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Four Jacks and a Jill (1942)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Music, Romance  |  23 January 1942 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 98 users  
Reviews: 9 user

Four struggling musicians lose their vocalist at the insistence of her gangster boyfriend. They find a replacement in an innocent young woman being courted by a cabbie pretending to be a king.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Four Jacks and a Jill (1942)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Karanina 'Nina' Novak
...
Opal
...
Steve Sarto / King Stephan VIII of Aregal
Jack Durant ...
Noodle McArdle
Eddie Foy Jr. ...
Happy McScud
Fritz Feld ...
Mr. Hoople
...
Bobo
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Storyline

Karanina "Nina" Novak (Anne Shirley), is befriended by Nifty (Ray Bolger), the leader of a four-piece orchestra, and in return, secures an engagement for them at the Little Aregal Cafe, with herself as the vocalist, by pretending she once knew the King or Aregal back in the old country. Steve (Dezi Arnaz) shows up pretending to be the King of Aregal, and complicates the growing romance between Nina and Nifty. When Steve runs off with Opal (June Havoc), the real King of Aregal (also Dezi Arnaz) appears and complicates things again. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BLONDE BLITZ blasts the blues out of four howling hepcats!

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

4 Valetes e uma Dama  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Desi Arnaz's autobiography suggests that the director of this film, Jack Hively, was a complete idiot who knew nothing about directing despite the fact that he was an editor before he took the job. Hively - despite not being mentioned by name in the book - would reportedly embarrass actors and put them through several long takes of the same monologues from the same angle knowing that there would have to be cuts to other angles made at some point. See more »

Connections

Featured in Gauchos of El Dorado (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

I Haven't a Thing to Wear
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Revel
Lyrics by Mort Greene
Played by the band and sung by June Havoc at Mike's Cellar (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't Criticize This Film Too Harshly
3 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before the 1950s, the studios owned the movie theaters, and had to make "product" for them continuously. Films were created to utilize contract players, with perhaps a better known "name star" borrowed for the cast. Movies were only intended for a short run, and then meant to be forgotten.

That being said, this film is a harmless bit of fluff that was never meant to have a long life. It was just "product" to fill a movie theater. I'm sure nobody at the time expected this to be competition for MGM spectaculars or 20th Century Fox Technicolor beauties.

Keep in mind that Ray Bolger made this film three years after "Wizard of Oz", so the comment about MGM "finally" getting it right in casting him, makes no sense. So what if Anne Shirley had fine clothes. Did you ever count how many costume changes Ginger Rogers had in "Kitty Foyle", playing a shop girl? Come on fellas, this is Hollywood, not real life.

Sure, Bolger could have used better material, but he never had a much of a movie career. He did better on Broadway, both before and after this film was made.

So what is this is a re-make of "Street Girl". Did you ever notice how many movies get re-made? And not only once, but two and three times. "Maltese Falcon" has had at least three, and "Three Blind Mice" got re-made as "Moon Over Miami" and later as "Three Little Girls in Blue".

Considering how much junk you see on TV—how many insipid situation comedies that are broadcast—this film compares favorably to what we have available to watch.

The songs are tuneful and catchy, keeping with the style of the 1940s. The composers, Mort Greene and Harry Revel, were responsible for a plethora of tunes in that era, together and with other collaborators. You'll find their work in many movie musicals, both A and B grade.

Using Martha Mears to dub Anne Shirley's singing was a good choice, since the tone of her voice matches Shirley's speaking voice very favorably. Mears also did Marjorie Reynolds singing in "Holiday Inn". Dubbing is nothing new to Hollywood. Rita Hayworth and Lucille Ball were always dubbed in the many musicals those actresses made.

So, while TV has resurrected old films, just consider viewing this one as a nostalgic trip to a time when life was simpler. It's only a little over an hour of your time.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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