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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
In the art department of a large department store, the statue of the famed Anatolian Venus comes to life and falls in love with Eddie Hatch, a window trimmer. Just before the unveiling of the prized statue, Eddie takes "Venus" to the model-display house in the store, where the store's boss finds her. He, too, falls in love with her and makes her Glamour Girl Number One. Eddie and Venus dance in Central Park, but Eddie is arrested for stealing the statue. Venus goes back to her pedestal and Eddie is released. While Eddie is sadly preparing for another unveiling, a new employee asks him a question. She tells him her name is Venus Jones. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Evidently a few characters' names were changed during production, causing serious contradictions in various sources' cast lists. Haymes's character is just plain "Joe" (no surname), but some sources grafted onto him the surname "Grant" from Arden's character! As if that weren't bad enough, poor Arden (addressed by various characters as "Molly Grant" consistently through the film) finds herself wrongly identified in some sources as "Molly Stewart" (which is never the surname she bears in the actual film). See more »
After being married to Jennifer Jones (who is/was my particular 1940's screen love goddess), Robert Walker stars opposite a very erotic Ava Gardner, described by film critics in "The Naked Contessa" (1954) as, "...the most beautiful woman in the world", so she was aptly cast to play Venus, the goddess of love, in this 1948 production.
Robert Walker plays Eddie Hatch a lowly paid window dresser at the store owned by Whitfield Savory II (played by Tom Conway -George Sanders cousin).Eddie is instructed to ensure that the curtain will not snag at the forthcoming unveiling ceremony of the recently acquired statue of Venus.When finished, he impulsively kisses the statue which promptly comes to life! Eddie is to marry Gloria (Olga San Juan), who irritatingly keeps reminding Eddie they are to marry.They have drifted into their relationship and marriage just seems the next logical move - but who said love is logical!! However, Eddie's friend Joe, (Dick Haymes), secretly is in love with Gloria himself but he doesn't know it.Whitfield Savory II is likewise ignorant of his subconcious love for his efficient secretary, Molly Stewart, played by Eve Arden in one of her typical wise-cracking roles; (see her as Mildred Pierce's manager in the Oscar winning film of the same name (1945) opposite Joan Crawford.
I was mesmerized by Ava Gardner as she spreads her instinctive love to bring all these true lovers together, while working her magic on Eddie himself who is soon in love with her.Her task over, Jupiter, the head of The Gods summons her back to Mount Olympus and she returns as a statue at the store much to the relief of the store boss who thinks Eddie has stolen her whilst she is in her alter-ego.This sub-plot gives rise to some comic Keystone Cops chase abouts.Watch out for Sara Algood who plays Eddie's landlady, (see her in previous roles as Mrs Beth Morgan in "How Green Was My Valley (1941) and as Mrs Maile in "Cluny Brown" (1946).The song "Speak Low" is sung by Dick Haymes miming to his own recording while Ava effectivly mimes to another singer's voice.Another song about men problems, sung as a trio, features Ava, Olga & Eve.
The audience feels strong sympathy for Eddie and he is finally given his divine award when a very beautiful new store recruit called "Venus Jones" (Ava),appears in human form to him there.We have to assume this will become another love match engineered by Mount Olympus!
I found this film hugely enjoyable as I love classic 1940's films having made something of a speciality of them.It is a difficult title to find.I obtained mine by winning an e-Bay auction after searching on Robert Walker.
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