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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Watching 1939: Raffles (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: 
Raffles (1939)

Release date: 
Dec. 29, 1939

Cast: 
David Niven, Olivia de Havilland, Dame May Whitty, Dudley Digges, Douglas Walton, E.E. Clive, Lionel Pape, Peter Godfrey, Margaret Seddon

Studio: 
Samuel Goldwyn Productions

Director: 
Sam Wood

Plot:
Charming cricket player A. J. Raffles (Niven) leads a double life. One of an athlete who is invited into high society circles, and another as a jewel thief. Raffles steals jewels and priceless art and gives it to those who are financially in need and could benefit from the reward offered for the item. Raffles’s illegal activities complicate his relationship with his girlfriend Gwen (de Havilland), especially when her brother Bunny (Walton) runs into financial issues, and Raffles plans to steal a priceless necklace to help him out.

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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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Watching 1939: Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (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: 
Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939)

Release date: 
Nov. 3, 1939

Cast: 
Jean Rogers, Raymond Walburn, Marjorie Rambeau, Glenn Ford, Richard Conte (billed as Nicholas Conte), Eddie Collins, Ward Bond, Irving Bacon, Kay Linaker

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
Ricardo Cortez

Plot:
Joe Riley (Ford) leaves New York City to hitchhike across the United States to a 20-acre ranch he bought in Arizona. Along the way he meets drifter Tony Casselli (Conte) who convinces Riley to ride the rails with him. They also meet Spanish refuge Anita Santos (Rogers), who is trying to find her uncle in California. The trio also picks up Prof. B. Townsend Thayer (Walburn) who joins the group as they travel to Arizona. They experience tragedies along the way, and the ranch isn’t quite what Joe expected.

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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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Watching 1939: Drums Along the Mohawk (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: 
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Release date: 
Nov. 2, 1939

Cast: 
Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins, John Carradine, Jessie Ralph, Arthur Shields, Ward Bond, Russell Simpson, Francis Ford, Kay Linaker, Chief John Big Tree, Eddie Collins, Dorris Bowdon, Beulah Hall Jones, Charles Tannen

Studio: 
20th Century Fox

Director: 
John Ford

Plot:
Set in 1776, wealthy, Albany, NY, woman Lana (Colbert) marries frontiersman Gilbert Martin (Fonda). The two set out to Gil’s farm in Deerfield in the Mohawk Valley of central New York. Lana has a difficult time adjusting to frontier life, but soon the settle into farm life. However, the American Revolution disrupts their lives.

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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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