Musical Monday: The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (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.

This week’s musical:
The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943) – Musical #632

Universal Studios

Bruce Manning and uncredited Jean Renoir

Deanna Durbin, Edmond O’Brien, Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur Treacher, Harry Davenport, Grant Mitchell, Frieda Inescort, Elisabeth Risdon, Jonathan Hale, Esther Dale, Gus Schilling, Philip Ahn (uncredited), Irving Bacon (uncredited), Richard Loo (uncredited)
The Children: Christopher Severn, Yvonne Severn, Vido Rich, Mila Rich, Teddy Infuhr, Linda Bieber, Diane DuBois, Bill Ward

Ruth (Durbin) is an American who grew up with China with her missionary parents. After they died, she worked at a school and helped war orphans. When China was invaded by the Japanese, Ruth and the orphans leave to get to a safer area. With the help of Timothy Blake (Fitzgerald), Ruth and the eight children sneak on to Commodore Holliday’s cargo ship headed for the United States. When the ship is torpedoed, Ruth, the children and Timothy survive, and the Commodore dies. In order to get the children safely into the United States, Ruth poses as the Commodore’s widow. She runs into problems when she moves into the Commodore’s mansion and meets his wealthy relatives and grandson, Thomas Holliday (O’Brien).

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Watching 1939: Five Came Back (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:  Five Came Back (1939)

Release date:  June 23, 1939

Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Wendy Barrie, John Carradine, Allen Jenkins, Joseph Calleia, C. Aubrey Smith, Kent Taylor, Patric Knowles, Elisabeth Risdon, Casey Johnson, Dick Hogan, Pedro de Cordoba, Frank Faylen

Studio:  RKO Studios

Director:  John Farrow

A Coast Airlines flight from the United States takes off to Panama with 12 passengers. The plane crashes in the jungle, because of a storm. Piloted by Bill (Morris) and Joe (Taylor), the plane is filled with several personalities:
• An elderly couple (Smith, Risdon)
• A wealthy man eloping with his secretary (Barrie, Knowles)
• A police officer (Carradine) with an anarchist prisoner (Calleia)
• A woman with a past (Ball)
• A gangster (Jenkins) chaperoning the child (Johnson) of his boss
• Larry (Hogan) the steward
Of the survivors, the plane can only take off with five passengers. The survivors have to decide who returns and who stays in the jungle, which is inhabited by head hunters.

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