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Ann Sothern again plays Maisie in "Maisie Gets Her Man," a 1942 film
featuring Red Skelton, Leo Gorcey, Allen Jenkins, Donald Meek and Lloyd
Corrigan. Maisie's hired by a comedian, Hap Hixby (Skelton) who gets
horrible stage fright, so her job is gone before she even gets to do
it. However, the building owner (Jenkins) is impressed with Hap and
gives him a job managing the building, and Maisie becomes his
assistant. Hap and Maisie fall in love, but when Hap's fiancée shows
up, Hap can't tell her the truth. Maisie leaves and gets a job in a
show. But when she finds out Hap is in trouble, she decides she has to
This is a lively movie, in part because of Jenkins and Gorcey, who are very funny. I can't say I've ever been a Red Skelton fan, but MGM stuck him in every B movie as they attempted to build him up. Here he's nice-looking and plays it straight except when he's on stage. Sothern of course is a delight as the fast-thinking Maisie. Like most serials, the quality varies from film to film. This was one of the better ones, with a little more plot and a strong supporting cast.
As usual, Maisie is out of work. However, HOW this occurs at the
beginning of the film you'll just have to see for yourself! Following
this debacle, Maisie is broke and is taken in by a nice guy 'Pappy'
Goodring (Allen Jenkings) and allowed to stay as his apartment
building. Unfortunately, Maisie is yet another non-paying tenant and
Goodring is in jeopardy of losing the place because he can't pay the
mortgage. However, when another tenant, Marshall Denningham, moves in,
things begin to look up. And, the more successful Denningham is selling
his 'Sapphire Water', the better things get between Goodring and the
guy who keeps threatening to take the building (Donald Meek). Another
huge plot involves an obnoxiously bad comic, 'Hap' Hixby, with stage
fright (Red Skelton). Maisie first becomes Hap's stage partner and soon
things start to heat up between them off-stage as well. So why's it
called "Maisie Gets Her Man"? See the film and find out for yourself.
Like the rest of the films in the series, this one is entertaining and well made. Now I am NOT saying it's deep or will change your life--it is just light entertainment. But it's enjoyable and a worth addition to the series.
By the way, although his role was small, it was sure nice to see Willie Best playing a non-offensive and non-stereotypical sort of role. Fans of old-time movies often would remember him for playing Stepin' Fetchit-type roles in many films--the sort of characters that make most folks uncomfortable today. In fact, his character was pretty smart here!
Two television icons of the Fifties team up in Maisie Gets Her Man. But
as we know she never keeps any man lest she not be available to be down
on her luck for the next film.
After nearly getting killed as the victim in Fritz Feld's knife throwing act our Brooklyn show girl Ann Sothern is once again on her uppers and looking for some kind of work. She rooms at a building that Allen Jenkins manages and he offers to put her to work assisting him. But then a rather obnoxious man who wants to break into show business played by Red Skelton kind of grows on Sothern and she helps him. Skelton falls for her even though back in Indiana he's got a sweetheart.
The plot moves through a few situations, but it's Skelton and Sothern you remember. A great scene is when the brash Skelton discovers he has stage fright and Sothern sees how vulnerable he is. After that Skelton and she go to work for conman Lloyd Corrigan who is selling shares in a mineral water company. You know he'll come to justice before the film ends.
Another great scene allows Skelton to do his drunk act substituting gin for the mineral water and softening skinflint Donald Meek. Red and Ann make quite a pair of tipplers.
Fans of Susie McNamara and Freddie the Freeloader will like Maisie Gets Her Man.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoilers Included - It's strange to see the well-known A.J.Liebling story The Jollity Building used in this film. A lot of the characters (I see Jack McGuire, Morty Ormont, Jerry Rex and Dave, Hi Sky, Marty the Clutch, and Barney the lunch counter owner), sets, and lingo are lifted whole from the story, and many of the situations as well. I didn't see Liebling's name in the credits, though. All the names and a few of the situations were changed in the building, and the locale (Chicago instead of NYC), but it's still quite obviously the Liebling story with a boy/girl romance thrown in. It's a likable film, and Allen Jenkins is very impressive as the building manager (he could be straight from the story's gloomy Morty Ormont).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Things were getting a bit serious in the life of that good-hearted dame
known as Maisie, everybody's favorite broad. Having dealt with dust
bowl survivors, troubled rich folks and reluctant prize fighters, she's
tired of tears and desperate for a few laughs, and boy does she get it
here, with Hollywood's favorite redhead. No, it's not fellow MGM
glamour girl Lucille Ball, but the other one whose first name
ironically was Red.
Mr. Skeleton, who like Lucy, dominated TV for decades, is a down on his luck comic, and she's escaping from a woman hating knife thrower. Together, they set out to create their own act, and the road to fame ain't easy. Surrounding the duo are a bunch of other funny people, including comical tough guy Leo Gorcey, always cheery Lloyd Corrigan and cynical Allen Jenkins. Donald Meek rises up to the heights of the taller actors he appears opposite as a tough landlord, while Fritz Feld doesn't do his famous lip pop as he uses Maisie as his target for revenge against all women.
The teaming of Sothern and Skelton, paired together the same year in the entertaining if disappointing movie version of Cole Porter's "Panama Hattie", are a team worthy of their own series. He annoys her at first, but sometimes that fly in your ear is really good to get your circulation moving. After a four film "Maisie" marathon, it was nice to end on a lighter note. Some of the gags are dated and corny, but corn and dates sometime mix very well together.
Red plays the clown on vaudeville trying to get an act together when he
meets up with Maisie who just lost her booking. They team up and flop
They then run across a man who offers to set them up in his business only to get them into the business far enough to get them indicted while he takes off. Maisie and Red fall for each other, but Red already has a fiancé back home. He can't get the nerve up to tell his old flame it's over with so Maisie hits the road also, right before the cops show up.
She accidentally runs into the nice man who helped them out and gets suspicious.
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