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: 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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Musical Monday: Robin and the 7 Hoods (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:
Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) – Musical #329

Studio:
Warner Bros.

Director:
Gordon Douglas

Starring:
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, Edward G. Robinson (uncredited), Peter Falk, Allen Jenkins, Jack La Rue, Victor Buono, Phillip Crosby, Toni Basil (uncredited), Hans Conried (uncredited), Tony Randall (uncredited), Sig Ruman (uncredited)

Plot:
Set in Chicago during the 1920s, two rival gangs compete for control of the city. Guy Gisborne (Falk) wants all the hoods in town to pay him for protection. His rival, Robbo (Sinatra) with his partners, Little John (Martin) and Will (Davis), get the reputation of robbing from the rich and giving to the poor when he donates money from Marian (Rush), the daughter of a deceased gang boss.

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Musical Monday: Let’s Make Love (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:
Let’s Make Love (1960) – Musical No. 621

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
George Cukor

Starring:
Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand, Tony Randall, Frankie Vaughan, Wilfrid Hyde-White, David Burns, Robert Banas (uncredited), Dick Dale (uncredited), Richard Haydn (narrator)
Themselves: Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly and Milton Berle

Plot:
Billionaire Jean-Marc Clément (Montand) learns that he is being made fun of in a new musical show. He goes to the theater with his public relations man Alexander Kaufman (Randall) to show he has a sense of humor towards the show. But while at the theater, he is mistaken for an actor auditioning for the show and goes along with the farce when he sees leading lady Amanda Dell (Monroe).

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Musical Monday: Doctor Dolittle (1967)

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:
Doctor Dolittle (1967) – Musical #623

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Richard Fleischer

Starring:
Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, Richard Attenborough, Peter Bull, William Dix, Geoffrey Holder, Portia Nelson, Norma Varden, Judy the Chimpanzee, Jack Raine (uncredited)

Plot:
Set in 1845 in England, Doctor Dolittle (Harrison) is the best animal doctor, because he can speak to animals. Dr. Dolttle and his friends (Newly, Dix, Eggar) travel on a sea voyage to find the giant pink sea snail.

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Musical Monday: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (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:
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) – Musical #606

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director: Herbert Ross

Starring:
Peter O’Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave, George Baker, Siân Phillips, Michael Bryant, Michael Culver

Plot:
In a film that begins in the 1920s and ends in the years following World War II, Arthur Chipping (O’Toole) is an unpopular teacher at an all boy’s school. He falls in love and marries a showgirl Katherine Bridges (Clark). The school and its patrons don’t think Katherine is refined enough to be connected to the school.

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Musical Monday: Finian’s Rainbow (1968)

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:
Finian’s Rainbow (1968) – Musical #603

Studio: Warner Bros. – Seven Arts

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Starring: Fred Astaire, Petula Clark, Tommy Steele, Don Francks, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Hancock, Al Freeman Jr., Ronald Colby, Dolph Sweet, Wright King, Vince Howard (uncredited)

Plot:
Father and daughter Irish immigrants Finian (Astaire) and Sharon (Clark) McLonergan travel to the American southern town of Rainbow Valley. Finian wants to bury his gold at Fort Knox thinking that it will grow more gold, but he is followed by a Leprechaun Og (Steele) who wants to retrieve the gold before he is turned human.

When a bigoted senator (Wynn) realizes gold is buried on the property, he tries to get the land from Finian.

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Musical Monday: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

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 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967) – Musical #591

Studio:
United Artists

Director:
David Swift

Starring:
Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony ‘Scooter’ Teague, Maureen Arthur, Carol Worthington, Kathryn Reynolds, Sammy Smith, Ruth Kobart, Anne Seymour (uncredited), Virginia Sale (uncredited), Tucker Smith (uncredited)

Plot:
J. Pierrepont Finch (Morse) is a window washer who buys a book called “How to Succeed in Business,” which tells you how to climb the ladder of success. Finch follows the book by pretending he is hard at work and outsmarting other corporate leaders to work his way to the top.

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Musical Monday: Clambake (1967)

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 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Clambake (1967)– Musical #296

 

Studio:
United Artists

Director:
Arthur H. Nadel

Starring:
Elvis Presley, Shelley Fabares, Will Hutchins, Bill Bixby, Gary Merrill, James Gregory, Suzie Kaye, Teri Garr (uncredited)

Plot:
Wealthy oil heir Scott Hayward (Presley) wants to be sure women love him for him and not his money. He switches places with Tom Wilson (Hutchins) and the two head to a luxury hotel in Miami. Tom acts like Scott and Scott acts as the hotel ski instructor. Scott falls for Dianne Carter (Fabares), who only has eyes for rich boat racer James J. Jamison III (Bixby).

Trivia:
-Ray Walker dubbed the singing voice of Will Hutchins
-Working title was “Too Big for Texas”
-Filming was delayed for 11 days because Elvis fell and had a concussion, according to The Gospel According to Elvis by Kevin Crouch and Tanja Crouch
-“Big Boss Man” and “Guitar Man” were featured on the soundtrack but not in the film.
-Filmed in Techniscope

Highlights:
-Flipper cameo
-Bill Bixby

The cast of Clambake: Bill Bixby, Will Hutchins, Shelley Fabares, Elvis Presley

Notable Songs:
-“Clambake” performed by Elvis Presley
-“Who Needs Money?” performed by Elvis Presley and Will Hutchins, dubbed by Ray Walker
-“Hey, Hey, Hey” performed by Elvis Presley
-“The Girl I Never Loved” performed by Elvis Presley

My review:
Like most of Elvis films, “Clambake” isn’t a strong film, but it’s fabulously entertaining.

It starts no differently than any other Elvis film: with Elvis driving down the road in a convertible car. Whether he’s rich or poor, he is always driving in some sort of convertible at the beginning of perhaps 70 percent of his films. It turns out he’s a rich guy in this film and he’s fed up with living life the way his dad wants him to. He also isn’t sure if a girl would want him for his personality, or for his money. So we have a take on “The Prine and the Pauper” when Elvis switches places with Will Hutchins. They both head to the same resort where Elvis will work and Will plays.

What makes this film so entertaining is the cast that the two guys meet at the hotel resort: Bill Bixby, Shelley Fabares AND Gary Merrill. Bixby is a rich playboy who all the girls flock around, Fabares is a gold digger and Merrill is the sage boat builder who takes Elvis under his wing and helps him build a race boat.

Bill Bixby is charming and really the person who I was cheering for in this film. Shelley Fabares is lovely with fantastic, mod clothing but I’m disappointed that she doesn’t get to sing. But the real surprise was seeing Gary Merrill pop up in this. Gary Merrill in an Elvis movie?!

He even is semi in a song and dance number as Elvis and a bunch of girls paint “goop,” experimental boat sealant so the boat won’t break apart during the race.

This movie isn’t an Academy Award-nominated film, but “Clambake” is colorful and fun. If you want a lighthearted, clear your mind hour and 39 minutes, this isn’t a bad way to spend it.

Note: There are on actual clambakes held during this film.

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Musical Monday: Looking for Love (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 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Looking For Love (1964) – Musical #152

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Don Weis

Starring:
Connie Francis, Jim Hutton, Susan Oliver, Joby Baker, Barbara Nichols, Charles Lane, Jesse White, Chris Noel (uncredited), Madge Blake (uncredited)
Themselves: George Hamilton, Johnny Carson, Yvette Mimieux, Paula Prentiss, Danny Thomas

Plot:
Libby Caruso (Francis) has unsuccessfully tried to make it as a singer. Since she hasn’t made it, she decides to get a job so she can find a husband, get married and have babies. To help get ready in the morning, Libby invents the “Lady Valet” to hang clothes on. She meets Jim Davis (Hutton), who she falls in love with and he sees profit in the Lady Valet. While Jim tries to market the item, Libby mistakes his attention for love.

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