Musical Monday: Thrill of a Lifetime (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.

thrill of a lifetime2This week’s musical:
The Thrill of a Lifetime (1937) – Musical #673

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
George Archainbaud

Starring:
Leif Erickson, Judy Canova, Betty Grable, Buster Crabbe (as Larry Crabbe), Ben Blue, Johnny Downs, Eleanore Whitney, Franklin Pangborn, Anne Canova, Zeke Canova, the Yacht Club Boys (Charles Adler, George Kelly, Billy Mann, Jimmie Kern), Marjorie Reynolds (uncredited),
Themselves: Dorothy Lamour

Plot:
Betty Jane (Whitney) and Judy (Canova) have a sister act with Stanley (Downs). When Stanley and Betty Jane are offered a performing gig without Judy, they decide to go to Camp Romance to find Judy a husband. The camp is for singles looking for love and is run by Howard Nelson (Erickson), who doesn’t believe in love and has written a play called “There Ain’t Not Such Thing as Love.” While Howard doesn’t believe in love, his secretary Gwen (Grable) is in love with him.

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Musical Monday: Athena (1954)

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.

athena-movie-poster-1954-1020706063This week’s musical:
Athena (1954) – Musical #77

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Richard Thorpe

Starring:
Jane Powell, Jane Powell, Edmund Purdom, Debbie Reynolds, Vic Damone, Louis Calhern, Virginia Gibson, Jane Fischer, Cecile Rogers, Nancy Kilgas, Dolores Starr, Evelyn Varden, Linda Christian, Ray Collins, Richard Sabre, Henry Nakamura, Steve Reeves, Kathleen Freeman, Bess Flowers (uncredited)

Plot:
The life of stuffy Massachusetts lawyer Adam Shaw (Purdom) is turned upside down when he meets Athena (Powell) and her family. Athena is a numerologist and lives with her grandparents and seven sisters. Her family believes in health, exercise and that life is directed by the stars. Athena finds that she and Adam are a love match through numbers and the stars and works to convince him.

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Musical Monday: Hold On! (1966)

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.

hold on2This week’s musical:
Hold On! (1966) – Musical #241

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Arthur Lubin

Starring:
The Herman’s Hermits: Peter Noone, Keith Hopwood, Karl Green, Derek Leckenby, Barry Whitwam
Shelley Fabares, Sue Anne Langdon, Hebert Anderson, Harry Hickox, Bernard Fox, Hortense Petra

Plot:
When astronauts decide they want to name their next ship after The Herman’s Hermits, NASA employee Edward Lindquist (Anderson) is asked to follow the band to learn more about them. However, the band is kept under close watch of their manager (Fox) and the young band members are bored and Herman (Noone) is lonely. When Herman meets and falls for Louisa (Fabares). The band sneaks out to go to an amusement park and spend time with Louisa, and Edward is accused of kidnapping them.

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Musical Monday: Rhythm on the Range (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.

rhythm on the rangeThis week’s musical:
Rhythm on the Range – Musical #670

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
Norman Taurog

Starring:
Bing Crosby, Frances Farmer, Bob Burns, Martha Raye, Samuel S. Hinds, Lucile Gleason, Warren Hymer, James Burke, George E. Stone, Leonid Kinskey
Musical performers: Sons of the Pioneers, Louis Prima

Plot:
Wealthy Doris Halloway (Farmer) is prepared to marry a man she doesn’t love, because it seems like the thing to do. Her Aunt Penny (Gleason) owns a ranch out west and heartily disapproves. When Doris hears her Aunt Penny talk about western women and life, Doris decides she needs to go west. She sneaks onto a cattle car with one of Penny’s ranch hands, Jeff (Crosby) and lies about who she is. Jeff and Doris (or Louis as she tells him) travel across country together in a cattle car with his bull, Cuddles.

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Musical Monday: Beach Blanket Bingo (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:
Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) – Musical #277

Beach_Blanket_Bingo_Original_Movie_Poster_530x

Studio:
American International Pictures

Director:
William Asher

Starring:
Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Deborah Walley, Linda Evans, John Ashley, Jody McCrea, Michael Nader, Donna Loren, Paul Lynde, Buster Keaton, Don Rickles, Marta Kristen, Donna Michelle, Bobbi Shaw, Mary Hughes, Linda Bent, Salli Sachse, Patti Chandler, Timothy Carey
Themselves: Earl Wilson, The Hondells

Plot:
Singer Sugar Kane (Evans) sky dives on to the beach for a publicity stunt — via her a stunt double Bonnie (Walley) — the female surfers worry that their boyfriends are paying too much attention to her. Dee Dee (Funicello) is especially concerned about Frankie (Avalon), who suddenly is interested in sky diving. When Frankie starts jumping, Dee Dee proves that girls can skydive too. Skydive instructor Bonnie also has a crush on Frankie, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend Steve (Ashley). Meanwhile, biker gang leader Eric Von Zipper (Lembeck) decides he adores Sugar Kane and Bonehead (McCrea) falls in love with a mysterious, beautiful woman of the sea.

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Musical Monday: Hootenanny Hoot (1963)

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:

Hootenanny Hoot (1963) – Musical #253

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Gene Nelson

Starring:
Ruta Lee, Peter Breck, Joby Baker, Pamela Austin, Bobo Lewis, Lauren Gilbert,

Themselves: Johnny Cash, The Gateway Trio, Judy Henske, Vikki Dougan, George Hamilton IV, Joe and Eddie, Cathie Taylor, Chris Crosby, The Brothers Four, Sheb Wooley

Plot:
TV director Ted Grover (Breck) and producer A.G. Bannister (Lee) are constantly at odds about what makes a good television shows … and they previously were married. While traveling, Ted runs across a country music hootenanny in a Missouri college town led by Billie-Jo Henley (Austin). Ted pitches the idea of making a TV special out of the college kids and the country music.

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Musical Monday: Your Cheatin’ Heart (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:

Your Cheatin’ Heart – Musical #252

Your Cheatin Heart

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Gene Nelson

Starring:
George Hamilton, Susan Oliver, Red Buttons, Arthur O’Connell, Rex Ingram, Shary Williams, Chris Crosby

Plot:
A biographical film on the life and career of country singer Hank Williams.

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Musical Monday: Pajama Party (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:

Pajama Party (1964) – Musical #318

Studio:

American International Pictures

Director:

Don Weis

Starring:
Annette Funicello, Tommy Kirk, Elsa Lanchester, Jody McCrea, Harvey Lembeck, Jessie White, Buster Keaton, Bobbi Shaw, Donna Loren, Candy Johnson, Ben Lessy, Susan Hart, Luree Holmes, Cheryl Sweeten, Michael Nadar, Kerry Kollmar, Joi Holmes

Cameo: Frankie Avalon, Dorothy Lamour, Dorothy Kilgallen

Dancers: Teri Garr (as Teri Hope), Toni Basil

Plot:
Connie (Funicello) is frustrated because her boyfriend Big Lunk (McCrea) is more concerned with athletics than her. When Gogo/George the Martian (Kirk) visits Earth to help with an invasion from Mars, he falls in love with Connie. In the meantime, J. Sinister Hulk (White) wants to rob Big Lunk’s rich Aunt Wendy (Lanchester), and Eric Von Zipper (Lembeck) and his gang have beef with Big Lunk.

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Musical Monday: Seven Days Ashore (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:

Seven Days Ashore (1944) – Musical #669

Studio:

RKO Radio Pictures

Director:

John H. Auer

Starring:

Gordon Oliver, Marcy McGuire, Virginia Mayo, Elaine Shepard, Amelita Ward, Wally Brown, Alan Carney, Dooley Wilson, Marjorie Gateson, Margaret Dumont, Dorothy Malone (uncredited), Lawrence Tierney (uncredited)

Himself: Freddie Slack and his Orchestra

Plot:
Merchant Marine Dan Arland Jr. (Oliver) got himself engaged to three girls, two of which (Mayo, Ward) play together in Dot Diamond’s (McGuire) band. The other, Annabelle (Shepard), is a family friend who Dan really cares for. When the Merchant Marines have a week leave in San Francisco where all the women are located, Dan has his buddies (Brown, Carney) date two of the girls to help him out.

Trivia:
• Originally planned as a U.S. Navy musical but was rewritten as a Merchant Marine musical.

• Alan Carney and Wally Brown were hired to be groomed as Abbott and Costello-like comedy team.

Marcy McGuire in “Seven Days Ashore”

Highlights:
• I like the part when the men and women trade off walking in and out playing instruments.

Notable Songs:
• “Apple Blossoms in the Rain” performed by Dooley Wilson

• “Ready, Aim, Kiss” performed by Marcy McGuire

• “Sioux City Sue” performed by Marcy McGuire

• “Jive Samba” performed by Freddy Slack and his Orchestra and Marcy McGuire

• “Over the Waves” performed by Marcy McGuire

• “The Poor Little Fly on the Wall” performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra

• “Improvisation in B Flat” performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra

Chorus girls perform “Seven Days Ashore”

My review:

Not to be confused with Seven Days’ Leave (1942), this low budget B-musical was surprisingly better than I expected.

The first few moments of the film are like “who’s who” early in their careers in Hollywood. We see Dorothy Malone in an uncredited role playing the piano in an all girl’s band, Lawrence Tierney as an uncredited Merchant Marine, and Virginia Mayo in a credited role (and main character) though still early in her career.

The film follows a Merchant Marine (Gordon Oliver) who got himself engaged to too many girls and it complicates his shore leave. His pals try to help out by also dating the girls.

Judging by the photos and how the film started, I thought this musical would be about Marcy McGuire’s character, but she’s really just there to supply the music and some comedic antics.

I almost think the film may have be more fun if it had been centered around McGuire. I’m not certain of her appeal, but I also liked when she was on screen.

Dooley Wilson also co-stars and has the opportunity to sing a few songs.

The film had some great snappy songs, especially performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra. I honestly was surprised at how much fun this film ended up being.

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Musical Monday: Student Tour (1934)

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:
Student Tour (1934) – Musical #255

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Charles Reisner

Starring:
Jimmy Durante (billed as Jimmie Durante), Charles Butterworth, Maxine Doyle, Phil Regan, Douglas Fowley, Florine McKinney, Monte Blue, Mischa Auer (uncredited), Bruce Bennett (uncredited), James Ellison (uncredited), Dick Foran (uncredited), Ann Rutherford (uncredited), Arthur Treacher (uncredited)
Himself: Nelson Eddy

Plot:
The Bartlett College crew team is scheduled to sail for a world tour competition. The problem is, the whole team is flunking philosophy class. So they don’t miss out on the tour, Ann (Doyle) convinces the philosophy teacher, who is her uncle, (Buttersworth) to travel with the crew team and give the exam aboard. This is because she’s in love with the team’s captain, Bobby Kane (Regan).

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