Light weight and charming, "B" romantic, comedy, drama, musical star vehicle for multi-talented Jane Withers!
I saw it on April 6, 2011 in 35mm on the big screen, thanks to the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, VA.
When it was added to the schedule, I researched the title on the web to see no one had commented on it on the IMDb and only the AFI had a brief plot description.
Hoping to learn more about the film, I contacted its star Jane Withers, who is wonderful at telling stories from her amazing career. (Jane 85th birthday is on 4/12/2011.) Jane remembered her co-star James "Jimmy" Lydon (of Henry Aldrich fame) and said they have been friends for over 62 years! And she talked about what a treat it was to work with the great character actor Donald Meek who would tragically die of leukemia on the very day the film opened, November 18, 1946.
This "B" romantic, comedy, drama, musical is about Geraldine "Gerry" Cooper (a 20 year old Jane Withers) living in the small town of Cooperville with her two older brothers. As the film opens we learn their mother has just passed away and left a large inheritance (most of the small businesses in Coopersville are owned by the Cooper family) to her three children. But she leaves special instructions to the sons (Grant Withers & William Haade) to help Gerry find a husband and give up her fascination with fire trucks. The brothers over-enthusiastically encourage several local boys to attend an 18th birthday party for Gerry which leads to an embarrassing situation. Sadly she does not know that local baker Willy Briggs (James "Jimmy" Lydon) has been in love with her for years.
Gerry leaves town and meets Casper Milhouse (Donald Meek) on a train. Millhouse recommends a lonely hearts club run by Amos Hartwell (Raymond Walburn) where he found his true love. Hartwell hires Gerry to be his new secretary (his past secretaries kept getting married). She organizes dances and expands his radio spots by becoming "Madame L'Amour" giving advice to the lovelorn.
Gerry thinks she finds love with a handsome, smooth talking "so called" self-made man who wants to find love with an also-wealthy woman who would not be after his money. There are several other characters, plot twists, catchy songs and even three sexy acrobats performing in the light weight charmer.
It would be ideal for film festivals wanting to share a forgotten treasure. Film gets a 6 and Jane a 10!
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