The life of boisterous entertainer Texas Guinan is recalled from her poor childhood with a down-on-his-luck father to her reign as the Queen of the Night Clubs. Along the way, she also ... See full summary »
The life of boisterous entertainer Texas Guinan is recalled from her poor childhood with a down-on-his-luck father to her reign as the Queen of the Night Clubs. Along the way, she also finds romance and heartbreak. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 24, 1950 with Betty Hutton reprising her film role. See more »
When the film begins, the time is 1909, and Guinan, not yet 20 years old, is still living with her family; actually, by that time, the 25 year old Guinan had already been married and divorced once, the first of three marriages. In the film she never marries. In the film, sometime in the mid-1920's, a doctor diagnoses Guinan as having a heart condition, and gives her, at most, two years to live. In real life, she died of amoebic dysentery in 1933, age 49. See more »
Texas Guinan was so much a symbol of the Roaring Twenties and the Prohibition Era it seems almost poetic that she died just as alcohol became legal again in the USA.
As performer the real Guinan was not as good as Betty Hutton at putting over a song. But Guinan made her reputation as the raucous high living host of one of New York's most well known speakeasy. Everyone who was anyone came to her place for a good time in the Twenties and Texas Guinan knew how to throw a party.
Betty Hutton perfectly captures Guinan's infectious spirit infusing and channeling Guinan into her own infectious style. Of course a lot of fact, most prominently two husbands before the character that Arturo DeCordova plays. Her parents did in fact survive her. Barry Fitzgerald who plays her rascal of a father does his usual scene stealing business. Mary Phillips is on ever so briefly as her mother and according to Wikipedia, Guinan's mother lived to be 101. She was very much alive when Incendiary Blonde was made and I believe the script was purposefully vague about her character.
Betty sings several old standards during the film and they are the highlight. I particularly liked It Had To Be You, Row Row Row, and Ragtime Cowboy Joe, all of those numbers suit her perfectly.
You can see the real Texas Guinan in a couple of films, Queen Of The Nightclubs which was shot in New York and in which George Raft had a prominent bit and also Broadway Through A Keyhole which had Russ Columbo in one of his few films. I think you'll agree if you ever do see those films and they aren't shown often at how well Betty Hutton did with Texas Guinan.
As Texas Guinan used to say "Hello Suckers". But you'll be no sucker if you see Incendiary Blonde.
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