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:
Eve Knew Her Apples (1945)– Musical #282
Ann Miller, William Wright, Robert Williams, Charles D. Brown, Ray Walker
Radio star Eve Porter (Miller) wants a three-week vacation during the radio show’s summer hiatus — away from work and her fiancé (Williams). However, her managers have other plans in mind, including personal appearances and Hollywood films. Eve runs away, hiding in the car trunk of reporter Ward Williams (Wright), who mistakes her for an escaped murderer.
-Musical remake of “It Happened One Night” (1934) starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. It was later remade again as a musical called “You Can’t Run Away From It” (1956) starring Jack Lemmon and June Allyson.
-“An Hour Never Passes” performed by Ann Miller
-“I’ll Remember April” performed by Ann Miller
-“I’ve Waited a Lifetime” performed by Ann Miller
-“Someone to Love” performed by Ann Miller
The musical remake is an interesting film phenomenon. A perfectly outstanding film — whether it’s a comedy, drama or western — is taken and set to singing and dancing. In this case, the hilarious and seemingly perfect comedy, “It Happened One Night.”
But while most musical remakes flop, “Eve Knew Her Apples” is still fairly fun. I think it’s because this film is so watered down from the original that “Eve Knew Her Apples” becomes its own B-movie rather than a remake.
The plot idea is similar but some of the main scenes from “It Happened One Night” are omitted, also making “Eve Knew Her Apples” its own film. Scenes not in the remake include the “Walls of Jericho” scene, hitchhiking or doughnut dunking scenes.
This musical is different compared to the “musical theater musical” idea that is stuck in most people’s heads today. Ann Miller is a radio performer in the film and she sings a few romantic songs, but the songs aren’t related to the plot or move the plot along. The general definition of musicals (especially in the theater to film age) is that the performer sings when they have no more words to express their feelings. However, in the 1930s and 1940s, the actors generally sang of the sake of singing.
Ann Miller sings four or five songs throughout the film but does not show off her famous tap dancing skills at all.
The leading man William Wright is adequate but nothing to write home about. In the 1940s (particularly during the war years), an actor named John Carroll was the poor-man’s Clark Gable while Gable was overseas fighting in World War II. Wright isn’t even a poor-man’s Gable, he’s a poor-man’s John Carroll!
This story was later remade again in 1956 as a musical with June Allyson and Jack Lemmon. And that one is terrible, but we will go into that in another post.
Regardless of the fact that “Eve Knew Her Apples” is a story we already know, it’s still a fun little film. At 65 minutes long, it’s brisk paced, has some interesting songs and genuinely a good time.