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When Phil Corey's band arrives at the Idaho ski resort its pianist Ted Scott is smitten with a Norwegian refugee he has sponsored, Karen Benson. When soloist Vivian Dawn quits, Karen stages an ice show as a substitute.
Nora and her uncle get railroaded into spending the night at a broken-down hotel in Canada. After Nora falls for the handsome owner, she convinces her uncle to invest in the inn and ... See full summary »
Starving playwright Judith Wells meets playboy writer of musicals, George Macrae, over a plate of stolen spaghetti. He persuades producer Sam Gordon to buy her ridiculous play "North Winds"... See full summary »
The son (Romero) of a department store owner enrolls the store's sports clerk (Henie) at a university to use her as an advertisement for their fashion department. She falls for a teacher (... See full summary »
A bumbling pants presser at an upscale hotel's valet service nurses an unrequited crush on a Broadway star. He gets more than he bargained for when she agrees to marry him, to spite her womanizing fiance, and encounters Nazi saboteurs.
This first Sonja Henie film was a surprise hit in 1936 and launched her onto a successful film career. Not bad considering how rare it was for those coming from successful sports careers to sustain such a thing (Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe possibly the only others---Esther Williams' sports background was negligible). This film's release coincided with her third straight gold medal performance at the Winter Olympics (she was champ in 1928 and 1932). (As a side note, it should be remembered that not only were the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Nazi Germany, so were that year's Winter Olympics. Granted this has nothing to do with Ms. Henie, but reviewers are bringing up the subject, so this note may quell any potential confusion over the Olympics issue.) As for "One in a Million" it is a light concoction that features Don Ameche in only his third film role and the Ritz Brothers in only their second feature film. So, lots of early work here. The results: miserable to okay. Ameche already shows his easy charm, here playing a reporter tracking an anarchist bomber story to Switzerland where he meets up with hotel proprietor Hersholt and his "gifted amateur" ice skating daughter Henie. The anarchist story fizzles but Ameche moves on to romance with Henie and her shot at the Olympics. Menjou is the brassy (maybe too much so) wheeler-dealer showman who gets Henie to perform in his show and nearly costs her the amateur standing that she needs in order to qualify for the Olympics. Along for the knockabout ride is the inimitable Ned Sparks, as Ameche's photographer partner, doing what he does best: providing that Buster Keaton-lookalike face and steely foghorn monotone delivery. Also, as part of Menjou's show, we get the Ritz Brothers who provide some strenuously awful comedy (Harry Ritz mugging so ferociously he looks as if he's herniating himself). Henie acquits herself adequately. Strangely enough, she was Norway's golden girl athlete, yet the film makes her Swiss for no apparent reason. Couldn't she be a Norwegian hotel proprietor's daughter? The other interesting aspect is her skating. We see the Olympic caliber work of a 1930's era skater, which is far simpler and less dazzling than what we've grown accustom to. Her "show-stopping" number at the end would be a warm-up for today's super-skaters. So, as a time capsule involving Henie this film is worth watching, but otherwise it's mostly light-headed knockabout nonsense not worth your time.
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