To land a rich husband, golddigger Marjory Stuart goes to Trinidad posing as a debutante. Beach boy Pete promptly unmasks her, but offers to help her catch his enemy, yachtsman Alfred Monroe. Marjory's pal Bubbles turns out to be the old flame of Pete's pal Wally. All the well-planned efforts to land Monroe end in slapstick; then Wally's voodoo priestess landlady gives him a love potion that works... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The song "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay/Ray" was not written by Henry Gordon Thayer at all; he heard it performed in a speakeasy by an African-American performer called Mama Lou; after taking down the notes and lyrics, he sanitized the words as much as possible and published it as his own. The song was later the subject of a copyright battle in the courtroom and was declared to be in the public domain, meaning anybody can use it. See more »
In 1942 Dick Powell signed a contract with Paramount Pictures on condition that he vary his roles and would occasionally do some dramatic films which Warner Brothers had refused to cast him in. But his first film for them was Star Spangled Rhythm and his bit part in that wartime musical was with Mary Martin doing probably the best number in the film, Hit the Road to Dreamland. They certainly seemed well suited for each other.
With that in mind Powell got to do his first color film Happy Go Lucky with Martin the following year. But for some reason Mary Martin never quite clicked with film audiences. I'm at a loss to know why myself because she certainly had a sparkling personality.
Powell did this one with Martin with the hope that dramatic parts would eventually come his way and Happy Go Lucky is certainly amusing enough. Powell and Eddie Bracken play a pair of beachcombers on a tropical island in the Caribbean created nicely on the Paramount sound stage. Martin is a cigarette girl pretending to be a débutante hoping to land a rich husband and her sights are set on Rudy Vallee who is reprising his role from The Palm Beach Story replete with glasses and all. Also along for the ride is Betty Hutton who is a fellow cigarette girl traveling with Martin and an old flame of Bracken's.
Certainly Bracken and Hutton seemed to team well together as they had in The Fleet's In and Star Spangled Rhythm and both would be used again to even bigger acclaim by Preston Sturges in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek and Hail the Conquering Hero. In fact Hutton stole the film right out from under the leads with her rousing rendition of Murder He Says.
As long as Rudy Vallee and Dick Powell were appearing in the same film it would have been nice if they had sung together, but Rudy did not sing a note and an opportunity was lost.
I don't think I have to talk about the plot too much more with the ingredients I've given you, I'm sure you know exactly how this will all come out. The only other item involved in this film is a voodoo love potion that apparently is spread to victim like you were spraying your garden for pests.
Happy Go Lucky is an amusing average comedy from Paramount that led to nothing for its leads, but it's supporting cast did just fine.
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