In 1898, composer Sid Barnett manages to get his sweetheart, Adeline the beer-garden singer, to sing the lead in his new Broadway operetta; this infuriates Elysia, the erstwhile star. But ... See full summary »
London based American nurse, Susan, Lady Ashwood, is at the hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of injured soldiers. She is hoping that her enlisted son, Sir John Ashwood, who resembles ... See full summary »
I've just seen "Stingaree" the first time on TCM and enjoyed every bit of it as it takes me back to the excitement of the early movies I saw as a kid paying 25 cents for an all-day stay at the theatre on Saturday. To start was an hour of cartoons, the newsreel, then two feature films and we could stay to see it all over again if we wanted to. Those were the days! It does seem that the subject of Nellie Melba could've had a strong influence on this story, an unknown Australian singer who becomes famous worldwide. Irene Dunne is the servant girl Hilda who has dreams of a career and is given the chance to sing for the impresario Sir Julian. I had visions of Jeannette MacDonald in this role, it's her style, but Irene Dunne gives a more integrated performance and her singing is finer as it has somewhat more volume to project, in my opinion.
There ought to be a special medal created for Mary Boland, she's quite something in all her films, over the top, hilarious, showy, a grand flurry of mannerisms, delightful and absurd. She certainly adds wit to her films. Her amusing reference to protecting "British womanhood's virginity" brought back the quip, "Oh no, my dear, you mean chastity. Britain wouldn't have survived on women's virginity," was quite a funny hint.
Richard Dix has the role of Stingaree, the thief who is being hunted but he does have a good heart and is determined to help Hilda get her chance to be heard by Sir Julian which succeeds and she's off to make her career although Stingaree unfortunately gets captured in the process and must put in his time in jail during her venture into the world.
I'm always charmed by Una O'Connor who plays Annie the maid. She has such a distinctive presence in all her roles, one can only wonder what it'd have been without her in so many great movies such as Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) and Witness For The Prosecution (Ty Power).
Henry Stephenson performs as the man of the house, Mr Clarkson, married to the Mrs., Mary Boland, his is not a very large role but well done.
Andy Devine is quite young in this film and he plays the 'sidekick' of Stingaree for their robbery excursions.
One ought to be fair in judging the old movies, after all, the acting that was done in silent films is not what they did when talkies came along. So too, we should consider the time period and settle into that when viewing the oldies. Each decade brought along its own styles and fashions, and that needs to be taken into account when making a comment.
All in all I enjoyed a first viewing of this adventure/ romance/ comedy film and I believe it's available to buy so that's good news too. Add it to your collection if you are a dedicated collector. Well worth it!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?