Musical Monday: Presenting Lily Mars (1943)

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.

presenting lily mars5This week’s musical:
Presenting Lily Mars (1943) – Musical #182

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Norman Taurog

Starring:
Judy Garland, Van Heflin, Fay Bainter, Richard Carlson, Spring Byington, Mártha Eggerth, Ray MacDonald, Connie Gilchrist, Patricia Barker, Janet Chapman, Annie Ross (Annabelle Logan), Douglas Croft, Marilyn Maxwell (uncredited), William Tannen (uncredited)
Themselves: Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Bob Crosby and his Orchestra

Plot:
Lily Mars (Garland) is eager to become an actress. Major Broadway producer John Thornway (Heflin) is from Lily’s Indiana hometown, and while visiting his mother (Bainter), Lily tries to make an impression. John finds Lily to be a nuisance, but despite his deterrence, Lily goes to New York City to try to break into acting.

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Watching 1939: Golden Boy (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:
Golden Boy (1939)

golden boy3

Release date:
Sept. 5, 1939

Cast:
Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, William Holden, Lee J. Cobb, Joseph Calleia, Sam Levene, Edward Brophy, Beatrice Blinn, Don Beddoe

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Rouben Mamoulian

Plot:
Joe Bonaparte (Holden) is torn between two careers: becoming a prizefighter or a violinist, like his father (Cobb) wants him to be.

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Musical Monday: Keep ‘Em Flying (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:
Keep ‘Em Flying (1941) – Musical No. 706

keep em flying

Studio:
Universal Pictures

Director:
Arthur Lubin

Starring:
Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Martha Raye, Carol Bruce, Dick Foran, William Gargan, Charles Lang,

Plot:
Jinx Roberts (Foran) is a trick flier who joins the U.S. Army Air Corps. His two assistants Heathcliff (Costello) and Blackie (Abbott) follow him and to the base. The two enlist and fall for twin sisters Gloria (Raye) and Barbara (also Raye). Jinx finds trouble when he’s viewed by a hot shot, especially by Craig Morrison (Gargan) and USO hostess Linda Joyce (Bruce), who Jinx falls for.

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Musical Monday: Maytime (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.

maytimeThis week’s musical:
Maytime (1937) – Musical #234

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Robert Z. Leonard

Starring:
John Barrymore, Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Herman Bing, Tom Brown, Lynne Carver, Rafaela Ottiano, Charles Judels, Paul Porcasi, Sig Ruman, Walter Kingsford, Billy Gilbert (uncredited), Leonid Kinskey (uncredited),

Plot:
Marcia Mornay (MacDonald) is a rising opera star, whose climb to fame was aided and nurtured by her voice teacher and manager Nicolai Nazaroff (Barrymore). Marcia accepts a marriage proposal from Nicolai as a thanks for all that he has done for her. After becoming engaged, Marcia meets singer Paul Allison (Eddy) and the two fall in love.

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Musical Monday: Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955)

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:
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955) – Musical #51

brunettes

Studio:
United Artists

Director:
Richard Sale

Starring:
Jane Russell, Jeanne Crain, Scott Brady, Alan Young, Guy Middleton,
Himself: Rudy Vallee

Plot:
Sisters Bonnie (Russell) and Connie (Crain) are performers with a problem: Bonnie can never say no to a marriage proposal. When the sisters receive an offer to perform in Paris, they head to Europe where they learn that their mothers, Mitzi and Mimi, were performers who took Paris by storm in the 1920s. Rudy Vallee tries to build the girls up to match the fame of their mothers.

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Musical Monday: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

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.

gentleman prefer blondesThis week’s musical:
Gentleman Prefer Blondes – Musical #208

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Howard Hawks

Starring:
Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Marcel Dalio, Taylor Holmes, Norma Varden, Harry Carey Jr. (uncredited), George Chakiris (uncredited), Robert Fuller (uncredited), Matt Mattox (uncredited), Julie Newmar (uncredited)

Plot:
Lorelei Lee (Monroe) is engaged to a wealthy man (Noonan), whose father disapproves; believing she’s a gold digger. Lorelei and her friend Dorothy Shaw (Russell) travel to Paris, followed by a private detective (Reid), who is watching Lorelei on behalf of her fiancé. Along the way, they look for wealthy men and love.

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Musical Monday: Lovely to Look At (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.

lovely to look at2This week’s musical:
Lovely to Look At (1952) – Musical #705

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Mervyn LeRoy

Starring:
Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Red Skelton, Marge Champion, Gower Champion, Ann Miller, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kurt Kasznar, Marcel Dalio

Plot:
Broadway producers — Al Marsh (Skelton), Tony Naylor (Keel) and Jerry Ralby (Gower Champion) — are trying to raise capital for their new show. Just as they are about to give up, Marsh learns that he inherits a fashion house in France after his Aunt Roberta passes away. The three travel to France, to sell Marsh’s portion of the fashion house to earn capital for their show. The plan backfires when they learn the business is financially not doing well. The three stay on to help Stephanie (Grayson) and Clarisse (Marge Champion) get the business back up on its feet.

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TCMFF highlights and genuine happiness

The last few months I’ve been restless. Nothing made me happy, and the things that generally lifted my spirits didn’t.

I’m not unique. For all of us, the last few years have been tough. For some reason, the start of 2022 felt harder than the rest. I needed a change; some respite.

Enter 10 days off work and a week in Hollywood. This is probably the longest I’ve taken off work … ever. And while I knew I missed traveling to places further than driving distance and desperately wanted to hug my online friends (who I hadn’t seen since 2019), I don’t think I realized just how much I needed the trip to Hollywood for the Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival (TCMFF).

Someone commented that I was smiling so big in all of my photos. And they’re right. For the first time in quite a while, I was genuinely happy.

“Come Together Now” was the perfect theme for the festival as I was able to laugh with my friends in person for the first time since 2019. Seeing friends, watching movies in a theater together, interviewing stars. It was a busy week and I didn’t get a lot of sleep … but the hugs and joy and laughter were energizing. I was fueled by happiness.

When I returned home and friends asked how my trip was, I could say with sincerity, “I had the best time.”

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TCMFF Musical Monday: It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)

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:
It’s Always Fair Weather – Musical #150

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly

Starring:
Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse, Michael Kidd, Dolores Gray, David Burns, Jay C. Flippen, Madge Blake (uncredited)

Plot:
After serving in World War II, three Army pals — Ted Riley (Kelly), Doug Hallerton (Dailey) and Angie Valentine (Kidd) — promise to continue to stay friends and meet 10 years later. When they meet again, they find themselves changed and living entirely different lives. Doug and Angie have settled down with families, and Ted is living a fast life with gambling and women.

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Musical Monday: Breakfast in Hollywood (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.

breakfast in hollywood2This week’s musical:
Breakfast in Hollywood (1946) – Musical #704

Studio:
United Artists

Director:
Harold D. Schuster

Starring:
Bonita Granville, Beaulah Bondi, Billie Burke, Raymond Walburn, Zasu Pitts, Edward Ryan,
Themselves: Tom Breneman, Hedda Hopper, Spike Jones, Andy Russell, The King Trio, Anna Le Seur, Ida Beneman, Alice Cooper

Plot:
Several people attend the “Breakfast in Hollywood” radio program, hosted by Tom Breneman (himself):
• Dorothy Larson (Granville) who is looking for her solider fiancée, who she hasn’t heard from
• Elderly Mrs. Annie Reed (Bondi), who has no one to look after her
• Plain Mrs. Frances Cartwright (Burke) who’s husband (Walburn) is stepping out on her
• Elvira Spriggens (Pitts), who desperately wants to win the radio’s crazy hat contest.
While all of seemingly only attending the program for fun, each of them has an experience that follows that alters their life.

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