Kit and Pete Meticulously Harmonize Amid Methodical Disharmony
This entertaining springtime Musical reunites one of Hollywood's reportedly most reluctant screen-teams for the second of their five pairings at RKO Radio Pictures. Yet Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond accept the challenge to deliver fine performances in Song and Comedy, and willingly to tackle new skills for their roles: for Gene, he continually practices the art of monocle-wearing, and for Ann, she learns automobile driving maneuvers, such as to brake before colliding with her co-star. Yet their collective singing talents remain perfectly harmonious.
Well, at the Bennett estate, in Beverly Hills, Mr. Horace Bennett (Henry Stephenson) locks his determined daughter, Kit Bennett (Ann Sothern), into her second-story room for threatening to elope with that ne'er-do-well gold-digger Fred Randolph (Alan Curtis), whose ex-wife, the Ex-Mrs. Fred Randolph (Anita Colby) doesn't care as long as Fred meets her outrageous demands for back alimony or else.
Evelyn Bennett (Jessie Ralph) serves as a voice of reason, of sorts, as the sister who stands up to Horace and as spinster aunt of Kit, who genuinely cares for Kit's well-being, while efficiently lacing with clever wisecracks many resulting confrontations with everyone else.
Now, unbeknown to each other, Kit and Horace each places a newspaper want ad to search for assistance regarding that there Fred Randolph: Horace intends to hire a burly guard to ward off Fred in the event that he sets foot upon the Bennett estate to attempt to elope with Kit, while Kit intends to hire a decoy to impersonate an insulting French nobleman to ire her father into yielding to her plans with Fred.
Joe (Gordon Jones), an unemployed job seeker, spots the items in the want ads and convinces his roommate to apply for the one, and Joe for the other. Roommate, Pete Quinlan (Gene Raymond), who anticipates success with his forthcoming audition to sing upon a Radio Station KARB program, initially disregards Joe's suggestion, at least until he realizes that they're down to their bottom dollar, while staying at the apartment of Pete's vacationing brother and sister-in-law, Tom Quinlan (George Meeker) and Flo Quinlan (Maxine Jennings), after Joe convinces them that a change of scenery might be nice.
Well, Horace takes to hiring Joe, as Kit pays a visit to Pete, to make him over into the fashionably insulting Count Pierre Louis de Marsac, a plot device reportedly borrowed from the career of comedian Vincent Barnett, who was often invited to Hollywood dinner parties, to portray an insulting waiter.
But Horace takes to the notion of Kit's hosting Count Pierre Louis de Marsac, greatly preferring him to Fred, and hoping that Kit does, as well, even though that's hardly her intention, while Aunt Evelyn attempts to understand Kit and Horace's mindsets once events begin to go awry before her very eyes.
In addition to his household staff, including Bennett's Maid (Fern Emmett) and Vincent, Bennett's Butler (Charles Coleman), Horace hires Albert, the French Valet (George Beranger) to serve Count Pierre Louis de Marsac with provincial hospitality. But once Albert discovers certain newspaper clippings inserted into the pockets of Kit and Pete's clothing, Horace decides to warn Kit that the Count may not be French at all, or maybe that this French pancake may not be a Count, while Evelyn begins to see the overall picture.
So, at the Beach Club restaurant one evening, the tide begins to turn for one and all, as Kit ponders Horace's unanticpated reactions to Pete, and Pete decides to try to turn the tables on Fred, before the schemes begin to spiral out of control. Patricia Wilder has a role as the wisecracking KARB Receptionist, advancing yet another plot twist.
This includes three songs performed at least twice each, consisting of "Cabin On The Hilltop," "My Heart Wants To Dance," and the show-stopping "Let's Make a Wish," as the lovely soprano Ann Sothern harmonizes with the smooth tenor Gene Raymond, accompanied by that docile but very capable group around the beach campfire in the Beach Club backdrop.
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