About Jnpickens

Classic film lover and reporter in North Carolina.

Musical Monday: Rosie the Riveter (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:
Rosie the Riveter (1944) – Musical #617

Studio: Republic Pictures

Director: Joseph Santley

Starring:
Jane Frazee, Frank Albertson, Barbara Jo Allen (as Vera Vague), Frank Jenks, Lloyd Corrigan, Frank Fenton, Maude Eburne, Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer, Tom Kennedy, Ellen Lowe, Louise Erickson, Kirby Grant

Plot:
During the World War II housing shortage, Rosie Warren (Frazee), Vera Watson (Allen), Charlie Doran (Albertson) and Kelly Kennedy (Jenks) all are fighting over one room in boarding house. They reach an agreement that Rosie and Vera can sleep in the room at night while Charlie and Kelly work the swing-shift in a war factory, and the guys sleep there during the day while the women are working in an aircraft factory. Complications arise.

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Watching 1939: The Lion Has Wings (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 Lion Has Wings (1939)

Release date:  Oct. 30, 1939

Cast:  Merle Oberon, Ralph Richardson, June Duprez, Brian Worth, Robert Douglas, Bernard Miles, Anthony Bushell, Austin Trevor

Studio:  London Film Productions and Alexander Korda Film Productions, distributed by United Artists

Director:  Adrian Brunel, Brian Desmond Hurst, Michael Powell

Plot:
Primarily filmed as a documentary mixed with fiction storytelling, the film shows what life in England was like when the country was at peace and not at war. It continues to illustrate how life changed once Great Britain declared war on Germany, and how the English were continuing to keep a “stiff upper lip.” To represent the changes, Mr. Richardson (Richardson) and his wife (Oberon) adapt their lives because of the war. Mr. Richardson joins the RAF and becomes a wing commander. Mrs. Richardson becomes a nurse, and she and her friend June (Duprez) support each other while their husband and sweetheart are away.

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Musical Monday: Tars and Spars (1946)

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:
Tars and Spars (1946) – Musical #615

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director: Alfred E. Green

Starring: Janet Blair, Alfred Drake, Marc Platt, Jeff Donnell, Sid Caesar, Joseph Crehan (uncredited), Hugh Beaumont (uncredited), Anita Alvarez (uncredited), Alex Romero (uncredited), Dick Winslow (uncredited)

Plot:
Howard Young (Drake) is in the U.S. Coast Guard but has had shore duty throughout the war. Though he wants to be sent out on shore duty, he is stuck with a desk job on base. His only time at sea performing a military experiment for 20 days in the raft in the base’s harbor. When he returns from the operation, he meets Christine Bradley (Blair), a SPAR who is now on the base. Howard’s friend Chuck Enders (Caesar) jokes and tells her that he is a military war hero and was shipwrecked.

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Musical Monday: The Singing Marine (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:
The Singing Marine – Musical #238

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Ray Enright

Starring:
Dick Powell, Doris Weston, Lee Dixon, Hugh Herbert, Jane Darwell, Allen Jenkins, Jane Wyman, Larry Adler, Marcia Ralston, Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams, Veda Ann Borg, Henry O’Neill, Addison Richards, Eddie Acuff, Berton Churchill, Ward Bond (uncredited), Richard Loo (uncredited), Sam McDaniel (uncredited), Bert Moorhouse (uncredited),

Plot:
Bashful Marine Bob Brent (Powell) is too shy to date or converse and is most comfortable when he’s singing. His Marine buddies send him to New York to perform in an amateur radio contest, especially because his voice makes their girlfriends swoon. Bob travels with singing hopeful Peggy Randall (Weston), who he likes but is too bashful. When Bob becomes a big hit as the “Singing Marine,” his Marine friends find that he has become a snob and not willing to go back to his military life.

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Watching 1939: The Return of Doctor X (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 Return of Doctor X (1939)

Release date: 
Nov. 23, 1939

Cast: 
Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane, Wayne Morris, Dennis Morgan, John Litel, Lya Lys, Huntz Hall, Charles C. Wilson, Vera Lewis, Olin Howland, John Ridgely, William Hopper (as DeWolf Hopper), Ian Wolfe (uncredited)

Studio: 
Warner Bros.

Director: 
Vincent Sherman

Plot:
Reporter Walter Garrett (Morris) starts discovering strange murders where each victim seems drained of their blood, and each has the same blood type. The police and Walter’s editors don’t believe him about the murders. With the help of doctor Michael Rhodes (Morgan), the two try to uncover the murderer. They go to hematologist Dr. Francis Flegg (Litel) and meet his strange, pale assistant Marshall Quesne (Bogart).

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Musical Monday: Murder in the Blue Room (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:
Murder in the Blue Room (1944)– Musical No. 614

Studio: Universal

Director: Leslie Goodwins

Starring:
Anne Gwynne, Donald Cook, John Litel, Grace McDonald, Betty Kean, June Preisser, Regis Toomey, Nella Walker, Andrew Tombes, Ian Wolfe, Bill Williams (as Bill MacWilliams), Frank Marlowe, Milton Parsons (uncredited), Alice Draper (uncredited), Victoria Horne (uncredited)

Plot:
Twenty years ago, Nan’s (Gwynne) father was found dead in the Blue Room of the family home. For the first time since then, Nan and her mother open up the house and Nan invites her jazz singing friends to perform, the Jazzybelles (McDonald, Kean, Preisser). When one of the guests (Williams) wants to stay in the Blue Room, he is missing the next morning and everyone has to stay in the house for the investigation.

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Watching 1939: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (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 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Release date: 
Sept. 1, 1939

Cast: 
Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Ida Lupino, Alan Marshal, Terry Kilburn, George Zucco, Henry Stephenson, E. E. Clive, Arthur Hohl, Mary Gordon, May Beatty, Peter Willes, Mary Forbes

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
Alfred L. Werker

Plot:
Set in 1894, criminal Professor Moriarty (Zucco) is acquited of murder. Just as the trial ends, Sherlock Holmes (Rathbone) has evidence, but it’s too late. Holmes compliments his criminal mind and Moriarty vows to himself that he’s going to give Holmes a puzzle. On the same day, Ann Brandon (Lupino) with a strange drawing she received. Since her father received the same drawing before he died, she’s worried that she and her brother are in danger. It’s all part of the web Moriarty weaved for Holmes.

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