Musical Monday: Lillian Russell (1940)

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:
Lillian Russell – Musical #633

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Irving Cummings

Starring:
Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda, Edward Arnold, Warren William, Leo Carrillo, Helen Westley, Dorothy Peterson, Ernest Truex, Nigel Bruce, Lynn Bari, Eddie Foy Jr., Una O’Connor, Elyse Knox, Joan Valerie, Alice Armand, Irving Bacon, Diane Fisher, Joseph Cawthorn, Lew Fields, Joe Weber

Plot:
In a biographical musical of performer Lillian Russell (Faye), the story follows Helen Louise Leonard and her transformation to the big star Lillian Russell. After she is discovered in 1890 by Tony Pastor (Carrillo), Russell is rises to fame and has many suitors including Diamond Jim Brady (Arnold), Jesse Lewisohn (William), Alexander Moore (Fonda) and Edward Solomon (Ameche).

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Musical Monday: The Belle of New York (1952)

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 Belle of New York (1952) – Musical #239

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Charles Walters

Starring:
Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, Marjorie Main, Keenan Wynn, Alice Pearce, Clinton Sundberg, Gale Robbins, Lyn Wilde (uncredited)

Plot:
Set in the early 1900s, Charlie Hill (Astaire) is a wealthy playboy who is often engaged but never married. Angela Bonfils (Ellen) works at a mission house, which is run by Charlie’s aunt (Main). When Charlie meets Angela, he falls in love and finds himself floating in the air. Anglea soon too finds herself floating on air (literally). As the two make plans to marry, Charlie worries he isn’t good enough for Angela.

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Musical Monday: Time Out for Rhythm (1941)

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:
Time Out for Rhythm (1941) – Musical #420

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Sidney Salkow

Starring:
Rudy Vallee, Ann Miller, Rosemary Lane, Allen Jenkins, Richard Lane, Stanley Andrews, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curley Howard, Blanche Stewart, Elvia Allman, Alan Hale Jr. (uncredited), Alex Romero (uncredited), Bess Flowers (uncredited)
Themselves: Joan Merrill, Glen Gray and His Casa Loma Orchestra, Eddie Durant’s Rhumba Orchestra, Six Hits and a Miss

Plot:
Danny Collins (Vallee) and Mike Armstrong (Lane) meet at random in a nightclub. Danny is a Harvard grad and Mike the agent of singer Frances Lewis (Lane), and Danny critiques Frances’s voice as she performs in the nightclub. Danny and Mike form a successful New York talent agency in an effort to make Frances a star, but she gets married and briefly leaves show business. Danny and Mike start rehearsing a groundbreaking television hour with Joan Merrill and jazz bands performing. But when Frances gets divorced, Mike wants the whole show reworked to star her, causing a rift between Danny and Mike.

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Watching 1939: Lucky Night (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: 
Lucky Night (1939)

Release date: 
May 4, 1939

Cast: 
Myrna Loy, Robert Taylor, Joseph Allen, Henry O’Neill, Douglas Fowley, Charles Lane, Bernard Nedell, Gladys Blake, Marjorie Main, Bernadene Hayes, Irving Bacon, Frank Faylen (uncredited)

Studio: 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: 
Norman Taurog

Plot:
Cora Jordan (Loy) is rich and doesn’t know what she wants out of life. After jilting her suitor, she decides to break free from her rich father (O’Neill) to see if she can find what she’s looking for. While unsuccessfully looking for a job, she meets unemployed Bill Overton (Taylor). The two team up for a lucky evening of gambling. The fun is complicated when they marry when Bill wants to keep having fun and Cora feels they should be more serious.

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Musical Monday: Neptune’s Daughter (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:
Neptune’s Daughter (1949) – Musical #117

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Edward Buzzell

Starring:
Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban, Betty Garrett, Ted de Corsia, Mel Blanc, Mike Mazurki, Theresa Harris (uncredited), Joi Lansing (uncredited), Dee Turnell (uncredited)
Himself: Xavier Cugat

Plot:
Eve Barrett (Williams) is a champion swimmer who is convinced to start a Neptune’s swimsuit company in a partnership with Joe Backett (Wynn). Eve becomes a successful swimsuit designer with Joe. A South American polo team comes to town for a match, and Eve and Joe plan a swimming extravaganza and fashion show to partner with the big event. Eve’s man-hungry sister Betty Barrett (Garrett) hopes to find a romance with a polo player, and mistakes the team’s masseur Jack Spratt (Skelton) for the lead player, José O’Rourke. The real José O’Rourke (Montalban) pursues Eve, while she is thinking he is two-timing her sister.

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Musical Monday: Street Girl (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:
Street Girl (1929) – Musical #629

Studio:
RKO Radio Pictures

Director:
Wesley Ruggles

Starring:
Betty Compson, John Harron, Jack Oakie, Ned Sparks, John Harron, Guy Buccola, Joseph Cawthorn, Doris Eaton, Ivan Lebedeff

Plot:
The Four Seasons is a jazz group made up of four musicians Mike Fall (Harron), Joe Spring (Oakie), Happy Winter (Sparks) and Pete Summer (Buccola). They are talented but are financially down on their luck. They find Frederika Joyzelle (Compson) on their doorstep, about to pass out from hunger. The band takes her into their flat, where she helps do the housework. Frederika is an immigrant from the country Aregon, where she was a talented violinist. Frederika joins the band and helps them rise to fame, particularly when she performs for the visiting Prince of Aregon (Lebedeff).

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Musical Monday: The Life of the Party (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 Life of the Party (1937) – Musical #624

Studio:
RKO Radio Pictures

Director:
William A. Seiter

Starring:
Joe Penner, Gene Raymond, Harry Parke (billed as Parkyakarkus), Harriet Hilliard (also known as Harriet Nelson), Victor Moore, Ann Miller, Helen Broderick, Franklin Pangborn, Margaret Dumont, Richard Lane, Ann Shoemaker,

Plot:
Mitzi (Hilliard) aspires to be a singer and is traveling with her aunt Pauline (Broderick) to California for her big chance. The issue is that Mitzi’s mother (Shoemaker) wants her to give up her dream of singing. On the way, she meets Barry (Raymond) when she gets her shoe heel stuck on the train. Barry has to wait to get married until he is 30 so he doesn’t lose his inheritance, but he falls in love with Mitzi.

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Musical Monday: Springtime in the Rockies (1942)

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:
Springtime in the Rockies (1942) – Musical #163

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Irving Cummings

Starring:
Betty Grable, Carmen Miranda, John Payne, Cesar Romero, Charlotte Greenwood, Edward Everett Horton, Iron Eyes Cody (uncredited), Jackie Gleason (uncredited), Russell Hicks (uncredited), Trudy Marshall (uncredited)
Himself: Harry James and His Music Makers, Six Hits and a Miss, Bando da Lua, Helen Forrest

Plot:
Vicky Lane (Grable) and Dan Christy (Payne) are a Broadway performing duo and also an item. But Vicky gets tired of Dan’s philandering and takes an offer performing at a resort in Lake Louise, located in the Canadian Rockies with her old dance partner Victor Prince (Romero). Dan follows Vicky to the Rockies to try to win her back, and because his career is sunk without her. Along the way he picks up a valet (Horton) and secretary (Miranda), who Vicky thinks he’s in love with.

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Musical Monday: Irish Eyes Are Smiling (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:
Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1944) – Musical #630

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Gregory Ratoff

Starring:
Monty Woolley, June Haver, Dick Haymes, Anthony Quinn, Beverly Whitney, Maxie Rosenbloom, Veda Ann Borg, Clarence Kolb, Emma Dunn (uncredited), Kenny Williams (uncredited), Marietta Canty (uncredited)
Themselves: Leonard Warren, Blanche Thebom

Plot:
Fictional biographical film of songwriter Ernest R. Ball (Haymes). The film chronicles when Ernest struggles as a songwriter and works to get to New York to follow singer and dancer Mary ‘Irish’ O’Neill (Haver).

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Musical Monday: The Girl of the Golden West (1938)

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 Girl of the Golden West (1938) – Musical #262

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Robert Z. Leonard

Starring:
Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Walter Pidgeon, Leo Carrillo, Buddy Ebsen, Cliff Edwards, Olin Howland, Leonard Penn, Priscilla Lawson, H.B. Warner, Monty Woolley, Noah Beery, Bill Cody Jr., Jeanne Ellis, Brandon Tynan, Russell Simpson (uncredited)

Plot:
Mary Robbins (MacDonald) traveled out west to California as a child, and now as an adult runs the saloon on the frontier. The masked outlaw Ramirez (Eddy) is wreaking havoc on the countryside as he holds up stagecoaches. After meeting Mary, Ramirez disguises himself as Lieutenant Johnson to get closer to her, and they fall in love. However, Sheriff Jack Rance (Pidgeon) is also in love with Mary and is hunting Ramirez and his gang.

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