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William D. Russell
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>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
I've said this often enough. There is no way I will ever give a film like this a bad review. Just an unregenerate stargazer I guess.
The demise of the studio system makes this kind of film impossible now. You couldn't possibly afford to pay all the talented people here what they would be worth on the open market. But when they're all working at Paramount studios at the time, such films are possible.
The thin plot of this film is that young Mary Hatcher who back as an infant was left in a movie theater and adopted by the managers of several theaters. She became a project for them and the cause of why they founded the Variety Club Charitable Foundation.
Mary's grown up now and has aspirations to be an actress. She goes to Paramount where Frank Ferguson is now a big wig. She and a goofy friend Olga San Juan get everyone confused as to who is who. Especially young DeForest Kelley who is a Paramount talent scout.
Both Hatcher and Kelley were pretty unknown at the time. Hatcher had in fact come from Broadway and the original production of Oklahoma where she had replaced Joan Roberts in the lead. This was DeForest Kelley and it was only his second film. But I seem to remember he got a big break a little less than 20 years later playing a futuristic doctor on some science fiction show.
But this is really just an excuse to have all the Paramount name talent strut their stuff. One interesting sequence was one where Alan Ladd hijacks an airliner and in the midst of a dramatic scene bursts into song with Dorothy Lamour about the capital city of Florida, Tallahassee. Ladd had a pleasant, if not great singing voice and I'm sure he loved the opportunity to spoof his own hardboiled image.
Gary Cooper made an obligatory appearance and this turned out to be his farewell appearance with Paramount, the studio that discovered and developed him.
Of course heading the cast were the two that really kept Paramount in the black in those days, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Bing was in the midst of a five year run as the nation's number one box office attraction. And in 1949 he would be succeeded by one Bob Hope. They have a duet called Harmony in which the rest of the cast joins in at the finale.
Curiously enough Bing only recorded Tallahassee and with the Andrews Sisters. Why he and Hope didn't do Harmony on record is a mystery to me.
Just about everyone on the lot but Betty Hutton got into this one. I wonder where she was?
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