Blondie organizes Housewives of America to perform homefront wartime duties, including guarding the local dam. Dagwood and the other husbands don't care to be left home doing the cooking ... See full summary »
Blondie organizes Housewives of America to perform homefront wartime duties, including guarding the local dam. Dagwood and the other husbands don't care to be left home doing the cooking and taking care of the kids, so Dagwood pretends to join the Army. Blondie disbands the organization and comes home. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Blondie and Dagwood in Uniform, addressing the War Effort
Some ask why Blondie films are not titled instead with Dagwood, who carries much of the action and comedy upon his shoulders throughout this series. Other than finding their root within the Chic Young comic strip bearing her name, these films generally focus upon situations as viewed through Blondie's perspective; it is she who defines each chapter thesis, to provide resolve for the satisfaction of one and all. In this, perhaps the most dated series entry, Blondie's task at hand seems most challenging: to present patriotism on the home front while simultaneously determining responsibility within the roles of lay citizens.
While Hollywood would rise to the occasion of cementing the entertainment industry's roles during the World War II Effort, with actors' enlisting, celebrities' campaigning to sell war bonds, entertainment troupes' traveling to perform with the fox hole circuit, as well as establishing USO Canteen gatherings, "Blondie for Victory" would become this series' opportunity to present a statement for this noble cause.
Here, with a large ensemble of supporting players, we experience a first-hand account of a collection of female military and nursing uniforms exhibited during this chapter's Fashion Show, narrated by Mrs. Holbrook (Nella Walker), and climaxing with Blondie's (Penny Singleton) modeling that of the "Housewives of America." Miss Singleton appears stunning in a dazzling uniform dress, apparently royal blue with red and white accents (although shot in black and white), which she sports throughout this chapter.
"Blondie for Victory" (Columbia 1942) begins its [71 minutes] at the J.C. Dithers Company after most of Mr. Dithers' (Jonathan Hale) office staff has become enlisted and is replaced by members of his elder generation, written--quite unfortunately--as incompetents, whom J.C. cannot readily abide. Because of this and the fact that Mrs. Dithers (even here not yet introduced to the screen) has taken in soldiers as boarders, J.C. enlists Dagwood (Arthur Lake) to conduct business at the Bumstead residence.
Often, we see somewhat implausible events transpiring in Blondie films. Here, in series' installment #12, the Babysitter (Renie Riano) overreacts to Dagwood's returning to assist Cookie (Majelle White). Why wouldn't the Babysitter know that Cookie has a father? Blondie often takes matters into her own hands without consulting Dagwood, while expecting his approval, but would she not have explained anything to the Babysitter?
Meanwhile, Baby Dumpling (Larry Simms) and Daisy and her pups assist Alvin Fuddle (Danny Mummert) in canvassing the neighborhood to collect for a fund drive.
And the Housewives of America, who elect Blondie, naturally, as their chairwoman, gather at the Bumsteads, to witness Dagwood's treading into hot water with the Babysitter, as well as with Alvin, and also with Mr. Dithers, who expects Dagwood to conduct business matters. Comedy fills the air as Blondie attempts to assemble the Housewives of America into formation. Their purpose, above marching and practicing First Aid on Dagwood, is purportedly to keep watch over the dam by night.
And not only does J.C. Dithers, but also do the husbands of the Housewives of America object to their dismissing domestic tasks in the name of patriotism.
After all, these husbands, Dagwood and J.C. included, are portrayed as ignorant to surviving without spousal assistance. When Dagwood hosts Mr. Dithers for dinner, he fumbles the difficult task of opening one can to share between them, leading J.C. to decide to assemble the husbands, to formulate a plan of action. Watch for a blooper in this scene, by keeping an eye on the calendar, which magically changes months from April to May, upon the wall behind Dagwood.
At the meeting of the helpless husbands, a hapless recruit shows to complain about being reared on a farm by aunts and sisters and not receiving male bonding in the service. Pvt. Herschel Smith (Stuart Erwin) gives J.C. an idea, which complicates matters further. Most of the remainder of this film centers around the site of the dam, in the great outdoors, after dark. Mr. Crumb, former Mailman (Irving Bacon), now keeps watch over the water levels, while Blondie and her troops scout an alleged perpetrator (Charles Wagenheim), believed to plan to explode the reservoir.
More trouble ensues when Pvt. Smith's Sergeant (Edward Gargan) arrives to deploy soldiers, causing a chase through the woods.
Ultimately, Blondie and Dagwood gather with representatives of Housewives of America before the Colonel (Russell Hicks), to resolve the roles of--not the woman, not the man, but--the parents of young children with the War Effort.
P.S. "Blondie for Victory" is written by two females, based upon a story by a third, so nobody could blame the actors too much for the use of biased opinion.
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