Watching 1939: Intermezzo, A Love Story (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: Intermezzo, A Love Story (1939)

Release date: Oct. 6, 1939

Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Leslie Howard, Edna Best, John Halliday, Cecil Kellaway, Ann E. Todd, Enid Bennett, Douglas Scott

Studio: Selznik International Pictures

Director: Gregory Ratoff

Plot:
Successful concert violinist Holger Brandt (Howard) returns home to his wife (Best) and children (Scott, Todd) after a concert tour. He falls for his daughter’s piano teacher Anita Hoffman (Bergman). Holger leaves his wife and goes on tour with Anita.

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Musical Monday: Les Girls (1957)

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:
Les Girls – Musical #80

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
George Cukor

Starring:
Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, Taina Elg, Jacques Bergerac, Leslie Phillips, Henry Daniel, Patrick Macnee, Barrie Chase (uncredited)

Plot:
Performer Sybil Wren (Kendall) is on trial for libel after she releases a tell-all book. While on the stand, she tells the story of her days with the traveling act Les Girls, led by Barry Nichols (Kelly) and co-starring with two other dancers Joy Henderson (Gaynor) and Angèle Ducros (Elg). Sybil’s book accuses Angèle of having an affair with Barry, while Angèle accuses Sybil of the same. Each person retrospectively tells their side of the story.

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Watching 1939: Mad Youth (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:  Mad Youth (1939)

Release date:  July 1939

Cast:  Mary Ainslee, Betty Compson, Willy Castello, Betty Atkinson, Tommy Wonder, Lorelei Readoux, Margaret Fealy, Donald Kerr
Jitter Bugs: Ray Hirsch, Patty Lacey, Eugene Taylor, Aileen Morris, Maxine Taylor, Pearl Tolson

Studio:  Willis Kent Production

Director:  Melville Shyer

Plot:
Lucy Morgan (Compson) hires a male escort, Count DeHoven (Castello). While her mother is away, teenage Marian Morgan (Ainslee) has a big party while her mom was away, which includes jitterbug dancing and strip poker. When Lucy returns home with the Count, he falls for Marian. When Marian and Lucy have a falling out over the Count, Marian decides to go live with Helen, which ends up being a marriage-for-hire and sex trafficking organization.

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Musical Monday: College Humor (1933)

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:
College Humor (1933) – Musical #612

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Director: Wesley Ruggles

Starring:
Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, Richard Arlen, Mary Carlisle, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Mary Kornman, Joe Sawyer, Lona Andre, Grady Sutton, Jimmy Conlin, James Burke, Bruce Bennett (uncredited), Dennis O’Keefe (uncredited), Marjorie Reynolds (uncredited), Frank Jenks (uncredited)

Plot:
The film follows Barney Shirrel (Oakie) who starts at his freshman year at MidWest University. His roommates are gruff Tex (Sawyer) and Mondrake (Arlen), who drinks too much. Professor Frederick Danvers (Crosby) is an alumnus of MidWest and now teaches there as a popular music professor. Barney is initiated into a fraternity and joins the football team, paying less attention to Amber (Kornman). Barney’s sister Barbara Shirrel (Carlisle) starts at the college the following term, and while she is dating Mondrake, she falls in love with Prof. Danvers. This causes Mondrake to drink more, getting him kicked off the football team so that the school is at risk of losing the big game.

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Watching 1939: Confessions of a Nazi Spy (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:  Confessions of a Nazi Spy

Release date: 
April 27, 1939

Cast: 
Edward G. Robinson, George Sanders, Francis Lederer, Paul Lukas, Henry O’Neill, Dorothy Tree, Lya Lys, Sig Ruman, Joe Sawyer, Grace Stafford, Ward Bond (uncredited), Regis Toomey (uncredited), John Ridgely (uncredited)

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Anatole Litvak

Plot:
Dr. Kassell (Lukas) travels from Germany to the United States to rally support for the Nazi party with German Americans. As support and spy activity grows in the United States, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation investigates Nazi activity in the U.S., led by Agent Ed Renard (Robinson).

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Musical Monday: Good News (1947)

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:
Good News (1947) – Musical #70

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: Charles Walters

Starring:
June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Patricia Marshall, Joan McCracken, Ray McDonald, Mel Tormé, Robert E. Strickland, Donald MacBride, Tom Dugan, Clinton Sundberg, Loren Tindall, Connie Gilchrist, Jimmy Lydon (uncredited), Tommy Rall (uncredited)

Plot:
Set in 1927 at Tait College, all of the boys are falling for new student and sorority girl, Pat McClellan (Marshall) – including football star Tommy Marlowe (Lawford). Gold-digging Pat doesn’t want anything to do with Tommy, finding him unrefined. To show her he can be worldly, Tommy heads to the library to learn French and meets student Connie Lane (Allyson), a sorority sister of Pat. Tommy and Connie fall for each other, but soon Pat turns her attentions to Tommy.

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Musical Monday: How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (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 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini– Musical #291

Studio: American International Pictures

Director: William Asher

Starring:
Annette Funicello, Dwayne Hickman, Brian Donlevy, Buster Keaton, Frankie Avalon, Beverly Adams, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Mickey Rooney, Michael Nadar, Sheila MacRae, Marianne Gordon, Len Lesser, Bobbi Shaw, Stephanie Nader, Sue Hamilton (as Sue Williams), Michele Carey (uncredited)
Themselves: The Kingsmen
Cameo: Elizabeth Montgomery

Plot:
While Frankie (Avalon) is away in the Navy on an island, he worries Dee Dee (Funicello) is being as unfaithful as he is. He works with witch doctor Bwana (Keaton) to use magic to spy on Dee Dee to see if she’s faithful. Bwana also creates a sexy distraction, Cassandra (Adams), to keep all the boys away from her. Advertising representatives Peachy Keane (Rooney) and Ricky (Hickman) arrive on the beach to pick an all American girl for their ad campaign with B.D. MacPherson (Donlevy) to change the image of motorcycles, and Ricky falls for Dee Dee.

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