Musical Monday: The Chocolate Soldier (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 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
The Chocolate Soldier – Musical #217

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: Roy Del Ruth

Starring:
Nelson Eddy, Risë Stevens, Nigel Bruce, Florence Bates, Dorothy Raye, Nydia Westman, Max Barwyn, Charles Judels, Jack ‘Tiny’ Lipson , Dorothy Morris (uncredited), Yvette Duguay (uncredited)

Plot:
Maria (Stevens) and Karl Lang (Eddy) are married singing stars. Karl is convinced that Maria is a flirt and may be cheating on him. To see if she is being true to him, Karl dresses up like a Russian soldier to woo his wife.

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Watching 1939: Torture Ship (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: 
Torture Ship (1939)

Release date: 
Oct. 28, 1939

Cast: 
Lyle Talbot, Irving Pichel, Julie Bishop (as Jacqueline Wells), Sheila Bromley, Anthony Averill, Russell Hopton, Skelton Knaggs

Studio: 
Sigmund Neufeld Productions

Director: 
Victor Halperin

Plot:
Dr. Herbert Stander (Pichel) who wants to do experiments to learn more about the criminal mind. He charters a ship captained by his nephew, Lt. Bob Bennett (Talbot), who was unaware of his uncle’s plans. All of the passengers on the ship are criminals and will be tested by Dr. Stander. Joan Martel (Bishop/Wells) mistakenly gets on the boat and Bob tries to keep her from going under Dr. Stander’s knife.

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Musical Monday: Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

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:
Broadway Melody of 1940 – Musical #83

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Norman Taurog

Starring:
Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, Ian Hunter, Frank Morgan, Lynn Carver, Florence Rice, Ann Morriss, Trixie Firschke, Irving Bacon (uncredited), Herman Bing (uncredited), Gladys Blake (uncredited), Mel Blanc (uncredited), Joe Yule (uncredited), Hal Le Sueur (uncredited), Douglas McPhail (uncredited), Charlotte Arren (uncredited)

Plot:
Producer Bob Casey (Morgan) sees down on their luck dance team Johnny Brett (Astaire) and King Shaw (Murphy) and is interested in Johnny. However, due to a mix-up in names, he hires King Shaw to star alongside top Broadway star Clare Bennett (Powell) in her next show. King’s work ethic is lacking, and Johnny has to help cover up for his faults.

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Watching 1939: The Gorilla (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:  The Gorilla (1939)

Release date:  May 26, 1939

Cast:  Jimmy Ritz, Harry Ritz, Al Ritz (the Ritz Brothers), Anita Louise, Patsy Kelly, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, Joseph Calleia, Edward Norris, Paul Harvey, Art Miles

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Director:  Allan Dwan

Plot:
The Gorilla is a murderer on the lose, and Walter Stevens (Atwill) is warned that he has just 24 hours to live. His niece Norma (Louise) and her finance Jack (Norris) come to visit on the eve of this threat. Stevens hires the Ritz Brothers of the Acme Detective Agency to protect him.

1939 Notes:

  • “The Gorilla” (1939) resulted in the end of The Ritz Brothers’ relationship with 20th Century Fox. The film was delayed when The Ritz Brothers’ father died. Because of this, Fox placed a $150,000 suit against the Ritz brothers for a breach of contract as the film was slated to start production. “The Gorilla” is one of three films the Ritz Brothers were in in 1939.
  • Lionel Atwill was in nine films released in 1939.
  • Patsy Kelly’s only film of 1939.
  • Anita Louise was in six films released in 1939.
  • Joseph Calleia was in five films in 1939.
  • Paul Harvey was in nine films released in 1939.

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Musical Monday: Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938)

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:
Cowboy From Brooklyn (1938) – Musical #192

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Lloyd Bacon

Starring:
Dick Powell, Pat O’Brien, Priscilla Lane, Dick Foran, Ann Sheridan, Johnnie Davis, Ronald Reagan, Emma Dunn, Dennie Moore, Candy Candido, Granville Bates, Harry Barris, James Stephenson, Hobart Cavanaugh, Elisabeth Risdon, Rosella Towne, Mary Field, Jeffrey Lynn, John Ridgely, Mary Boley, William B. Davidson

Plot:
While traveling to Hollywood from New York, singer Elly Jordan (Powell) is stranded in Wyoming. He gets a job as a performer on a ranch resort run by Jane Hardy (Lane). Elly is built up as a singing cowboy, but the only problem is that he’s terrified of all animals.

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Watching 1939: The Human Monster/The Dark Eyes of London (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: The Human Monster/The Dark Eyes of London

Release date:  Oct. 19, 1939 (London)

Cast:  Bela Lugosi, Hugh Williams, Greta Gynt, Edmon Ryan, Wilfred Walter

Studio:  John Argyle Productions

Director:  Walter Summers

Plot:
There is a string of drowning deaths in London. Scotland Yard feels insurance salesman Dr. Orlof (Lugosi) is connected, as they are all single men with no family who have taken out insurance claims with his company. Detective Holt (Williams) and Lt. O’Reilly from America (Ryan) investigate the murders.

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Musical Monday: The Goldwyn Follies (1938)

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:
Goldwyn Follies (1938) – Musical #237

Studio:
The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Director:
George Marshall

Starring:
Adolphe Menjou, Andrea Leeds, The Ritz Brothers, Vera Zorina, Kenny Baker, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Phil Baker, Helen Jepson, Jerome Cowan, Nydia Westman, Ella Logan, Bobby Clark, Joseph Crehan (uncredited), Alan Ladd (uncredited)
Themselves: Alfred Newman, American Ballet of the Metropolitan Opera
The Goldwyn Girls: Vivian Austin, Lynne Berkeley, Marjorie Deanne, Betty Douglas, Judith Ford, Anne Graham, Jane Hamilton, Evelyn Terry, Gloria Youngblood

Plot:
Hollywood film producer Oliver Merlin (Menjou) recent pictures have bombed at the box office. Merlin overhears Hazel Dawes (Leeds) criticizing his movie as unrealistic. He hires her, dubbing Hazel “Miss Humanity” to help give his films the human point of view.

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