About Jnpickens

Classic film lover and reporter in North Carolina.

Musical Monday: A Swingin’ Summer (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:
A Swingin’ Summer (1965) – Musical #644

Studio:
United Screen Arts

Director:
Robert Sparr

Starring:
James Stacy, William Wellman Jr., Quinn O’Hara, Raquel Welch, Martin West, Mary Mitchel, Allan Jones, Lili Kardell
Themselves: The Righteous Brothers, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Donnie Brooks, The Rip Chords, Gypsy Boots

Plot:
When their summer jobs fall through, Rick (Wellman) and Mickey (Stacy) hatch a plan to run the dance pavilion at Lake Arrowhead. Rick’s girlfriend Cindy (O’Hara) secretly has her father put up the money for the idea so the boys can work that summer – and she can have fun. Rick and Mickey eventually line up top musical acts, like Gary Lewis and the Playboys and The Righteous Brothers. However, lifeguard Turk (West) and his friends are jealous that they didn’t have the idea first and try to sabotage the dance pavilion.

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Watching 1939: Drums Along the Mohawk (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: 
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Release date: 
Nov. 2, 1939

Cast: 
Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins, John Carradine, Jessie Ralph, Arthur Shields, Ward Bond, Russell Simpson, Francis Ford, Kay Linaker, Chief John Big Tree, Eddie Collins, Dorris Bowdon, Beulah Hall Jones, Charles Tannen

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
John Ford

Plot:
Set in 1776, wealthy, Albany, NY, woman Lana (Colbert) marries frontiersman Gilbert Martin (Fonda). The two set out to Gil’s farm in Deerfield in the Mohawk Valley of central New York. Lana has a difficult time adjusting to frontier life, but soon the settle into farm life. However, the American Revolution disrupts their lives.

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Musical Monday: Summer Holiday (1948)

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:
Summer Holiday (1948) – Musical #297

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Rouben Mamoulian

Starring:
Mickey Rooney, Gloria DeHaven, Walter Huston, Frank Morgan, Jackie ‘Butch’ Jenkins, Marilyn Maxwell, Agnes Moorehead, Selena Royle, Michael Kirby, Shirley Johns, Hal Hackett, Anne Francis, Howard Freeman, Virginia Brissac, John Alexander

Plot:
Set at the turn of the century in Connecticut, Richard Miller (Rooney) is in love with Muriel McComber (deHaven) and is graduating from high school. Richard has started reading revolutionary literature his summer before starting at Yale. Muriel’s father disapproves and forces the couple to breakup. In his sadness, Richard goes to spend an evening with a chorus girl (Miller) and is served alcohol while underage. After the incident, Richard’s father Nat Miller (Huston) talks with his son and helps him make everything right again. As a sub-plot, Uncle Sid (Morgan), who drinks too much, is in love with Cousin Lily (Moorehead), but is refused by her because of his drinking.

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Musical Monday: Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

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:
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) – Musical #14

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Busby Berkeley

Starring:
Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly, Betty Garrett, Edward Arnold, Jules Munshin, Richard Lane, Tom Dugan, James Burke (uncredited), Sally Forrest (uncredited), Douglas Fowley (uncredited)

Plot:
Set in the early 1900s, K.C. Higgins (Williams) inherits the Chicago Wolves baseball team and the team is shocked when they find out that K.C. is a woman. Pals and part-time vaudeville performers Eddie O’Brien (Kelly) and Dennis Ryan (Sinatra) are on the team. Dennis has a crush on K.C. and Eddie clashes with her because he both wants to date her and doesn’t want a woman leading the team. There are further issues when gambler Joe Lorgan (Arnold) tries to prevent the team from winning the pennant.

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Watching 1939: The Bronze Buckaroo (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 Bronze Buckaroo (1939)

Release date: 
1939

Cast: 
Herb Jeffries (as Herbert Jeffrey), Lucius Brooks, Artie Young, F.E. Miller, Spencer Williams, Clarence Brooks, Lee Calmes, Earle Morris
Themselves: The Four Tones

Studio: 
Sack Amusement Enterprises

Director: 
Richard C. Kahn

Plot:
Bob Blake (Jeffries/Jeffrey) receives a letter from his friend Joe Jackson asking for him to come to visit and to help him. When Bob arrives he meets Joe’s sister Betty (Young) who is shocked that Bob received a letter from her brother. Her brother Joe has been missing for a month after Joe and Betty’s father was killed. Bob sets out to figure out what happened to Joe.

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Musical Monday: Hitting a New High (1937)

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:
Hitting a New High (1937) – Musical #634

Studio:
RKO Radio Pictures

Director:
Raoul Walsh

Starring:
Lily Pons, Jack Oakie, John Howard, Eric Blore, Edward Everett Horton, Eduardo Ciannelli, Luis Alberni, Vinton Hayworth, Leonard Carey

Plot:
Suzette (Pons) as ambitions to be an opera singer, but finds herself singing in Jimmy James’ (Howard) night club jazz band in France. She meets Corny Davis (Oakie), who is the assistant of eccentric rich man, Lucius B. Blynn (Horton), who is always looking for a new singing to promote. Corny tells Suzette to meet them in Africa, where they are heading on Safari. Suzette poses as Oogahunga, the Bird-Girl with a beautiful voice. Lucius brings Suzette/Oogahunga back to the United States to make her an opera star. At the same time they arrive in New York, Jimmy James and his band arrive in New York City, planning on Suzette to sing with his band.

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Watching 1939: You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (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: You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939)

Release date:
Feb. 17, 1939

Cast:
W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd, Constance Moore, John Arledge, James Bush, Thurston Hall, Mary Forbes, Edward Brophy, Arthur Hohl, Irving Bacon (uncredited), Grady Sutton (uncredited)

Studio:
Universal Studios

Director:
George Marshall

Plot:
Larsen E. Whipsnade (Fields) runs a financially failing circus. His children Victoria (Moore) and Phineas (Arledge) are trying to figure out how to help him. Phineas thinks Victoria should marry a rich man, Roger Bel-Goodie (Bush), to help out the family. Victoria visits the circus and meets The Great Edgar (Bergen) and his ventriloquist dummy, Charlie. Though she falls in love with Edgar, she thinks she should marry Roger.

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Musical Monday: Pepe (1960)

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:
Pepe (1960) – Musical #637

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
George Sidney

Starring:
Cantinflas, Dan Dailey, Shirley Jones, William Demarest, King Cotton the Horse
Themselves: Billie Burke, Ann B. Davis, Greer Garson, E.E. Fogelson, Bing Crosby, Maurice Chevalier, Michael Callan, Richard Conte, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Durante, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hedda Hopper, Joey Bishop, Ernie Kovacs, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, Peter Lawford, Jack Lemmon, Jay North, Kim Novak, André Previn, Donna Reed, Debbie Reynolds, Edward G. Robinson, Cesar Romero, Frank Sinatra,

Plot:
When his horse Don Juan (King Cotton) is sold, Pepe (Cantinflas) goes to Hollywood to get him back from has-been movie star and director Ted Holt (Daily). Along the way, Pepe meets a bevy of stars and Suzie Murphy (Jones) who wants to become a star but is jaded by the entertainment business.

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Musical Monday: Song of Freedom (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:
Song of Freedom (1936) – Musical #639

Studio:
British Lion Films

Director:
J. Elder Wills

Starring:
Paul Robeson, Elisabeth Welch, Esme Percy, Robert Adams, Joan Fred Emney, Robert Adams, James Solomon, George Mozart, Jenny Dean, Cornelia Smith, Ronald Simpson, Bernard Ansell

Plot:
John Zinga (Robeson) works on the English docks and wants to travel to Africa to learn more about his heritage. While driving by, composer and impresario Gabriel Donozetti (Percy) hears John singing in the street. Struck by his voice, Donozetti seeks out John to make him an opera star. With the encouragement of his wife Ruth (Welch), John reluctantly accepts; seeing that this career could allow him the opportunity to travel to Africa. After one performance during an encore, John sings a piece of a song that he has known all his life, but isn’t sure of the origins. A professor in the audience tells John that the song is a war song for an African tribe and that John may be king based on a pendant that John has worn since childhood. John and Ruth travel to the small African island so he can lead the island and his people, but they aren’t welcomed with open arms.

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Musical Monday: Jazz Boat (1960)

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:
Jazz Boat (1960) – Musical #641

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Ken Hughes

Starring:
Anthony Newley, Anne Aubrey, Lionel Jeffries, David Lodge, Bernie Winters, James Booth, Joyce Blair, Leo McKern
Themselves: Ted Heath and his Music, Jean Philippe

Plot:
Bert (Newley) brags to Spider (Booth) and his gang that he is an experienced jewel burglar. He’s not, but he gets mixed up in the gang’s jewel heist. After the robbery, he tries to outrun the gang, and they all end up on the jazz boat.

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