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Hugo and Biff were friends until they met Virginia. Biff could think of no one but Virginia, but she would never be happy with a big slow bully. So she married Hugo and Biff married Amy just because his Virginia got married. Amy loves Biff, but Biff constantly thinks of Virginia even after Hugo takes his job and has him put into prison for two years. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was pleasantly surprised that this film was aired on Turner Classic Movies. In The Films of Gary Cooper when Warner Brothers purchased the rights from Paramount for James Cagney's remake of One Sunday Afternoon entitled The Strawberry Blonde, it says that the Paramount film itself was purchased and buried. The author said that the original might not see the light of day again. It was interesting to see this version and compare it with Cagney's.
This is a much darker version and probably a lot closer to what you saw on Broadway. One Sunday Afternoon closed that year of 1933 after running for 332 performances, very nice indeed for the Depression era audience and pocketbook. Lloyd Nolan originated the role on stage and I'm sure it must have been closer to Cagney's interpretation.
I can see Lloyd Nolan playing this part a lot easier than Gary Cooper. For one thing, Cooper just was not an urban type. In fact two of his most successful roles in Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Meet John Doe he was the country boy out of his environment in the big city. But Lloyd Nolan was not a movie name, in fact he'd make his screen debut shortly.
The story structure is still the same, Gary Cooper while about to pull a tooth of his rival Neil Hamilton thinks back to the old days with Hamilton when they were both courting Fay Wray. Fay had a girl friend played by Frances Fuller who was all aglow over Cooper, but he couldn't see her at all. When Hamilton and Wray elope Cooper literally settles for second best and marries Fuller.
The Strawberry Blonde was done with so much lighter a touch. Here the Hamilton character is far more directly responsible for Cooper landing in prison. He's a much nastier guy, much nastier than lovable blowhard Jack Carson was. In fact Hamilton commits outright perjury to land Cooper in jail where he finishes his correspondence course to become a dentist.
In fact Jack Carson played the same part again in yet another version that reverted back to the same title and starred Dennis Morgan in the Cooper/Cagney lead. That one was done as a musical and didn't get nearly the acclaim that the other two did.
There's not much to choose from with Frances Fuller and Olivia deHavilland. Both are the good girls of the plot and those were the kind of parts deHavilland was looking to ditch. But whereas Rita Hayworth turns out to be a shrew, Fay Wray is a tramp. Remember this was before the Code.
In this case the remake was better. The story required a much lighter touch than Paramount gave it. Still a miscast Gary Cooper gives it his best shot and One Sunday Afternoon is still entertaining.
But if you view this side by side with The Strawberry Blonde, I'm betting you'll what Warner Brothers did so much better.
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