About Jnpickens

Classic film lover and reporter in North Carolina.

Musical Monday: “Best Foot Forward” (1943)

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:
Best Foot Forward” –Musical #103

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Edward Buzzell

Starring:
Virginia Weidler, William Gaxton, Tommy Dix, Nancy Walker, June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven, Chill Wills, Harry James, Henry O’Neill, Sara Haden, Stanley Donen (uncredited cadet), James Ellison (uncredited cadet)
Themselves: Lucille Ball, Harry James and His Music Makers

Plot:
Bud Hooper (Dix), a cadet at a military school, sends a prom invitation to movie star Lucille Ball (as herself). Ball’s agent thinks it would be a great publicity stunt and she attends the dance, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend Helen (Weidler) and to Ball. However, since it was Helen who was approved to attend the dance, Bud as Ball pose as Helen.

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Watching 1939: Sorority House (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: 
Sorority House (1939)

Release date: 
May 5, 1939

Cast: 
Anne Shirley, James Ellison, Barbara Read, Pamela Blake (billed as Adele Pearce), J.M. Kerrigan, Helen Wood, Doris Davenport (Doris Jordan), June Storey, Elisabeth Risdon, Margaret Armstrong, Selmer Jackson, Chill Wills, Marge Champions (uncredited), Frank Sully (uncredited)

Studio: 
RKO Radio Pictures

Director: 
John Farrow

Plot:
Alice Fisher (Shirley) is a smalltown girl who helps her father (Kerrigan) at his grocery store. Nearly thinking she won’t be able to attend Talbot College, her father makes financial sacrifices by using his life savings so that she can attend college. Upon arriving, Alice learns of sororities and is eager to join, as all the girls excitedly discuss rushing. While not wanting to be a social pariah, Alice has to determine if joining the exclusive (and expensive) groups is worthwhile.

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Musical Monday: So This is College (1929)

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:
So This Is College (1929) – Musical #649

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Sam Wood

Starring:
Elliott Nugent, Robert Montgomery, Cliff Edwards, Sally Starr, Phyllis Crane, Polly Moran, Dorothy Dehn, Oscar Rudolph, Gene Stone, Lee Shumway, Ward Bond (uncredited), Grady Sutton (uncredited), Ann Dvorak (uncredited), Delmer Daves (uncredited), Joel McCrea (uncredited)

Plot:
University of Southern California college seniors Biff (Montgomery) and Eddie (Nugent) are best friends, fraternity brothers and teammates on the football team. But when they both fall for Babs (Starr), the two get competitive with each other, without realizing she’s playing the two off each other.

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Watching 1939: Dancing Co-Ed (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: 
Dancing Co-Ed (1939)

Release date: 
Sept. 29, 1939

Cast: 
Lana Turner, Ann Rutherford, Richard Carlson, Roscoe Karns, Lee Bowman, Thurston Hall, Monty Woolley, Leon Errol, Mary Field, Walter Kingsford, Mary Beth Hughes, June Preisser, Chester Clute, Edward Arnold Jr. (uncredited), Robert Walker (uncredited), Lynn Lewis (uncredited)
Himself: Artie Shaw and his Orchestra

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
S. Sylvan Simon

Plot:
Before starring in another film together, husband and wife dancing duo Freddy (Bowman) and Toddy Tobin (Hughes) discover they are going to have a baby and Toddy has to be replaced in their upcoming film, “Dancing Co-Ed.” In a publicity stunt, the studio announces that they are going to have a contest at colleges across the country to find a dancing student. The only thing is that dancer Patty Marlow (Turner) has already been planted at Midwestern College to win the contest. School newspaper reporter Pug Braddock (Carlson) suspects that the contest is phony and tries to uncover a plant.

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Musical Monday: High, Wide and Handsome (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:
High, Wide and Handsome (1937) – Musical #631

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
Rouben Mamoulian

Starring:
Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott, Dorothy Lamour, William Frawley, Raymond Walburn, Elizabeth Patterson, Charles Bickford, Akim Tamiroff, Ben Blue, Irving Pichel, Stanley Andrews, James Burke, Roger Imhof, Lucien Littlefield, Rolfe Sedan (uncredited), Helen Lowell (uncredited), Raymond Brown (uncredited)

Plot:
Set in the 1850s, Sally (Dunne) travels in a medicine show with her father Doc Watterson (Walburn) and his partner Mac (Frawley). When their wagon catches on fire and burns down in a small Pennsylvania town, they stay with Peter Cortlandt (Scott) and his grandma (Patterson). Sally and Peter fall in love, and on their wedding day, Peter strikes oil. As Peter works to grow his oil business, Sally is frequently left alone.

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Musical Monday: Music in Manhattan (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:
Music in Manhattan (1944) – Musical #377

Studio:
RKO Radio Pictures

Director:
John H. Auer

Starring:
Anne Shirley, Dennis Day, Phillip Terry, Raymond Walburn, Patti Brill, Jane Darwell, Bert Roach (uncredited), Jason Robards Sr. (uncredited),
Themselves: Charlie Barnet and his Orchestra, Nico Menendez and His Rhumba Band

Plot:
Frankie Foster (Shirley) is the lead in a failing Broadway musical. In order to get a flight to Washington, D.C. to discuss getting a loan for the show, Professor Carl Roberti (Walburn) says that Frankie is the secret bride of war hero Johnny Pearson (Terry). As a result, the secret gets out and the show becomes a success. While Frankie and Johnny have to pretend to they are married, things get complicated when his mother (Darwell) arrives, and Frankie’s boyfriend and co-star Stanley Benson (Day) is jealous.

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Musical Monday: Flying Down to Rio (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:
Flying Down to Rio (1933) – Musical #94

Studio:
RKO Radio Pictures

Director:
Thornton Freeland

Starring:
Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Blanche Friderici, Eric Blore, Franklin Pangborn, Walter Walker, Etta Moten, Roy D’Arcy, Maurice Black, Armand Kaliz, Paul Porcasi, Reginald Barlow, Theresa Harris (uncredited), Clarence Muse (uncredited)
Performers: Movita

Plot:
Pilot Roger Bond (Raymond) is the bandleader of the Yankee Clippers. However, the band’s success is hindered by Roger’s flirtatious eye. As soon as they land a new job, he sees Belinha (Del Rio) and begins to pursue her. His efforts (and new job) are cut off by Belinha’s chaperone and aunt (Friderici). Learning that Belinha is heading to Rio de Janeiro, he volunteers to fly her there, and gets a job for his band to perform there as well. The only issue is that Belinha turns out being engaged to Julio Rubeiro (Roulien), and he can’t get an entertainment license to perform at the hotel.

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Watching 1939: The Great Man Votes (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 Great Man Votes (1939)

Release date: 
Jan. 13, 1939

Cast: 
John Barrymore, Virginia Weidler, Peter Holden, Katharine Alexander, Donald MacBride, Esther Dale, Benny Bartlett, Elisabeth Risdon, Brandon Tynan, Elisabeth Risdon, Granville Bates, Luis Alberni, William Demarest

Studio: 
RKO Radio Pictures

Director: 
Garson Kanin

Plot:
Gregory Vance (Barrymore) was a Harvard graduate and successful college professor. But after his wife died, he became an alcoholic and now works as a nightwatchman, caring for his two children, Joan (Weidler) and Donald (Holden). Joan and Donald still believe their father is a great man. When a political giant, Iron Hat McCarthy (MacBride) is trying to win the election for mayor, Vance is finally treated as a great man when the political machine realizes he holds the deciding vote for the election.

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Musical Monday: Sweet Charity (1969)

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:
Sweet Charity (1969) – Musical #646

Studio:
Universal Pictures

Director:
Bob Fosse

Starring:
Shirley MacLaine, John McMartin, Ricardo Montalban, Sammy Davis Jr., Chita Rivera, Paula Kelly, Stubby Kaye, Barbara Bouchet

Plot:
Charity (MacLaine) is a taxi dancer who wants to find love. However, she is unlucky in love. We first see her boyfriend Charlie (who is married) push her off a bridge into a lake in Central Park. Then she meets Italian actor Vittorio Vitale (Montalban) after he breaks up with his girlfriend and goes back to his apartment. Then she wants to get married so she can leave the dance hall.

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Musical Monday: Down to Earth (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:
Down to Earth (1947) – Musical #153

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Alexander Hall

Starring:
Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, Marc Platt, Adele Jergens, Roland Culver, James Gleason, Edward Everett Horton, George Macready, William Frawley, James Burke, Dorothy Hart (as Dorothy Brady)
Muses: Dusty Anderson, Lucille Casey, Mary Jane French, Jo Hattigan, Doris Houck, Virginia Hunter, Peggy Maley, Lynn Merrick, Shirley Molohon, Tyra Vaughn

Plot:
In a follow up to HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941), Danny Miller (Parks) is directing a Broadway musical about the seven muses with Terpsichore, the muse of song and dance. When the Muses learn that the musical portrays them as fast-living women, marrying multiple men at once, an outraged Terpsichore (Hayworth) goes down to Earth with the help of Mr. Jordan (Culver). Danny’s life (literally) depends on the success of the play. Terpsichore, under the name Kitty, tries to revamp the Broadway musical as star and make it accurate to Greek life.

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