Musical Monday: Thrill of a Lifetime (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.

thrill of a lifetime2This week’s musical:
The Thrill of a Lifetime (1937) – Musical #673

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
George Archainbaud

Starring:
Leif Erickson, Judy Canova, Betty Grable, Buster Crabbe (as Larry Crabbe), Ben Blue, Johnny Downs, Eleanore Whitney, Franklin Pangborn, Anne Canova, Zeke Canova, the Yacht Club Boys (Charles Adler, George Kelly, Billy Mann, Jimmie Kern), Marjorie Reynolds (uncredited),
Themselves: Dorothy Lamour

Plot:
Betty Jane (Whitney) and Judy (Canova) have a sister act with Stanley (Downs). When Stanley and Betty Jane are offered a performing gig without Judy, they decide to go to Camp Romance to find Judy a husband. The camp is for singles looking for love and is run by Howard Nelson (Erickson), who doesn’t believe in love and has written a play called “There Ain’t Not Such Thing as Love.” While Howard doesn’t believe in love, his secretary Gwen (Grable) is in love with him.

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Musical Monday: Athena (1954)

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.

athena-movie-poster-1954-1020706063This week’s musical:
Athena (1954) – Musical #77

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Richard Thorpe

Starring:
Jane Powell, Jane Powell, Edmund Purdom, Debbie Reynolds, Vic Damone, Louis Calhern, Virginia Gibson, Jane Fischer, Cecile Rogers, Nancy Kilgas, Dolores Starr, Evelyn Varden, Linda Christian, Ray Collins, Richard Sabre, Henry Nakamura, Steve Reeves, Kathleen Freeman, Bess Flowers (uncredited)

Plot:
The life of stuffy Massachusetts lawyer Adam Shaw (Purdom) is turned upside down when he meets Athena (Powell) and her family. Athena is a numerologist and lives with her grandparents and seven sisters. Her family believes in health, exercise and that life is directed by the stars. Athena finds that she and Adam are a love match through numbers and the stars and works to convince him.

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Musical Monday: Hold On! (1966)

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.

hold on2This week’s musical:
Hold On! (1966) – Musical #241

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Arthur Lubin

Starring:
The Herman’s Hermits: Peter Noone, Keith Hopwood, Karl Green, Derek Leckenby, Barry Whitwam
Shelley Fabares, Sue Anne Langdon, Hebert Anderson, Harry Hickox, Bernard Fox, Hortense Petra

Plot:
When astronauts decide they want to name their next ship after The Herman’s Hermits, NASA employee Edward Lindquist (Anderson) is asked to follow the band to learn more about them. However, the band is kept under close watch of their manager (Fox) and the young band members are bored and Herman (Noone) is lonely. When Herman meets and falls for Louisa (Fabares). The band sneaks out to go to an amusement park and spend time with Louisa, and Edward is accused of kidnapping them.

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Musical Monday: Rhythm on the Range (1936)

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.

rhythm on the rangeThis week’s musical:
Rhythm on the Range – Musical #670

Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Director:
Norman Taurog

Starring:
Bing Crosby, Frances Farmer, Bob Burns, Martha Raye, Samuel S. Hinds, Lucile Gleason, Warren Hymer, James Burke, George E. Stone, Leonid Kinskey
Musical performers: Sons of the Pioneers, Louis Prima

Plot:
Wealthy Doris Halloway (Farmer) is prepared to marry a man she doesn’t love, because it seems like the thing to do. Her Aunt Penny (Gleason) owns a ranch out west and heartily disapproves. When Doris hears her Aunt Penny talk about western women and life, Doris decides she needs to go west. She sneaks onto a cattle car with one of Penny’s ranch hands, Jeff (Crosby) and lies about who she is. Jeff and Doris (or Louis as she tells him) travel across country together in a cattle car with his bull, Cuddles.

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Musical Monday: Your Cheatin’ Heart (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:

Your Cheatin’ Heart – Musical #252

Your Cheatin Heart

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Gene Nelson

Starring:
George Hamilton, Susan Oliver, Red Buttons, Arthur O’Connell, Rex Ingram, Shary Williams, Chris Crosby

Plot:
A biographical film on the life and career of country singer Hank Williams.

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Musical Monday: Seven Days Ashore (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:

Seven Days Ashore (1944) – Musical #669

Studio:

RKO Radio Pictures

Director:

John H. Auer

Starring:

Gordon Oliver, Marcy McGuire, Virginia Mayo, Elaine Shepard, Amelita Ward, Wally Brown, Alan Carney, Dooley Wilson, Marjorie Gateson, Margaret Dumont, Dorothy Malone (uncredited), Lawrence Tierney (uncredited)

Himself: Freddie Slack and his Orchestra

Plot:
Merchant Marine Dan Arland Jr. (Oliver) got himself engaged to three girls, two of which (Mayo, Ward) play together in Dot Diamond’s (McGuire) band. The other, Annabelle (Shepard), is a family friend who Dan really cares for. When the Merchant Marines have a week leave in San Francisco where all the women are located, Dan has his buddies (Brown, Carney) date two of the girls to help him out.

Trivia:
• Originally planned as a U.S. Navy musical but was rewritten as a Merchant Marine musical.

• Alan Carney and Wally Brown were hired to be groomed as Abbott and Costello-like comedy team.

Marcy McGuire in “Seven Days Ashore”

Highlights:
• I like the part when the men and women trade off walking in and out playing instruments.

Notable Songs:
• “Apple Blossoms in the Rain” performed by Dooley Wilson

• “Ready, Aim, Kiss” performed by Marcy McGuire

• “Sioux City Sue” performed by Marcy McGuire

• “Jive Samba” performed by Freddy Slack and his Orchestra and Marcy McGuire

• “Over the Waves” performed by Marcy McGuire

• “The Poor Little Fly on the Wall” performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra

• “Improvisation in B Flat” performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra

Chorus girls perform “Seven Days Ashore”

My review:

Not to be confused with Seven Days’ Leave (1942), this low budget B-musical was surprisingly better than I expected.

The first few moments of the film are like “who’s who” early in their careers in Hollywood. We see Dorothy Malone in an uncredited role playing the piano in an all girl’s band, Lawrence Tierney as an uncredited Merchant Marine, and Virginia Mayo in a credited role (and main character) though still early in her career.

The film follows a Merchant Marine (Gordon Oliver) who got himself engaged to too many girls and it complicates his shore leave. His pals try to help out by also dating the girls.

Judging by the photos and how the film started, I thought this musical would be about Marcy McGuire’s character, but she’s really just there to supply the music and some comedic antics.

I almost think the film may have be more fun if it had been centered around McGuire. I’m not certain of her appeal, but I also liked when she was on screen.

Dooley Wilson also co-stars and has the opportunity to sing a few songs.

The film had some great snappy songs, especially performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra. I honestly was surprised at how much fun this film ended up being.

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Musical Monday: Melody Cruise (1933)

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:
Melody Cruise (1933) – Musical #458

melody cruise

Studio:
RKO Studios

Director:
Mark Sandrich

Starring:
Charles Ruggles, Phil Harris, Helen Mack, Greta Nissen, Chick Chandler, June Brewster, Shirley Chambers, Florence Roberts, Marjorie Gateson, Betty Grable (uncredited), Clarence Muse (uncredited)

Plot:
Friends Pete Wells (Ruggles) and Alan Chandler (Harris) escape the winter of New York and go on a cruise. Pete is a philanderer and Alan drunkenly writes a letter to Pete’s wife about all of his affairs, to be opened only if Alan ever married — something Alan has sworn he won’t do. Complications arise when Alan falls in love and wants to marry.

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Musical Monday: Melody for Two (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:
Melody for Two (1937) – Musical #667

Studio:
Warner Bros.

Director:
Louis King

Starring:
James Melton, Patricia Ellis, Marie Wilson, Fred Keating, Dick Purcell, Wini Shaw, Charley Foy, Craig Reynolds, Bill Elliott, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson

Plot:
Bandleader Tod Weaver (Melton) has a hard time finding success and is unhappy. Tod is unhappy that he’s scheduled to play at a small-time venue while his girlfriend singer Gale Starr (Ellis) performs at a top-notch nightclub. However, when Weaver’s band and singer Lorna Wray (Shaw) play swing music (thanks to an idea from janitor Exodus Johnson, played by Eddie Anderson), Weaver’s band finds success while Starr’s nightclub act does poorly.

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Musical Monday: Meet Me on Broadway (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.

This week’s musical:
Meet Me on Broadway (1946) – Musical #648

Studio:
Columbia Pictures

Director:
Leigh Jason

Starring:
Marjorie Reynolds, Frederick Brady (billed as Fred Brady), Jinx Falkenburg, Spring Byington, Allen Jenkins, Gene Lockhart, Loren Tindall

Plot:
Broadway director Eddie Dolan (Brady) quits the show he’s directing over artistic differences with his producer. His star (and girlfriend) Ann Stallings (Reynolds) and songwriter Deacon McGill (Jenkins) quit with Eddie. Believing he can stage a better show without the involvement of a producer, Eddie searches for a new show. He lands in a small community who is putting on a country club show for charity, headed by Sylvia Kane Storm (Byington) and her son Bob (Tindall). The show may not be as profitable as he thinks.

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Musical Monday: “Best Foot Forward” (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 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Best Foot Forward” –Musical #103

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Edward Buzzell

Starring:
Virginia Weidler, William Gaxton, Tommy Dix, Nancy Walker, June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven, Chill Wills, Harry James, Henry O’Neill, Sara Haden, Stanley Donen (uncredited cadet), James Ellison (uncredited cadet)
Themselves: Lucille Ball, Harry James and His Music Makers

Plot:
Bud Hooper (Dix), a cadet at a military school, sends a prom invitation to movie star Lucille Ball (as herself). Ball’s agent thinks it would be a great publicity stunt and she attends the dance, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend Helen (Weidler) and to Ball. However, since it was Helen who was approved to attend the dance, Bud as Ball pose as Helen.

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