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André De Toth
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Dozens of star and character-actor cameos and a message about the Variety Club (show-business charity) are woven into a framework about two hopeful young ladies who come to Hollywood, exchange identities, and cause comic confusion (with slapstick interludes) throughout the Paramount studio. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
"Variety Girl", a film from 1947, showed up recently on cable. The film, which takes the theme of the Variety Club, which was a charitable organization involving well known movie people, is an excuse for showcasing the talent players employed by the studio. Paramount was at the time one of the most powerful places in which movies were made. As such, the idea behind this picture was to show how united and family-like the studio was.
The story is paper thin. It presents an implausible situation about two young women trying to make it in the movie industry. They, like thousand other hopefuls, attracted by the glamour of Hollywood came to Los Angeles in droves to be discovered. This is exactly what Katherine Brown and Amber Lavonne try to do with amazing results.
The fun in watching "Variety Girl" is recognizing stars, larger than life, being caught in the act of being themselves. Thus, we see the likes of Alan Ladd, Dorothy Lamour, Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Barbara Stanwych, Gary Cooper, William Holden, William Bendix, and many others involved in either the show that takes the center of the story, or just around the studio, mixing with colleagues and extras.
The funniest sequence involved Olga San Juan, who plays Amber, emoting to the high heavens just to be noticed by the many diners at the Brown Derby. Also the singing duo of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in their rendition of Harmony.
This is just an entertainment as conceived by the studio, no doubt. The best way to watch it is just to do so without expecting anything other than a smile. That way it will not disappoint.
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