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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Musical Monday: Bikini Beach (1964)

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:
Bikini Beach (1964) – Musical #278

Studio:
American International Pictures

Director:
William Asher

Starring:
Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Martha Hyer, Keenan Wynn, Don Rickles, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Candy Johnson, Donna Loren, Danielle Aubry, Michael Nader, Boris Karloff, Ned Wynn, Janos Prohaska
Themselves: The Pyramids, The Exciters Band, Stevie Wonder (as Little Stevie Wonder)

Plot:
Harvey Huntington Honeywagon III (Wynn) tries to prove that the mental capacity of Amerian teenagers as devolved to that of his chimp, Clyde the Chimp (Prohaska). Schoolteacher Vivien Clements (Hyer) tries to prove Honeywagon wrong. Meanwhile, during summer vacation on the beach, boyfriend and girlfriend Frankie (Avalon) and Dee Dee (Funicello) disagree – she feels he should settle down and get a job and he wants to live fast. Frankie finds competition in a visiting English rock star, Potato Bug (also Avalon).

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Musical Monday: Blue Hawaii (1961)

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:
Blue Hawaii (1961) – Musical #3

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
Norman Taurog

Starring:
Elvis Presley, Joan Blackman, Angela Lansbury, Nancy Walters, Roland Winters, Howard McNear, Steve Brodie, Iris Adrian, John Archer, Jenny Maxwell, Pamela Austin, Darlene Tompkins, Christian Kay, Jose De Vega

Plot:
Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) returns home to Hawaii after serving in the U.S. Army. His parents Fred and Sarah Lee Gates (Winters, Lansbury) are eager for him to join their successful family business, Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company. Instead, Chad wants to break out on his own and be a tour guide of the islands. He works for the agency where his girlfriend Maile Duval (Blackman) works. His first assignment is to show the islands to teacher and a group of teenagers.

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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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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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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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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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