Everybody Does It (1949)
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Len: Doris, would you just stop and listen? Doris: Stop starting everything you say with "listen". Len: Well alright then - but listen.
Cecil: We saw quite a bit of each other. But we could hardly help that since we were singing together. Mrs. Blair: You were doing what? Len: Singing! You understand English, don't you? Mrs. Blair: Well, perhaps he'll sing something for us now. Len: Sure. I'll sing for ya. I'll sing you bold legged, mother!
And lastly, the line that will make me laugh so hard I nearly wet my pants happens when Lenard Borland is pushing his mother-in-law out of his apartment...
Len: It's time that you should be going now. You're getting to old to be banging around time at this time of night!
(Just typing that line made me laugh out loud!!!)
I highly recommend everyone to see this movie. It's ashame that it isn't regularly shown on one of the classic movie channels or available (to the best of my knowledge) on DVD or Video tape. I wish 20th Century Fox would open up their vault to more hidden classics like this one.
If anyone is seriously interested in seeing this movie and can't find it, you can contact me. I have made a video transfer from my father's original 16mm film print. While the sound and picture are clean, you have to adjust to the fact that the flicker shows (moving from 16mm film to 30 frames per second causes flicker unless you have it transferred by pros! I just wanted it for my own personal collection, but would be willing to share!!!)
The short plot is silly beyond belief. Douglas is again a rough character thrown in among society types - this time with an opera background. Through an unlikely talent, this time he gets to be a performer, but as you will guess, things don't go as planned. If you don't laugh out loud at this film, you are dead and should consult with a mortician for immediate burial. Too bad this one is one of the lost ones. Maybe someday....we'll again hear why the monkeys have no tails
In a little tongue-in-cheek detail, the poster for the opera lists Tedesco who also wrote real operas as the composer.
I imagine this might have sent innumerable musical scholars on a fruitless search for the complete score of this hitherto "unknown work" by the prolific composer.
To add to the illusion of the opera's authenticity, in the film Paul Douglas also sings some known songs, including a musical setting of the Kipling poem "The Road to Mandalay" (a real pot-boiler) and the "Toreador Song" from "Carmen."
The singing is in itself one of the film's recommendations. The producers were not afraid to include long stretches of music that are quite rapturous.
Anyway, Darnell stars with Paul Douglas and Celeste Holm in "Everybody Does It," a very funny 1949 comedy that is a delight for opera lovers and non-opera lovers alike. Douglas and Holm play Leonard and Doris Borland - she's from money, he's a demolition man - and she once aspired to a career as a concert soprano. He thought she had given up her dream until he comes home and sees her taking a voice lesson. She's determined to do a concert, so she rents Town Hall and Leonard and his partner bribe and threaten everyone they know to show up.
In the audience is a famous soprano, Cecil Carver, who met Leonad earlier and has taken an interest in him. She invites him to her apartment and tells him that his wife has a nice voice, but she'll never amount to anything. While he's there, she gets a phone call asking her to sing a particular song for charity. She can't remember all the lyrics, so she asks Leonard if he knows it. Leonard does, and turns out to have a magnificent high baritone voice (Steve Kamalyan did the singing, and I suspect he could easily have become a tenor like many high baritones). His business failing, Leonard goes on Cecil's concert tour and sings under another name.
A ridiculous plot, some beautiful singing, and fine performances are the highlights of this film, the best part of which is Leonard's opera debut. It's almost right up there with "A Night at the Opera" - hilarious.
An underrated comedy - don't miss it.
The cast performance is excellent from the major players down to the minor characters.
My favorite scene is when Mrs. Blair titters and flits about as she informs the party guests that her son-in-law is going to give a singing performance.