Hollywood Capers: Stolen Academy Awards

In the film industry, the Academy Award is the symbol of the most outstanding and top-notch artists in the film industry, from cinematographers to sound to acting. So it’s no surprise these gold Cedric Gibbons-designed statues are auctioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But some prefer to take a different route of obtaining an Academy Award for their memorabilia collection: theft.

A few classic stars were relieved of their Oscars–Some a prank, some were returned and others still are surrounded with mystery.

Alice Brady: Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “In Old Chicago” (1937)
Character actress Alice Brady won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the 1937 film “In Old Chicago.” The ceremonies were held on March 10, 1938, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Brady had recently broken her ankle on the set of “Goodbye Broadway” (1938) and was not able to attend the ceremony, according to Actress of a Certain Character by Axel Nissen. Her Oscar was accepted by a man who said he was acting on her behalf, who disappeared with the Academy Award plaque and the award was never found.

Alice Brady receives her Best Actress in a Supporting Role replacement award from Charles Winniger.

Alice Brady receives her Best Actress in a Supporting Role replacement award from Charles Winniger.

The Academy issued a replacement award for Brady later that month, which was presented to her by actor Charles Winninger in an informal ceremony, according to the United Press news brief, “Alice Brady Given Academy Award,” published on March 23, 1938.

Brady’s replacement was later sold in 1993 in an auction, according to according to an Oct. 2, 1992, article by Bruce Chadwick in the New York Daily News “More Academy Awards are finding their way to the auction block.”

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Musical Monday-Academy Award Winners Edition: With a Song in My Heart: The Jane Froman Story (1952)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

Each of our February Musical Mondays will be Academy Award winning films, taking part in the 31 Days of Oscar event

With-a-Song-in-My-Heart-PosterThis week’s musical:
With a Song in My Heart – The Jane Froman Story” (1952)– Musical #534

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Walter Lang

Starring:
Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Thelma Ritter, Robert Wagner, Una Merkel, Max Showalter, Lyle Talbot

Plot:
Biographical film of singer Jane Froman (Hayward). The film chronicles Froman’s rising star as a popular singer in the 1930s and 1940s through a life changing event: a 1943 plane crash during a USO tour. The film looks at how Froman overcame lifelong disability to continue her career and also inspire the soldiers overseas during World War II.

Trivia:

Jane Froman and Susan Hayward on the set of "With a Song in My Heart"

Jane Froman and Susan Hayward on the set of “With a Song in My Heart”

-Susan Hayward’s voice was dubbed by the film’s topic, Jane Froman, and Froman served as technical director for the film.
-Jeanne Craine was considered for the role to portray Jane Froman, but Froman chose Susan Hayward whose “looks she preferred.”
-Multiple studios wanted the rights to Froman’s story and she chose 20th Century Fox as the studio to portray her life, according to Jane Froman: Missouri’s First Lady of Song by Ilene Stone. The film’s soundtrack with Froman’s voice topped the charts, according to Stone’s book.
-To prepare for the film, Susan Hayward and Jane Froman went over the script together in her dressing room and Hayward would ask her questions about her background, and Susan would study Froman’s motions and mannerisms, according to Brooklyn’s Scarlett: Susan Hayward: Fire in the Wind by Gene Arceri.
-Jane Froman’s husband Rowland Smith said his wife was impressed with Susan Hayward, according to Arceri’s book.
-Costume designer Charles Le Maire said it was the most expensive wardrobe he ever designed and specifically used colors to go with Hayward’s red hair, according to Arceri’s book.

Awards and Nominations:
Won:
-Alfred Newman won the Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture
Nominated:
-Susan Hayward for Best Actress in a Leading Role
-Thelma Ritter for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
-Charles Le Maire for Best Costume Design, Color
-Thomas T. Moulton for Best Sound, Recording

Alfred Newman

Alfred Newman (winner for Scoring of a Musical Picture for With a Song in My Heart), Ned Washington (Original Song winner for High Noon), Dimitri Tiomkin (winner of Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and Original Song for High Noon), and Walt Disney Courtesy of AMPAS

Highlights:
-Technicolor
-Hearing Jane Froman’s voice
-Susan Hayward’s lovely costumes
-Seeing a very young Robert Wagner in the film.

Robert Wagner in "With a Song in My Heart"

Robert Wagner in “With a Song in My Heart”

One of Susan Hayward's many fabulous outfits.

One of Susan Hayward’s many fabulous outfits.

Notable Songs:
-“With a Song in My Heart” performed by Susan Hayward, dubbed by Jane Froman
-“Embraceable You” performed by Susan Hayward, dubbed by Jane Froman
-“I’ll Walk Alone” performed by Susan Hayward, dubbed by Jane Froman
-“That Old Feeling” performed by Susan Hayward, dubbed by Jane Froman

My review:
Many biographical musical films reviewed on Comet Over Hollywood’s Musical Monday series are usually panned for being inaccurate. But “With a Song in My Heart: The Jane Froman Story” (1952) is an exception.

This colorful star-studded film is visually appealing, kept my interest throughout the whole two hours and felt more human than hokey than most biographical films (See: Look For the Silver Lining or The Eddie Cantor Story). But the biggest take away for me is how seemingly accurate it appears to be, and I feel that had a largely to do with Jane Froman’s heavy involvement in the film.

David Wayne with Susan Hayward in "With a Song in My Heart."

David Wayne with Susan Hayward in “With a Song in My Heart.”

Singer Froman not only weighed which studio she wanted to interpret her story but even had a say in her leading lady. Then, not only did Susan Hayward and Froman sit for hours discussing the script and Froman’s background, Hayward cared enough about the role to closely observe Froman’s mannerisms. Hayward herself said this was the first role at 20th Century Fox that she was worth it’s weight since “My Cousin Rachel,” which starred Olivia De Havilland and Richard Burton, according to Susan Hayward: Her Films and Life by Kim R. Holston.

“Jane really held my hand (while the film was shot),” Susan told Joey Bishop, according to the book Susan Hayward: Her Films and Life by Kim R. Holston

Singing voice dubbing in golden era musicals isn’t a rare concept, but it was appropriate in this case. Jane Froman dubbed Susan Hayward with her own voice, which I felt was the right thing to do. This was also done in “The Jolson Story” and should have been considered in “The Helen Morgan Story.”

Hayward even said “What would the film have been without Jane Froman’s voice on the soundtrack?”

My only criticism is that Hayward’s appearance didn’t quite match up with Froman’s operatic voice.

Susan Hayward as Jane Froman on a plane in 1943.

Susan Hayward as Jane Froman on a plane in 1943.

To give a little more background about the film’s subject (SPOILERS): Singer Jane Froman was in a plane crash in 1943 during a USO show. At the beginning of the flight she switched seats with Tamara Drasin (performed Smoke Gets in Your Eyes in the 1933 Broadway musical Roberta) and Drasin was killed–something Froman felt guilty about for the rest of her life. Though Froman survived, she was severely injured and almost lost her leg. Though she was able to keep her leg, it ailed her for the rest of her life and she underwent 39 surgeries. Froman was determined to keep her stage career, though her leg sometimes gave her troubles. She went back to Europe in 1945 on USO tour. Due to her pain, she did have a period of addiction to pain medicine and alcohol, though she overcame this. Froman had a TV career in the 1950s and retired in 1961. She passed away in 1980.

Thelma Ritter in "With a Song in My Heart"

Thelma Ritter in “With a Song in My Heart”

The film is a retrospective, starting at an award ceremony for Froman and looking back at her career. Before going back to the award ceremony, the film really ends at the 1945 USO show, which is really the only hokey part of the film. Froman performs an American medley and a soldier pops out of the crowd doing an Al Jolson impression, which is really a bit odd.

Surprisingly, the names of Froman’s husbands’ were their real names. David Wayne played Donald Ross, who was married to Froman from 1933 to 1948, and Rory Calhoun played John Burn, who was married to Froman from 1948 to 1956. It is sometimes rare for ex-spouses to be named in these biographical films, as they usually don’t want to be associated with the film or the individual. A key example is Evelyn Keyes’ character in “The Jolson Story.” The character is Ruby Keeler, but is named Julie Benson in the film.

While the “Theater Arts” said the film was more human, Bosley Crowther of the “New York Times” said “One would not call her performance either subtle or restrained.” While I think Susan Hayward is a great actress and did a good job, I agree with this. She brought depth to the role, but not without it feeling a bit forced.

Along with Hayward in the film is the wonderful Thelma Ritter, who steals the show; David Wayne, who ends up playing a great louse; and Rory Calhoun, who is mainly nice to look at. Lyle Talbot has a brief role and I thought it was really sad that he wasn’t even billed. Una Merkel also has a brief, but memorable role in the film. This is one of Robert Wagner’s first films and he also has a very touching role as a soldier.

Hayward lost the Academy Award to Shirley Booth in “Come Back Little Sheba” and Thelma Ritter lost to Gloria Grahame in “The Bad and the Beautiful.”

This is really a wonderful movie, because it doesn’t gloss over the struggles of a real woman. Jane Froman isn’t a name well recognized today, but this film allows you to have a quick glimpse at her difficult but brave life.

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page, follow on Twitter at @HollywoodComet or e-mail at cometoverhollywood@gmail.com

Musical Monday: Winter-A-Go-Go (1965)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

winter a go goThis week’s musical:
Winter a Go-Go –Musical #324

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Richard Benedict

Starring:
James Stacey, William Wellman Jr., Beverly Adams, John Anthony Hayes, Jill Donohue, Duke Hobbie, Julie Parrish, Linda Rogers, Nancy Czar, Tom Nardini
Themselves: The Reflections, Nooney Rickett Four, Peter Brinkman, Joni Lyman,

Plot:
Jeff (Wellman) inherits a ski lodge from his father and his friend Danny (Stacey) convinces him to turn it into a swinging resort. The two hire beautiful girls and wait for the money to roll in. The only problem is two men show up trying to run the two off so they can foreclose.

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A day in LIFE: Jan. 19, 1948

20160118_223928Comet Over Hollywood is starting a new LIFE magazine series. At the beginning of each post, I’ll feature the film article and provide a listing of other magazine highlights. Published weekly starting in November 1936 to December 1972, over 1,800 issues of LIFE magazine was printed. I collect the magazines and decided to share the film news and current events in each film, giving a snap shot of world news and pop culture.

LIFE magazine is different from People, US Weekly or other contemporary gossip rags. LIFE was a premiere photo journalism publication with cartoons, paintings and photographs detailing wars, fashion trends, life in the United States (campus dances, award winning dogs, snow storms in Wyoming) and entertainment news.

Our second post in the series details January 19, 1948, with a cover photo of actress Marcia Van Dyke, “Virtuoso Starlet.”

Movie Spotlight in LIFE:

Virtuoso Starlet—“The Prettiest first Violinist Now is a Versatile Hollywood Actress”

Marcia Van Dyke was more than just a pretty face—her talent lay in her skills as a violin player.

Marcia Van Dyke plays the violin for producer Joe Pasternak. LIFE photo by Johnny Florea (Scan by Comet Over Hollywood)

Marcia Van Dyke plays the violin for producer Joe Pasternak. LIFE photo by Johnny Florea (Scan by Comet Over Hollywood)

“The big difference between most movie starlets and Marcia Van Dyke…is that their talent begins and ends with their pretty faces. When called on to sing or swim, they need doubles. And when call on to act, they make most movie audiences wish they were singing or swimming,” says the LIFE article.

Marcia Van Dyke said she wondered why the movies wanted her.

The answer? Not only could 25-year-old Van Dyke could sing, swim and play tennis with expertise—but the icing on the cake was that she was an accomplished violinist.

Van Dyke was first photographed by LIFE in 1947 when she was performing with the San Francisco Symphony, dubbing her “the prettiest first violinist.”

Because of this photo, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer producer Joe Pasternak wrote her a contract. In her first film, “In the Good Ole Summertime” (1948), Van Dyke plays a violinist.

Movie of the Week: The Paradine Case—“A good whodunit introduces some new European faces to the U.S. but is not the great drama it pretends to be,” says LIFE.

LIFE describes Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Paradine Case,” but does not seem to think very highly of the film.

“Its producer David O. Selznick…has such faith in it (the film) that he has listed his own name a full five times in the screen credits…”

The film introduced British actress Ann Todd, French actor Louis Jourdan, and Italian actress Alida Valli.

“The latter is deemed so great that she will be known officially as just Valli,” LIFE wrote.

LIFE said the film is overly long at 132 minutes, but is a good “whodunit” film, and that Gregory Peck and Ann Todd give “first-class” performances.

“Alfred Hitchcock’s direction and Gregory Peck’s performance all deserve Academy Awards.”

Lauren Bacall—One large photo of Bacall by photographer Eliot Elisofon. A long cutline details her “catlike grace, tawny blond hair, and blue-green eyes.” The photo is for “Life’s gallery of Hollywood beauties.” The eyes in the photo represent her nickname “The Look.” The eyes were from an optometrist. She wears a whistle on her wrist in the photo, to signify her famous  whistling line to Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not.”

Actress Lauren Bacall in a LIFE photo by Eliot Elisofon. (Comet Over Hollywood scan)

Actress Lauren Bacall in a LIFE photo by Eliot Elisofon. (Comet Over Hollywood scan)

What else was in the Jan. 19, 1948, issue of LIFE?

 “Perry Mason” mystery novel mail in coupon for three free books.

 Letters to the Editor on Lana Turner from the previous magazine, noting that her hair and jewels were all wrong at the Duchess of Windsor’s party, they didn’t approve her dating Bob Topping, and one man said “Topping can have her, I don’t want her, she’s too fat for me.” The editor replied with Lana Turner’s dimensions: 5’3”, 103 pounds, 35.5 bust, 24 waist, 36 hips.

Speaking of Pictures—A two page spread of paintings by New York artist Esta Cosgrave who painted her clients in antique dress. Clients include songwriter Garold Rome, art dealer Harry Shaw Newman, poet Mark Van Doren, and Egyptologist John D. Cooney.

Paintings by Esa

Paintings by Esta Cosgrave (LIFE scans by Comet Over Hollywood)

Warfare Spreads in the Holy Land—A seven page article and photo spread details an attack on Palestine by “Arab riflemen” that came from Syria and Lebanon. The Arab military force was driven out by British troops.

“Despite the fact that the U.N. had authorize partition of Palestine and establishment of a Jewish state, it was bitterly clear that the Jewish dream of a peaceful national home was still far from fulfilment.”

"At a secret training center newly recruited members of the Jewish Haganah Army carry illegal rifles as they go into the country for intensive drills. (LIFE/Associated Press, Lt. Dr. N. Gidal

“At a secret training center newly recruited members of the Jewish Haganah Army carry illegal rifles as they go into the country for intensive drills. (LIFE/Associated Press, Lt. Dr. N. Gidal

Taxes and Politics—An article on “what taxes will produce what results”

Picture of the Week of General Claire Chennault, 57—wartime hero of the Flying Tigers, and his bride Anna Chan, a Chinese reporter, kissing after they were married in Shanghai.

Picture of the week of Gen. Chennault and Anna Chan. Photo by Jack Birns. (Comet Over Hollywood LIFE magazine scan)

Picture of the week of Gen. Chennault and Anna Chan. Photo by Jack Birns. (Comet Over Hollywood LIFE magazine scan)

Presidential Year is Off to Noisy Start—Article on the 1948 presidential campaign between Harry S. Truman, Strom Thurmond and Thomas E. Dewey.

Boy in Pain—A doctor and police officers try to free 15-year-old Joseph Gondola’s finger from a fence. On his way to school in Patterson, N.J., Joseph slipped on the ice, grabbed for the fence and his finger went through an iron fence picket. After 45 minutes, the picket was sawed off, Joseph went to the hospital and he was able to use his hand by the en of the week.

Joseph Gondola with his finger stuck on a fence. Photo by John Crivelli from the Patterson Evening News. (Scan by Comet Over Hollywood

Joseph Gondola with his finger stuck on a fence. Photo by John Crivelli from the Patterson Evening News. (Scan by Comet Over Hollywood

PEOPLE: Is Stalin Really Sick?—The week prior, Russia’s Premier Joseph Stalin was reported to have cancer, be paralyzed, tanned and ready for vacation, and dead. Swiss newspapers reported him dead on Jan. 8, but in a photo taken four weeks prior, Stalin looked healthy. Other photos in the people section are of beauty queens in France, campaigning Charles De Gaulle, Charles Lindbergh traveling to Tokyo, and Princess Margaret.

Family Basketball—Thirteen teams of relatives play in a tournament in Wilson, N.C. The Wilson Junior Chamber of Commerce held a four day basketball tournament between Christmas and New Year’s.

Orange Blight—An infection is affecting California citrus crops. A photo shows a pathologist treating one of the diseased trees with penicillin to test the effect of the drug on the virus. In 1947, the infection killed 25,000 orange trees.

LIFE photo by Loomis Dean (Scan by Comet Over Hollywood)

LIFE photo by Loomis Dean (Scan by Comet Over Hollywood)

Half page poster for the Paramount film “A Miracle Can Happen” starring Paulette Goddard, Dorothy Lamour, James Stewart, Fred MacMurray and Burgess Meredith.

Bird Counters—Bird watchers in Washington, D.C. took the annual winter bird census. The five dozen bird counters from the National Audubon Society included anyone from teachers to government economists. In one day, they counted 12,407 birds of 77 species

Bird census counters by Francis Miller

Bird census counters by Francis Miller

“Cass Timberlane” full page poster of the Spencer Tracey and Lana Turner film.

Art of Egypt—An 11 page photo spread showing Egyptian art, tombs and temples in the Nile Valley.

Country Wide Best 10—Photospread of the top 10 best dressed women in the United States selected from their cities. The women are from Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Detroit, Boston and Denver.

Top 10 Best Dressed women in the United States. (LIFE scan by Comet Over Hollywood)

Top 10 Best Dressed women in the United States. (LIFE scan by Comet Over Hollywood)

New England Snowstorm—Five page photo spread detailing a New England snow storm, particularly looking at Hancock, N.H.

Photo by Robert W. Kelley

Photo by Robert W. Kelley

The Failure of Maxism—“Both socialism and communism as they actually work out, betray the hope for the better life that they once inspired,” said author John Dos Passos.

Advertisement with actor Henry Hull shaving with Williams Luxury Shaving Cream—saying that an actor’s face is extra-sensitive.

Theater: Talent Market—“The last survivors of vaudeville hawk their wares for club dates.”

After a slow death, vaudeville faced its defeat at the end of 1947, according to the article. The Loew’s State—the last vaudeville house on Broadway—did away with live performers and will only show movies. The actors turn to “club dates” booked by agents.

LIFE Goes to a French Literary Salon—The Duchess of Rochefoucauld in France still holds elegant readings in her salon.

New Air Force “Uniform”—“Ever since the independent U.S. Air Force was created last fall, fliers have been worrying about what their new uniforms would look like. Ground forces made farce like regalia which is photographed in LIFE.

The "new US Air Force" uniform, photographed by Francis Miller

The “new US Air Force” uniform, photographed by Francis Miller

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page, follow on Twitter  at @HollywoodComet or e-mail at cometoverhollywood@gmail.com

Musical Monday: Duchess of Idaho (1950)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Duchess of Idaho–Musical #24

poster

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Robert Z. Leonard

Starring:
Esther Williams, Van Johnson, Paula Raymond, John Lund, Connie Haines, Amanda Blake, Clinton Sundberg, Mel Torme, Bobby Troup (uncredited), Mae Clarke (uncredited)
Themselves: Lena Horne, Eleanor Parker, Red Skelton

Plot:
Secretary Ellen Hallit (Raymond) is in love with her boss Doug Morrison (Lund), who constantly has Ellen pretend to be his fiance to get him out tight spots with women. In an attempt to play matchmaker, Ellen’s roommate and best friend Christine (Williams) travels to Sun Valley, Idaho, where Doug is also vacationing. Christine’s plan is to get Doug to fall in love with her, so he will call on Ellen to help him out. However, things get more complicated when Christine meets and falls for bandleader Dick Layne (Johnson).

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Musical Monday: Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

sun valleyThis week’s musical:
Sun Valley Serenade –Musical #539

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Bruce Humberstone

Starring:
Sonja Henie, John Payne, Glenn Miller, Milton Berle, Lynn Barrie, Joan Davis, Ann Doran (uncredited)
Themselves in Specialty Performance: Tex Beneke, Ray Anthony, Angela Blue, The Nicholas Brothers, Dorothy Dandridge

Plot:
A down on their luck band lands a Christmas Eve gig in Sun Valley, Idaho, after they hook up with temper mental singer Vivian Dawn (Bari). To help with publicity for the band, their publicist Nifty Allen (Berle) set up for pianist Ted Scott (Payne) to adopt a European war orphan. While Ted and bandleader Phil Corey (Miller) have prepared for a baby orphan, their adoptee is fully grown Norwegian Karen (Henie). When the band leaves for Sun Valley, Karen sneaks along, threatening a budding romance between Ted and Vivian.

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A day in LIFE: Jan. 8, 1945

LIFE magazine, Jan. 8, 1945 (Photo/Comet Over Hollywood)

LIFE magazine, Jan. 8, 1945 (Photo/Comet Over Hollywood)

Comet Over Hollywood is starting a new LIFE magazine series. At the beginning of each post, I’ll feature the film article and provide a listing of other magazine highlights. Published weekly starting in November 1936 to December 1972, over 1,800 issues of LIFE magazine was printed. I collect the magazines and decided to share the film news and current events in each film, giving a snap shot of world news and pop culture.

LIFE magazine is different from People, US Weekly or other contemporary gossip rags. LIFE was a premiere photo journalism publication with cartoons, paintings and photographs detailing wars, fashion trends, life in the United States (campus dances, award winning dogs, snow storms in Wyoming) and entertainment news.

Continue reading

Musical Monday: Silver Skates (1943)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

Belita7This week’s musical:
Silver Skates” (1943)– Musical #518

Studio:
Monogram Pictures

Director:
Leslie Goodwins

Starring:
Belita, Kenny Baker, Patricia Morison, Joyce Compton, Frank Fraylen, Irene Dare, Danny Shaw
Specialty performances: Skating team Frick and Frack-Werner Groebli and Hans Mauch, Eugene Turner, Ted Fio Rito Orchestra

Plot:
Claire Thomas (Morison) owns an ice show that is financially on the rocks. The only thing keeping the show afloat is ice skater Belita (as herself). However, Belita is leaving the show to get married. Show member Eddie (Fraylen) starts a rumor that Belita is in love with the show’s singer Danny (Baker) so she will stay. However, Danny is engaged to Claire. Along the way, Claire meets a war orphan, Katrina (Dare), who joins the skating show and Claire would like to adopt. The only issue is, she needs to be married to adopt Katrina.

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Mr. New Year’s Eve: Guy Lombardo

Publicity photo of Guy Lombardo in the 1940s.

Publicity photo of Guy Lombardo in the 1940s.

“Auld Lang Syne” was his theme song.

They called him Mr. New Year’s Eve, and he was part of America’s New Year’s tradition for nearly 50 years.

Before Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest counted down to 12 a.m., January 1, there was Guy Lombardo. Each year, his saxophones would poignantly play “Auld Land Syne” as couples danced, kissed and wished “Happy New Year.”

From the crash of the stock market in 1929 through the bicentennial in 1976, big bandleader Lombardo and his Royal Canadians were a long standing tradition for Americans.

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Musical Monday: Call Out the Marines (1942)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

marines3This week’s musical:
Call Out the Marines –Musical #538

Studio:
RKO

Director:
William Hamilton, Frank Ryan

Starring:
Victor McLaglen, Edmund Lowe, Binnie Barnes, Paul Kelly, Corinna Mura, Marie Windsor (uncredited)
Themselves: The King’s Men, Six Hits and a Miss

Plot:
Two ex-Marines are reunited at the racetrack where one is sanitation worker and the other a manservant to a grouchy old man. The two decide to rejoin in the Marines and spend a great deal of time at the Shore Leave Club and fight over hostess Vi (Binnie Barnes). Little do they know that Vi and the club’s owner (Paul Kelly) are working against the United States government.

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