At any rate, PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART is a first-rate

> comedy, with a saucy performance by Ginger Rogers,

> plenty of good wisecracks by Gregory Ratoff, ZaSu

> Pitts, Frank McHugh, and Franklin Pangborn. It

> deserves to be seen. I think I'll go see it now.

>

> Dan N.

 

Dan, are you positive it was released on VHS? I've never seen it before(for sale that is) I checked allmovie, and no box image, no listing for it on amazon, and didn't find it for sale on Ebay either. I did see In Person for sale once(Even though its from 1935, you see a lotta leg on the front of the box)

You and others are right about it being a good film in general.

Now, if they find footage of her in that black teddy that shows up in many a still, and can restore it from some european edition, then darn tootin' it should be on the next Forbidden set.....

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Dagnabbit, ziggy... you are RIGHT!

 

I just ran my VHS print of PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART, and sonofagun! It's a Super-VHS copy I picked up from AMC, maybe 10 years ago. AMC was then a no-commercial movie station. Good print, too.

 

Some really funny gags in this one. Early on, when radio star Glory Eden (Ginger Rogers) is clamoring to have a MAN, the "idea men" around her try to come up with ideas. Her producer (Gregory Ratoff) nixes them, saying:

 

"No, no... You're trying to give her second-hand men. What she wants is somebody brand-new. You know... a whatchacallit... a VIRGIN!!" (Of course, Ratoff pronounces it "WER-chin!")

 

Man, I've seen a lot worse films than this one make it to DVD. Why don't the rights holders release it, so that new generations can enjoy PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART?

 

Dan N.

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