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Three people, Susan and Philip Ashlow and Henry Brittingham-Brett are washed ashore on a deserted island after a shipwreck. Henry is Susan's lover. Since the island is filled with things to... See full summary »
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Based on a play by Ferenc Molnar, Blonde Fever is a 1944 slapped-together MGM comedy filmed in black and white and starring Philip Dorn, Mary Astor, Gloria Grahame (in her film debut) and Marshall Thompson with a mane of dark hair and looking unbelievably young.
The film concerns the owners of a dude ranch, Peter and Delilah Dornay (Dorn and Astor) and the young woman, Sally, (Grahame) who works there and seems to have come between them. Peter is feeling his age and reaching out to someone younger, and when he wins $40,000 on a lottery ticket, he summons up the courage to declare himself to Sally (whose supposed to be engaged to Freddie (Thompson) and promise her the moon. And she wants it. Then he has to break it to the long-suffering Delilah, who has put him with this flirtation as well as his past gambling debts.
Actually if someone had been back from the war to take the Dorn part, this wouldn't have been half bad. I notice all the reviewers on this site are raving about Grahame, who was wonderful and perfectly cast. For me, though, the star was Astor, whose performance is fabulous.
Someone said this was paid for comedy - Astor played it straight, and it worked beautifully. She's quick volleying lines and when they're coming out of her mouth, you realize the play wasn't badly written.
Unfortunately Astor was past her heyday (according to MGM) having hit the ungodly age of 38 and soon would be playing matrons. Here she's still glamorous and shows what a fine actress she was.
A bit on the down-low for MGM - this is the same type of thing they did to Crawford with "Above Suspicion" - black and white and cheap sets.
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