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JackBurley

Garden of the Moon

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When I was 16 years old I bought a three-record set of Warner Bros. music [on vinyl]. A pal and I listened to it often, and we were especially intrigued by a wild song called "The Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish". The rendition is lively and more than a little bizarre. It's so strange that we used to wonder just what was going on on the screen!

 

Last summer I began a one-man campaign to see if TCM would show it; I suggested it nearly every day on the Suggest a Movie page of this website. It took three months, before it popped up on the schedule and will be shown later today (January 11). Thank you, TCM!

 

Busby Berkeley directed this rarity, and I'm very excited to finally be able to see it. I called my childhood chum to tell her it will be on, so she can see it too. I'm a little nervous to see it too. It's been many years of awaiting this day; what if it turns out to be terrible? Well, at least I'll finally know. Anyone going to join me in watching this one?

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Jack, I'll be watching and recording it! I'm going to try to record as many of the Harry Warren films as I can this month. I have a recording of The Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish by Martin Denny on the Ultralounge Exotica cd. I recognized the tune but I couldn't believe the title! It cracks me up. It must be hard to get cozy with a whirling dervish.

 

Sandy K

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Last summer I began a one-man campaign to see if TCM would show it...

 

Hey, now, Jack, don't forget I suggested it several times too after our discussion last summer! ;-) I'll be recording it since I can't watch it live. So I'll have to skip this thread in case there are spoilers.

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Mr. Ful, you were a great help (which reminds me, I need to suggest Big City again...)! I also saw "hh" from West Palm Beach second my motion one summer day. We'll have to be sure to forewarn with *SPOILER* if we give anything away...

 

Peaceful Ms. Pax said, "I have a recording of The Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish by Martin Denny on the Ultralounge Exotica cd. I recognized the tune but I couldn't believe the title! It cracks me up. It must be hard to get cozy with a whirling dervish.

 

You're in for a big surprise with this number. Though the melody is there, this rendition is nothing like Martin Denny's! I was thrilled to find the Denny version too (about 20 years after I bought the Warner Bros. collection).

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I enjoyed it, but didn't think it was any great shakes as a film musical/comedy. I liked the "Postage Stamp" number, but Pat O'Brien's character grated a great deal. I thought he was positively schizophrenic in his first scenes in the film when he was alternately sympathetic and tyranical with the staff of the "Garden of the Moon."

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I agree, I enjoyed Pat O'Brien a lot more in the movie after Garden........ Cowboy From Brooklyn(again, not sure I have the title right). I thought his rapid fire delivery in that movie was hilarious and stole the movie.

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Hey, gang, I've been singing that Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish song all my life. I always seem to start humming it when I'm washing the dishes - don't know why --but if you think back (those of you who are old enough) you'll remember that it was featured in a Porky Pig cartoon where Porky was in the Foreign Legion. It was one of those WB cartoons that was aired very often when I was young. Unfortunately, I missed that segment in Garden of the Moon - I only saw about a half hour of it last night.

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Well, it was just great to finally see the movie. The shenanigans were tiresome, but the musical numbers were very entertaining. I thought Pat O'Brien's character was the father of Meryl Streeps' Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, complete with his dismissive "That's all!" to excuse his underlings. Did everyone catch that whenever he broke his watch, the soundtrack would play "MOTHER" as the background music?

 

It was interesting to see Margaret Lindsay, as previously I'd only really known her as the yankee that Pres marries in Jezebel. Once again, she got the man that was intended for Bette Davis [who turned down the role in Garden of the Moon. I was relieved that John Payne was the male lead, I thought he did a better job than Dick Powell would have.

 

There was little Busby Berekely apparent in the movie. Few interesting camera angles, no kaleidescopes, and the only chorus girls were saved for the neon sign (advertising a band that would only play for two weeks?!). He did some light play with the close-ups in "The Lady on the Two Cent Stamp", a bizarre number that didn't disappoint. Wall-eyed Jerry Colonna is a trip! "The Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish" was also unique and strange. I never dreamt that it would involve Colonna in drag as a harem girl! I'd like to have had an encore of both these numbers.

 

It was interesting to see Penny Singleton ["Blondie"] as the brunette secretary; unrecognizable to the eye, but then there was that Singleton voice... Great to see a young Isabel Jean! Curt Bois seems to have been typecast; at least he was the pickpocket in Casablanca too!

 

At any rate, I'm thankful to TCM for enabling me to finally see this rare curiosity.

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I finally got to sit down and watch this as the ice storm enveloped the house. I was really expecting an all-out Berkely extravaganza, and was surprised at the simplicity of the numbers. Music was good, but as stated earlier, Pat O'Brien was just too over-the-top. As was that ending! Colonna's eyes may show up in my next nightmare! It was different, not great. Thanks TCM.

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...as the ice storm enveloped the house.

 

Brrr... It's been a little chilly here for several days (meaning low 30's to the 50's), but back to "not-really-normal" at least till Monday - 78 for the daytime high, to the 50's at night. But I'm sure ours is coming. We did get down to 17 (once only) back in early December, which was a record for the date. Christmas was around 70. I haven't been following the weather except right here. Hope it's not headed our way.

 

Bill

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Hope it's not headed our way.

 

I don't see how it can come your way when it won't leave us alone. Fortunate we didn't get any more ice today, and thrilled we didn't lose our electricity, but the cold isn't supposed to subside at all, with lows around 12 on the way when the clouds clear, and more snow forecast for next weekend. Maybe I'll get on the roof and de-ice my dish during the break, anyway.

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As a musician, I particularly enjoy "Garden of the Moon" as it gives us a chance to see the great jazz violinist, Joe Venuti, as he plays in a few, short close ups, and clowns around with Jerry Colonna. While there are quite a few audio recordings of Venuti, I have found very few video pieces of him when he was in his prime.

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