Musical Monday: Mame (1974)

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 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Mame (1974) – Musical #523

Studio:
Warner Bros.

Director:
Gene Saks

Starring:
Lucille Ball, Robert Preston, Bea Arthur, Bruce Davison, Kirby Furlong, Jane Connell, George Chiang, Joyce Van Patten, Don Porter, John McGiver, Audrey Christie, Bobbi Jordan, Doria Cook-Nelson (billed as Doria Cook), Burt Mustin

Plot:
Set in the late-1920s and early 1930s, nine-year-old Patrick (Furlong) goes to live with his only living relative, Auntie Mame (Ball), after his father dies. Mame is eccentric, free-spirited and lives unconventionally.

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Watching 1939: In Name Only (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film:  In Name Only (1939)

Release date:  Aug. 4, 1939

Cast: 
Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Kay Francis, Charles Coburn, Helen Vinson, Katharine Alexander, Jonathan Hale, Nella Walker, Peggy Ann Garner, Maurice Moscovitch, Alan Bates, Spencer Charters, Grady Sutton (uncredited)

Studio:  RKO Radio Pictures

Director:  John Cromwell

Plot:
Widowed mother and artist Julie Eden (Lombard) meets wealthy Alec Walker (Grant). As the two become friends and fall in love, Julie learns that he’s married to Maida (Francis), who Alec’s parents (Coburn, Walker) adore. Alec has long been unhappy with Maida, who he knows married him for his money, but Maida is unwilling to let him go.

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Musical Monday: The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

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 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) – Musical #214

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Robert Z. Leonard

Starring:
William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan, Virginia Bruce, Reginald Owen, Nat Pendleton, Ernest Cossart, Joseph Cawthorn, Jean Chatburn, Herman Bing, Raymond Walburn, Thomas Clarke (uncredited), Mickey Daniels (uncredited), Williams Demarest (uncredited), Ann Gillis (uncredited), Ruth Gillette (uncredited), Joan Holland (uncredited), Suzanne Kaaren (uncredited), Dennis Morgan (uncredited), Dennis O’Keefe (uncredited), Buddy Doyle (uncredited)
Themselves: Fanny Brice, Ray Bolger, Harriet Hoctor
Ziegfeld Girls: Wanda Allen, Lynn Bailey, Monica Bannister, Lynn Bari, Bonnie Bannon, Sheila Browning, Edna Callahan, Diane Cook, Pauline Craig, Hester Dean, Susan Fleming, Virginia Grey, Mary Halsey, Jeanne Hart, Patricia Havens-Monteagle, Marcia Healy, Margaret Lyman, Frances MacInerney, Julie Mooney, Pat Nixon, Carlita Orr, Claire Owen, Wanda Perry, Evelyn Randolph, Venita Varden, Dolly Verner

Plot:
Fictional musical biography of Broadway impresario, Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. (Powell). The film chronicles his rise from carnival barker to one of the United States’ most powerful entertainment figures in the United States. It also includes his romances and marriages to Anna Held (Rainer) and Billie Burke (Loy).

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Musical Monday: Where Do We Go from Here? (1945)

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 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Where Do We Go From Here? (1945) – Musical #618

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Gregory Ratoff

Starring:
Fred MacMurray, Joan Leslie, June Haver, Gene Sheldon, Anthony Quinn, Carlos Ramírez, Alan Mowbray, Fortunio Bonanova, Herman Bing, Howard Freeman, Rory Calhoun (uncredited), Otto Preminger (uncredited)

Plot:
Bill Morgan (MacMurray) is eager to join the military, but he’s 4F and has been turned down by every branch of the military. Bill is in love with Lucilla (Haver), who loves a man in uniform, and Sally (Leslie) is in love with Bill. Since he can’t join the military, Bill helps with the war effort. While sorting scrap metal, he finds a magic lamp with a genie (Sheldon). Bill tries to wish himself into the military but ends up traveling throughout history.

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Watching 1939: Off the Record (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film:  Off the Record (1939)

Release date:  Jan. 21, 1939

Cast: 
Pat O’Brien, Joan Blondell, Bobby Jordan, Alan Baxter, William B. Davidson, Morgan Conway, Moroni Olsen, Tommy Bupp (uncredited), David Gorcey (uncredited), Barbara Pepper (uncredited), Pat Flaherty (uncredited)

Studio: 
Warner Bros.

Director:  James Flood

Plot:
When his mother dies, Mickey Fallon (Jordan) has no one to care for him. Just before he is sent to an orphanage, Mickey’s gambler brother Joe (Baxter) returns home and promises to watch Mickey. Mickey gets involved with Joe’s gambling contacts. Reporter Jane Morgan (Blondell) spots Mickey gambling with pinball machines and writes about it in her column. Her column sparks citywide concern and Mickey will be sent to reform school. Feeling guilty, that he will go to reform school, Jane marries her reporter boyfriend Breezy (O’Brien) so they can adopt Mickey, which brings its own bought of issues.

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Franksgiving: A tale of two Thanksgivings

The year 1939 is filled with notable dates in history.

World War II was declared in Europe on Sept. 3, 1939. Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians recorded “Auld Lang Syne” for the first time on March 7, 1939. Lou Gehrig retired from the Yankees on June 21, 1939. Considered Hollywood’s greatest year, films like “Gone with the Wind” and “Wizard of Oz” were released.

And there were two Thanksgivings that November.

On Aug. 15, 1939, newspapers announced that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was going to move Thanksgiving up a week to the third week of November, rather than the fourth. In 1939, that made Thanksgiving Day Nov. 23 rather than Nov. 30.

The move was to help boost holiday sales after the president received complaints that the last Thursday in November was too late for Thanksgiving. The date was too close to Christmas and cut down on Christmas shopping, according to an Aug. 15, 1939, Associated Press (AP) article, “Thanksgiving Moved Up A Week.”

President Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt at Thanksgiving dinner in 1939 in Warm Springs, GA.

The change met some praise but mostly criticism.

Not only did the change affect when families gathered for a large meal, it also threw a wrench into calendars like academic schedules and the football industry.

“The precedent-shattering change … promised to upset the nation’s multi-million dollar Turkey day football industry,” according to the AP article. “Some of the season’s biggest and oldest grid games are scheduled for Nov. 30, which the schedule makers thought would be Thanksgiving Day. Moving the games back to Dec. 2 or up to Nov. 23 will be impossible in some cases.”

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Musical Monday: Rosie the Riveter (1944)

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 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Rosie the Riveter (1944) – Musical #617

Studio: Republic Pictures

Director: Joseph Santley

Starring:
Jane Frazee, Frank Albertson, Barbara Jo Allen (as Vera Vague), Frank Jenks, Lloyd Corrigan, Frank Fenton, Maude Eburne, Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer, Tom Kennedy, Ellen Lowe, Louise Erickson, Kirby Grant

Plot:
During the World War II housing shortage, Rosie Warren (Frazee), Vera Watson (Allen), Charlie Doran (Albertson) and Kelly Kennedy (Jenks) all are fighting over one room in boarding house. They reach an agreement that Rosie and Vera can sleep in the room at night while Charlie and Kelly work the swing-shift in a war factory, and the guys sleep there during the day while the women are working in an aircraft factory. Complications arise.

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