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I think Sepia might have been merely expressing surprise that there is someone that young here (if she is).

 

Whatever happened to ILoveRayMilland, a 13-year-old here back in '08-'09? What a wonderful little prodigy she was! Her posts were so mature that most probably had no clue that she might be that young.

 

Of course that is what Sepia was getting at (as well as confirming the poster didn't make a typo e.g. said '5' instead of '35'.    One has to be a teenager not to understand that.   :blink:

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Why shouldn't she be nineteen? I think it's great when young people join these boards. And why should we assume that only middle-aged to old people are members here?

 

OK, don't go all "facebook" on me here MissW.

 

I don't recall EVER stating she "shouldn't" be 19.  Just making conversation.  Yeah, I'll agree that it's good to see younger people on the boards who seem to enjoy these "classic" films as much as us "fogeys" do.  And to find out what generated THEIR interest, as with us fossils it's usually similar----we grew up watching these movies because they were the ONLY movies shown on the tube "back then" and it sparks a feeling of nostalgia to see them  after all this time, and so on.  Or possibly she might have fudged the math.  I sometimes think some song or movie is OLDER than it actually is or was mostly due to my liking to think MY "time" really wasn't all THAT long ago.

 

By the way, at the end of last month, I celebrated the 35th anniversary of my 30th birthday!  :D

 

Sepiatone

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For all those confused lol: I was born in '96.  :P

I'm glad to see that people of all ages are interested in classic film :-)

 

Finally, I'm not the youngest person here! Lol. 

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I'm glad to see that people of all ages are interested in classic film :-)

 

Finally, I'm not the youngest person here! Lol. 

 

Heh----

 

Thing is, not all people of ALL ages enjoy "classic" film.

 

I mentioned early in my membership here about my one brother in law, while over the house while I was watching THE GRAPES OF WRATH on TCM that night, tried kidding me...You LIKE all those dusty old movies, don't you?"   Which made me laugh due to the MOVIE being released in 1940, and HIM being BORN in 1935!  So I kidded him BACK.  "Hey,"  I said, "This movie is younger than YOU are.  So WHO or WHAT is 'dusty, old' ?"  :D

 

 

Sepiatone

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Heh----

 

Thing is, not all people of ALL ages enjoy "classic" film.

 

I mentioned early in my membership here about my one brother in law, while over the house while I was watching THE GRAPES OF WRATH on TCM that night, tried kidding me...You LIKE all those dusty old movies, don't you?"   Which made me laugh due to the MOVIE being released in 1940, and HIM being BORN in 1935!  So I kidded him BACK.  "Hey,"  I said, "This movie is younger than YOU are.  So WHO or WHAT is 'dusty, old' ?" 

 

I'm not in my infancy anymore either - but that doesn't mean I like the product a whole lot from when the movie-making business was in its.

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"Let's Dance" (1950)--Starring Betty Hutton and Fred Astaire, directed by Norman Z. MacLeod.

 

Musical gets off to a rousing start with a comedy number by Hutton that Astaire joins in halfway through.  The Frank Loesser score is the main reason for seeing LD.  Score is pleasant, not great, with standout numbers being the opening ("Can't Stop Talking About Him"), Astaires' dance to "Tiger Rag", and a shared comedy routine called "Oh, Them Dudes" that shows off Hutton's and Astaires' gift for physical comedy.  

 

The Big problem is plot revolves around a child custody suit; not an amusing situation or takeoff point for a musical comedy.  Hutton and Astaire do their best, but film never takes off and flies; every time the music threatens to put the film aloft, the plot drags it to earth.

 

Other problems; Hutton and Astaire seem to be working independently of each other; there's no chemistry between them.  I could see how hard Hutton was working in the dance sequences (to be fair, she keeps up with Astaire).  In spite of some good moments, they're mismatched.

 

Film is worth seeing, just don't expect a knockout, as I did.  2.6/4

 

Saw film on another website.

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"Let's Dance" (1950)--Starring Betty Hutton and Fred Astaire, directed by Norman Z. MacLeod.

 

Musical gets off to a rousing start with a comedy number by Hutton that Astaire joins in halfway through.  The Frank Loesser score is the main reason for seeing LD.  Score is pleasant, not great, with standout numbers being the opening ("Can't Stop Talking About Him"), Astaires' dance to "Tiger Rag", and a shared comedy routine called "Oh, Them Dudes" that shows off Hutton's and Astaires' gift for physical comedy.  

 

The Big problem is plot revolves around a child custody suit; not an amusing situation or takeoff point for a musical comedy.  Hutton and Astaire do their best, but film never takes off and flies; every time the music threatens to put the film aloft, the plot drags it to earth.

 

Other problems; Hutton and Astaire seem to be working independently of each other; there's no chemistry between them.  I could see how hard Hutton was working in the dance sequences (to be fair, she keeps up with Astaire).  In spite of some good moments, they're mismatched.

 

Film is worth seeing, just don't expect a knockout, as I did.  2.6/4

 

Saw film on another website.

 

I've always wanted to see this film.  Fred Astaire mentioned it in his autobiography.  I thought I had at least heard of most of his films, but this one surprised me.  I had never heard of it.  I'm not a big fan of Betty Hutton, I think she's obnoxious.  Her personality doesn't seem like it'd mesh well with Astaire's classy persona.  But I would watch it out of curiosity.  It doesn't seem to be available anywhere, except for I guess on the website where you saw it.

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Sunnyside Up (1929).

 

I had an 8-hour power outage today, starting with Time Bandits.  So what can you do.  The good news is that I wanted to capture the entire Janet Gaynor day yesterday, and as far as I know, it all came in without any problems.

 

I have only seen low-res fragments of Sunnyside Up on Youtube, so I was happy to get it directly from TCM.  It runs the gamut from happy to sad and back to happy, and has plenty of comic relief from El Brendel (as Eric Swenson). 

 

The same director, writers, and two of the main actors would reconvene a year later and make Just Imagine (1930), an early Sci-Fi/Comedy/Musical. 

 

I had fun seeing some of the same ideas between the two movies.   There is a crazy opera in Just Imagine, performed on the planet Mars by Martians.  Likewise, Sunnyside Up has a crazy musical performance "Turn Up The Heat" which starts off with a stage full of dancers dressed as Eskimos that emerge from behind a stage full of small igloos.  It winds up with all the snow and igloos melting, water running all over the place, big tall trees emerging, and bananas sprouting.  Oh yeah, and the Eskimos become scantily clad dancers.  All at an exclusive high society charity event.  Where else are you going to see something like that.

 

Another thing I noticed was their use of live-action imagery of a loved one, while the actor is actually looking at something.  In Just Imagine there is a scene where John Garrick, a down and out good guy who becomes an experimental astronomer at a moment's notice, is on Mars and looks into a giant telescope that is pointed towards Earth.  Maureen O'Sullivan's face fills the telescope, as sings part of one of the songs, as she misses him.  Likewise, Sunnyside Up has a production called "If I Had A Talking Picture Of You", and later on a picture of Janet Gaynor literally comes to life for a few moments as Charles Farrell is looking into it.

 

All impressive to me for time period.  I like character actors and bit players too, and there were plenty here.  Anyhow this movie drew me in and ended on a high note, characteristic of movies David Butler directed.  Wish there were more like it.

 

I am thankful to TCM for the Janet Gaynor day.  I still need to get around to watching most of her other films.  Someone mentioned there was one other film of hers they could have played. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927).  Maybe they will get around to it some other time.

 

Also a reminder that A Star Is Born (1937) will be coming up next month.

 

Also looking for the early Fox movie Happy Days, which has Marjorie White in a lead role (the short bubbly blonde from Just Imagine and Sunnyside Up).  I have seen fragments of it in various stages of decay on Youtube.  Maybe Fox will get around to working on this one.

 

Thanks.

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Last night I watched The Heiress, for the fifth or sixth time.  Each time I tend to focus on a different actor and last night it was Montgomery Clift.  He brought so much to the role that I don't think any other actor could have done as well.  For one thing he was just so young and handsome, every innocent young girl's dream boy, an older man ( Errol Flynn had been considered) would have been intimidating to a girl as shy as  Catherine.  Throughout, he had the audience guessing about how sincere he was.  We were never in doubt that he loved Catherine's house and her prospect, but I do think he loved her a little, too. Clift shows us how charmed he is with her honesty and by the end we realize that anyone so self-centered and vain as to think he deserved 30,000 a year without working for it would be pleased with an adoring wife who wore her heart on her sleeve the way Catherine did.  As one of the Aunt's said, "I believe Morris would take good care of Catherine and her money."

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I'm not in my infancy anymore either - but that doesn't mean I like the product a whole lot from when the movie-making business was in its.

 

I'm a bit confused here...

 

Are you claiming you don't like "classic" film at ALL?

 

Or that the age of a film doesn't matter to you.  Just that if the movie is any good, at least by your tastes?

 

If it's the former, then it begs the question of WHY you maintain a membership in a message board for those who DO "like the product a whole lot from when the movie-making business was in it's"(referring to IT'S infancy I presume.)?

 

 

Sepiatone

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I'm a bit confused here...

 

Are you claiming you don't like "classic" film at ALL?

 

Or that the age of a film doesn't matter to you.  Just that if the movie is any good, at least by your tastes?

 

If it's the former, then it begs the question of WHY you maintain a membership in a message board for those who DO "like the product a whole lot from when the movie-making business was in it's"(referring to IT'S infancy I presume.)?

 

There are movies from the studio era that I like. I'm 66 and I grew up with the "classics".

 

But they are few and far between.

 

I love movies - but not all movies. If I find a movie to be predictable and unrealistically presented - aspects I've found to be typical of most studio-age product - I tend to lose interest. There are few emotions I find more torturous than boredom.

 

Movies generally got better with time, thankfully. Acting became more convincing, spoken dialog and situations became more realistic, colour became more naturalistic (although I do very much enjoy black and white), stories became much more honest in their presentations and conclusions.

 

I collect movies - some from the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's - most from the mid-60's onward.

 

Because I watch movies so much, I became a member here in the TCM forums a very long time ago. However, I rarely involve myself in discussions of those movies so many other members do. I tend to talk about only those that interest me - and once in a blue moon I'll say something about an "oldie", or possibly about an actor from ancient days. Just not very often.

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Likewise, Sunnyside Up has a crazy musical performance "Turn Up The Heat" which starts off with a stage full of dancers dressed as Eskimos that emerge from behind a stage full of small igloos. It winds up with all the snow and igloos melting, water running all over the place, big tall trees emerging, and bananas sprouting. Oh yeah, and the Eskimos become scantily clad dancers. All at an exclusive high society charity event. Where else are you going to see something like that.

You can see it in Busby Berkeley's The Gang's All Here. :D

 

Nitpick: John Garrick in Just Imagine becomes an astronaut, not an astronomer, something which makes a bit of sense considering that his character was a pilot doing the transatlantic route. I think the original real-life astronauts and cosmonauts were all fighter pilots. It's Frank Albertson joining him that's the surprise. El Brendel of course is just a stowaway.

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You can see it in Busby Berkeley's The Gang's All Here. :D

 

 

No, that had the line of girls with the artistic cascade of bananas, and Carmen Miranda's never-ending tutti-frutti hat.

 

You're thinking of "Turn Up the Heat" as the kitsch-scene featured in 1982's "It Came From Hollywood", where they excerpted the number's precode gag about the bananas "ripening" on the tree.  (And the somewhat unsynchronized choreography of the dancers.)

The two get confused all the time.

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Due to the weather being unbearably hot outside, I spent yesterday in the AC and consequently watched a few movies.  I mostly watched a lot of episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but that's neither here nor there.  Lol.  I'm also including my entry from Esther Williams day.

 

Million Dollar Mermaid.  I'm not the biggest fan of Esther Williams, in fact I find her dull.  However, for the sake of watching at least one film from each SUTS honoree, I wanted to see one of her swimming musicals.  I saw that 'Mermaid' was considered one of her best and Williams considered it her favorite of all he films.  This film was okay.  Definitely not my favorite musical, but that could be because Busby Berkeley was responsible for the swimming choreography and his kaleidoscope imagery just doesn't do anything for me.  I did like Esther's high dives and costumes. The plot was pretty decent for a musical.  

 

It's a biopic about Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman.  She originally took up swimming as a child to fight an affliction with polio.  She ended up becoming a champion swimmer during the late 1800s.  She popularized the one-piece bathing suit as she argued that the current woman's bathing costume (a dress over pantaloons) was impractical for long distance swimming.  She ends up in a court battle as she is tried for "indecent exposure" for showing off her bare shoulders, arms and legs in a public space.  She also sports another type of one piece suit, which basically looks like a bathing catsuit.  Kellerman explains that she used to swim in a men's bathing costume (a T-shirt with shorts essentially) with legs attached that she had sewn to the bottom.  Williams' character is seen in the one piece with and without legs throughout the film.  Later, she becomes a swimming superstar and is responsible for introducing synchronized swimming   The peak of Kellerman's career is when she is featured at the Hippodrome in New York as a "mermaid" where she performs elaborate musical numbers.  Walter Pidgeon portrays Williams' father in this film.  He's fine, but it isn't really all that difficult a part.  Victor Mature portrays Williams' agent and later love interest.  They're all fine.  

 

This film was okay.  I reaffirmed my opinion that Esther Williams isn't really all that interesting.  She doesn't really do anything to elicit a negative opinion from me, nor a favorable opinion.  She's just kind of there.  A very average actress who definitely had a unique niche at MGM that she fulfilled well. 

 

---

 

Fifth Avenue Girl.  This was one of my selections for Tim Holt day (along with Gold is Where You Find it and Hitler's Children). I mostly recorded it for Ginger Rogers.  This was an enjoyable film.  Among the other 1939 releases, it definitely is no Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of Oz, but it was an entertaining comedy.  This film features Rogers as a down and out young woman whom millionaire Walter Connelly meets on a bench in Central Park.  It turns out that it's Connelly's birthday and he is depressed because when he came home, his entire family had forgotten his birthday and made other plans.  He ends up inviting Rogers to have dinner with him at a swanky nightclub.  They have dinner and a lot of champagne.  He ends up seeing his wife with her boyfriend at the same club.  The next morning, he finds out that he invited Rogers to stay in their home (of course in the guest room), much to the chagrin of the entire family.  His family is incensed at the idea of their patriarch having a good time with another woman.  Seeing that his previously indifferent family is now paying attention and pitching a fit, he decides to have fun with them.  He hires Rogers to pretend to be his mistress.

 

Tim Holt plays Connelly's son who works at his father's company.  He ends up losing a major client due to negligence (he'd rather play polo instead of working).  With his new "mistress," Connelly begins neglecting the company and Holt has an opportunity to prove himself to his father and save the company. Meanwhile, there's a subplot involving Connelly's daughter and the chauffeur.  

 

I thought this film was fun but Holt seems ill at ease in a comedy.  I believe that Michael "Stepford Wife" Feinstein (that fake smile, ick!) makes similar comments about Holt's persona.  I recognized James Ellison (who played the chauffeur) from a Lucy film I watched, Next Time I Marry.  

 

---

 

The Devil and Miss Jones.  I got this film via Classic Flix and it was hilarious! I'm going to have to procure my own copy.  This film features Jean Arthur who I know many here dislike, mainly it seems for her voice, but I think she's adorable and charming.  I love her voice.  Anyway, in addition to Arthur, this film also stars Charles Coburn, Robert Cummings and Spring Byington.  Coburn plays a tycoon who owns Neely's department store.  He gets wind that there is an agitator at the department store who is trying to convince the employees that they need a union.  Coburn wants to hire a private detective to find out who is causing such a ruckus.  When the private detective's timeline doesn't match Coburn's (Private detective claims he needs 2-3 weeks of investigation time, Coburn wants results in 2-3 days), Coburn decides to go undercover himself.  I guess we can presume that the department store employees have never seen their owner.  Coburn gets a job as a shoe clerk in the Slipper Department.  He keeps a hilarious notepad containing his notes.  He ends up befriending Arthur, her boyfriend Cummings, and the sweet Byington who shares her tunafish popovers with him during a lunch break.  

 

There is a hilarious scene featuring the cast at a Coney Island Beach, which is the most ridiculous beach I have seen in a film. Who could have any fun with all those people? Much of the humor in the film involves rich Coburn finding out how out of touch he is with his employees, e.g. his expensive wine tastes disgusting to them and they prefer cheap wine.  There is some other humor where Coburn's co-workers think he is poor and keep helping him out by giving him money and food.  

 

There are also great scenes featuring union activism and demonstrating the power of employees standing up for their own rights.  Regardless of how you stand on the issue of unions, this film is enjoyable regardless. 

 

I loved this movie, highly recommended. 

 

---

 

Easy Living.  In continuing with Jean Arthur, I watched this 1937 Preston Sturges' screwball comedy.  This film was also hilarious! I love Arthur so much.  She was fabulous in this film and adorable.  I also loved Mr. Louis Louis.  He was also very funny and stole every scene he was in.  Edward Arnold was funny, even though he was always yelling.  Ray Milland was fine, he wasn't bad, wasn't amazing, just fine.

 

This film features Arnold as another millionaire with family issues.  The problem in this family is that Arnold's wife keeps spending his money frivolously.  At the other end of the spectrum, his son, Milland, refuses to go into business with his father because he wants to make it on his own, he doesn't want anyone thinking that he's riding his father's coattails.  At the beginning of the film, Arnold is paying his bills and comes across a bill from the Furrier shop for $58,000 for a Sable coat that his wife purchased.  He is incensed.  He ends up grabbing the coat and throwing it out the window, just to spite his wife.  The coat literally lands on top of Jean Arthur who is riding a double decker bus.  She discovers that her hat was broken in the sable assault.  She gets off the bus to find the owner and ends up coming across Arnold who tells her to keep the coat (he doesn't tell her the value).  He also buys her a fancy hat to replace the one broken by the coat.

 

Because of Arnold's status in society, word gets out via the milliner that "The Ball of Wall Street" (Arnold) has a mistress.  Mr. Louis Louis who owns the hotel next to the hat shop.  His hotel is failing and Arnold owns the mortgage for the property.  Not wanting him to foreclose on his hotel, he contacts Arthur and basically offers her an opportunity to live in the penthouse of the hotel for free as long as she promotes his hotel.  He thinks that Arnold won't want to foreclose on the hotel if his "mistress" lives there.  Soon, other merchants are offering Arthur all kinds of free things in exchange for her promotion of their product.  Arthur ends up meeting Milland who is anonymously working in an Automat as a means to try and make it on his own.  He ends up getting fired and Arthur offers him a space to live in her enormous penthouse while he looks for a job. 

 

There are many funny scenes in here, the chaos at the Automat, Arthur trying to live in her huge house, all the merchants giving her all the random things, just to name a few.  Because of this film, I learned what an Automat was.  I'd heard this word mentioned in other films, but for some reason, I always thought it had something to do with cars.  I also loved Arthur's dogs.  

 

Great movie! Highly recommended.

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I watched East Side West Side for the first time this morning.  Great cast with lots of soapy goodness!  Barbara Stanwyck is excellent, of course, and I loved her scenes with Van Heflin, who always delivers a fine performance.  They had good chemistry together.  Ava Gardner is the bad girl and holds her own in a pivotal scene with Barbara.  Cyd Charisse is OK.  James Mason plays Barbara's husband who cannot stay away from Ava.  Nancy Davis (Reagan) is in it, too.  Gale Sondergaard plays Barbara's mom.  She has two scenes:  one where she is sitting and the other where she is in bed but it's not bedtime.  I wonder if she had some real-life health issues at the time.  The scene where she tells James Mason where to get off is well done.  Not a great film but entertaining take on life in New York circa 1950 with s e x and murder.

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You can see it in Busby Berkeley's The Gang's All Here. :D

 

Nitpick: John Garrick in Just Imagine becomes an astronaut, not an astronomer, something which makes a bit of sense considering that his character was a pilot doing the transatlantic route. I think the original real-life astronauts and cosmonauts were all fighter pilots. It's Frank Albertson joining him that's the surprise. El Brendel of course is just a stowaway.

 

Maybe I should have posed that a bit different, as I my intention was to say I give Sunnyside Up an "A" for originality and style for its time.  Also it had a concise enough story line.  I never did figure out who El Brendel was (store owner Eric Swenson).  Some say he was Janet Gaynor's friend or boyfriend.  Others say he was her father, except that they had different last names.  I think maybe she just worked at his store.

 

From Just Imagine - Yes, you are right about him being an astronaut.  I typed that late last night.  That brings up the question though - I wonder what they called it in the movie.  The others joined him at the last minute too.  As it went, John Garrick had not been planning to be an astronaut until he happened to meet Mischa Auer, who worked for Hobart Bosworth and introduced them.  Also I thought Bosworth looked a bit like Thomas Edison in this film, but maybe that is just me. 

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Due to the weather being unbearably hot outside, I spent yesterday in the AC and consequently watched a few movies.  I mostly watched a lot of episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but that's neither here nor there.  Lol.  I'm also including my entry from Esther Williams day.

 

Million Dollar Mermaid.  I'm not the biggest fan of Esther Williams, in fact I find her dull.  However, for the sake of watching at least one film from each SUTS honoree, I wanted to see one of her swimming musicals.  I saw that 'Mermaid' was considered one of her best and Williams considered it her favorite of all he films.  This film was okay.  Definitely not my favorite musical, but that could be because Busby Berkeley was responsible for the swimming choreography and his kaleidoscope imagery just doesn't do anything for me.  I did like Esther's high dives and costumes. The plot was pretty decent for a musical.  

 

It's a biopic about Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman.  She originally took up swimming as a child to fight an affliction with polio.  She ended up becoming a champion swimmer during the late 1800s.  She popularized the one-piece bathing suit as she argued that the current woman's bathing costume (a dress over pantaloons) was impractical for long distance swimming.  She ends up in a court battle as she is tried for "indecent exposure" for showing off her bare shoulders, arms and legs in a public space.  She also sports another type of one piece suit, which basically looks like a bathing catsuit.  Kellerman explains that she used to swim in a men's bathing costume (a T-shirt with shorts essentially) with legs attached that she had sewn to the bottom.  Williams' character is seen in the one piece with and without legs throughout the film.  Later, she becomes a swimming superstar and is responsible for introducing synchronized swimming   The peak of Kellerman's career is when she is featured at the Hippodrome in New York as a "mermaid" where she performs elaborate musical numbers.  Walter Pidgeon portrays Williams' father in this film.  He's fine, but it isn't really all that difficult a part.  Victor Mature portrays Williams' agent and later love interest.  They're all fine.  

 

This film was okay.  I reaffirmed my opinion that Esther Williams isn't really all that interesting.  She doesn't really do anything to elicit a negative opinion from me, nor a favorable opinion.  She's just kind of there.  A very average actress who definitely had a unique niche at MGM that she fulfilled well. 

 

---

 

Fifth Avenue Girl.  This was one of my selections for Tim Holt day (along with Gold is Where You Find it and Hitler's Children). I mostly recorded it for Ginger Rogers.  This was an enjoyable film.  Among the other 1939 releases, it definitely is no Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of Oz, but it was an entertaining comedy.  This film features Rogers as a down and out young woman whom millionaire Walter Connelly meets on a bench in Central Park.  It turns out that it's Connelly's birthday and he is depressed because when he came home, his entire family had forgotten his birthday and made other plans.  He ends up inviting Rogers to have dinner with him at a swanky nightclub.  They have dinner and a lot of champagne.  He ends up seeing his wife with her boyfriend at the same club.  The next morning, he finds out that he invited Rogers to stay in their home (of course in the guest room), much to the chagrin of the entire family.  His family is incensed at the idea of their patriarch having a good time with another woman.  Seeing that his previously indifferent family is now paying attention and pitching a fit, he decides to have fun with them.  He hires Rogers to pretend to be his mistress.

 

Tim Holt plays Connelly's son who works at his father's company.  He ends up losing a major client due to negligence (he'd rather play polo instead of working).  With his new "mistress," Connelly begins neglecting the company and Holt has an opportunity to prove himself to his father and save the company. Meanwhile, there's a subplot involving Connelly's daughter and the chauffeur.  

 

I thought this film was fun but Holt seems ill at ease in a comedy.  I believe that Michael "Stepford Wife" Feinstein (that fake smile, ick!) makes similar comments about Holt's persona.  I recognized James Ellison (who played the chauffeur) from a Lucy film I watched, Next Time I Marry.  

 

---

 

The Devil and Miss Jones.  I got this film via Classic Flix and it was hilarious! I'm going to have to procure my own copy.  This film features Jean Arthur who I know many here dislike, mainly it seems for her voice, but I think she's adorable and charming.  I love her voice.  Anyway, in addition to Arthur, this film also stars Charles Coburn, Robert Cummings and Spring Byington.  Coburn plays a tycoon who owns Neely's department store.  He gets wind that there is an agitator at the department store who is trying to convince the employees that they need a union.  Coburn wants to hire a private detective to find out who is causing such a ruckus.  When the private detective's timeline doesn't match Coburn's (Private detective claims he needs 2-3 weeks of investigation time, Coburn wants results in 2-3 days), Coburn decides to go undercover himself.  I guess we can presume that the department store employees have never seen their owner.  Coburn gets a job as a shoe clerk in the Slipper Department.  He keeps a hilarious notepad containing his notes.  He ends up befriending Arthur, her boyfriend Cummings, and the sweet Byington who shares her tunafish popovers with him during a lunch break.  

 

There is a hilarious scene featuring the cast at a Coney Island Beach, which is the most ridiculous beach I have seen in a film. Who could have any fun with all those people? Much of the humor in the film involves rich Coburn finding out how out of touch he is with his employees, e.g. his expensive wine tastes disgusting to them and they prefer cheap wine.  There is some other humor where Coburn's co-workers think he is poor and keep helping him out by giving him money and food.  

 

There are also great scenes featuring union activism and demonstrating the power of employees standing up for their own rights.  Regardless of how you stand on the issue of unions, this film is enjoyable regardless. 

 

I loved this movie, highly recommended. 

 

---

 

Easy Living.  In continuing with Jean Arthur, I watched this 1937 Preston Sturges' screwball comedy.  This film was also hilarious! I love Arthur so much.  She was fabulous in this film and adorable.  I also loved Mr. Louis Louis.  He was also very funny and stole every scene he was in.  Edward Arnold was funny, even though he was always yelling.  Ray Milland was fine, he wasn't bad, wasn't amazing, just fine.

 

This film features Arnold as another millionaire with family issues.  The problem in this family is that Arnold's wife keeps spending his money frivolously.  At the other end of the spectrum, his son, Milland, refuses to go into business with his father because he wants to make it on his own, he doesn't want anyone thinking that he's riding his father's coattails.  At the beginning of the film, Arnold is paying his bills and comes across a bill from the Furrier shop for $58,000 for a Sable coat that his wife purchased.  He is incensed.  He ends up grabbing the coat and throwing it out the window, just to spite his wife.  The coat literally lands on top of Jean Arthur who is riding a double decker bus.  She discovers that her hat was broken in the sable assault.  She gets off the bus to find the owner and ends up coming across Arnold who tells her to keep the coat (he doesn't tell her the value).  He also buys her a fancy hat to replace the one broken by the coat.

 

Because of Arnold's status in society, word gets out via the milliner that "The Ball of Wall Street" (Arnold) has a mistress.  Mr. Louis Louis who owns the hotel next to the hat shop.  His hotel is failing and Arnold owns the mortgage for the property.  Not wanting him to foreclose on his hotel, he contacts Arthur and basically offers her an opportunity to live in the penthouse of the hotel for free as long as she promotes his hotel.  He thinks that Arnold won't want to foreclose on the hotel if his "mistress" lives there.  Soon, other merchants are offering Arthur all kinds of free things in exchange for her promotion of their product.  Arthur ends up meeting Milland who is anonymously working in an Automat as a means to try and make it on his own.  He ends up getting fired and Arthur offers him a space to live in her enormous penthouse while he looks for a job. 

 

There are many funny scenes in here, the chaos at the Automat, Arthur trying to live in her huge house, all the merchants giving her all the random things, just to name a few.  Because of this film, I learned what an Automat was.  I'd heard this word mentioned in other films, but for some reason, I always thought it had something to do with cars.  I also loved Arthur's dogs.  

 

Great movie! Highly recommended.

 

I like most of the Ginger Roger movies that don't have Fred Astaire MORE.  Nothing against Astaire or the pairing of Astaire and Rogers.  I just think that she was quite good and played more interesting characters when she was on her own.

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No, that had the line of girls with the artistic cascade of bananas, and Carmen Miranda's never-ending tutti-frutti hat.

 

You're thinking of "Turn Up the Heat" as the kitsch-scene featured in 1982's "It Came From Hollywood", where they excerpted the number's precode gag about the bananas "ripening" on the tree.  (And the somewhat unsynchronized choreography of the dancers.)

The two get confused all the time.

 

I hadn't seen either of those yet.  Sounds like one is a similar idea and the other is a spoof.

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Million Dollar Mermaid.  I'm not the biggest fan of Esther Williams, in fact I find her dull.  However, for the sake of watching at least one film from each SUTS honoree, I wanted to see one of her swimming musicals.  I saw that 'Mermaid' was considered one of her best and Williams considered it her favorite of all he films.  This film was okay.  Definitely not my favorite musical, but that could be because Busby Berkeley was responsible for the swimming choreography and his kaleidoscope imagery just doesn't do anything for me.  I did like Esther's high dives and costumes. The plot was pretty decent for a musical.  

 

It's a biopic about Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman.

 

Coincidentally, my last week's most recent blog post (have to get the new one out today), was just on the fact that Mermaid has a plot about Kellerman, and isn't just the Busby silliness of the "sparklers" from the Smoke number or the oft-parodied pan past the smiling "Diving-in" beauties from the Fountain number.

And tied it into theories about why most of us don't think musicals HAVE plots, but once you know they do, curiosity can get the better of you.

As for me, I like Williams--she's good, and a little better actress than I expected from her "athlete" casting--but the story was...okay.  At the end, we're supposed to be happy that she ends up with Victor Mature, which is factually accurate, but the story gives us no logical reason why we should be happy about it...He's still a jerk.

(Which may be one reason the real Kellerman, who lived on into the 70's, dismissed the movie.)

 

Me, I've moved on to watching Esther play a half-Tahitian in "Pagan Love Song", because the library's disk set didn't have "Easy to Love".  I'm making slow progress through the Williams canon.

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Speedy

 

Remembering only dimly The Devil and Miss Jones but remembering what I can fondly. Jean Arthur and Coburn were both great. Arthur's voice IS nice, girlish and perhaps a bit kittenish in a mature way. Yes, the beach scene gets the award for the most claustrophobic in history. Sorry I can't remember more. There was cute scene when the two were having lunch together and she had something in her lunch bag that she offered him. He accepted and starting chomping. Who can tell me what it was? It was something like meatballs in nomenclature but I believe it was a dessert. Years ago there was a discussion here about this movie, and we were all chuckling about this scene.

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The Phantom in the House (1929)

 

Creaky, stagey, slow-moving drama featuring some terrible acting by the female leads. Henry B. Walthall takes the rap when his wife kills a cad. He is sentenced to prison for “the rest of his natural life,” which begs the question, what happens if his life becomes unnatural? He is paroled after 15 years and, oddly, has more hair than when he was first incarcerated. Apparently, you can join the Hair Club for Men while you’re in stir.

 

Walthall returns home, where he meets his grown-up daughter, who believes he was killed in World War I. He pretends he is a friend of her mother’s. The daughter is engaged to Ricardo Cortez, but the mother disapproves because she wants her daughter to marry a Marquis. Then the judge who sentenced Walthall is murdered, Cortez is implicated, and Walthall is about to take the rap again (idiot) when the real killer is nabbed.

 

Grace Valentine, as the mother, is as horrible as they come in the acting department. No, wait a minute, that’s not true. Her daughter, played by Nancy Welford, is as horrible as they come in that department. She made five films. Here, she sings “You’ll Never Be Forgotten.” Yes you will.

 

The Marquis is played by Rolfe Sedan, whom I instantly recognized, being a fan of The Adventures of Superman. Almost thirty years later, he would play a scientist who would freeze the Man of Steel.

 

Walthall is adequate, but this ain’t The Birth of a Nation; it’s more like The Death of a Career.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the many dramatic scenes in this stinker.

Here, Grace Valentine wishes the soon-to-be-murdered Judge would get the hell out, since her laxative is kicking in.

 

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