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Paul Douglas is magnificent communicating his frustrations trying to placate his headstrong and self-deluded wife -- portrayed marvelously by Celeste Holm -- who persists in pursuing singing endeavors despite everybody's best efforts to let her know that she just doesn't quite have the talent. Enter sumptuous diva Linda Darnell with designs on ruggedly handsome (!?!) Douglas -- especially when she learns, to everyone's surprise, that he has a powerful voice. Charles Coburn and Lucile Watson lead an immensely talented supporting cast. The script delivers sophisticated yet rapid-fire wit while the direction conveys all the nuances perfectly, but still manages to deliver a couple of belly-laughs. I highly recommend watching Everybody Does It.
I grew up watching this movie! My father owns a 16mm film print. I can
recite all of the lines in perfect time! I think for new timers to this
movie, it requires two screenings. The first one gives you all of the
story ideas and then the second one allows you to concentrate on how
hilarious some of the lines and reactions really are. Ms. Holm did not
have to learn to sing for this job - she was already an accomplished
singer on stage. However, Linda Darnel and Paul Douglas had to have
their singing voices dubbed, as neither of them had vocal abilities. My
favorite lines are:
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!!!)
Most viewers who discover this totally-unexpected satirical 'send-up" of opera, social snobbery and several other human pursuits simply find it hilarious. I love it because of the inexorable logic of its line-of-development--and because its humor is so infectious. This is adult humor, not compulsive misbehaviors being committed by parodies of human character (as in too-many TV "sitcoms" and badly-scripted comedies); here everyone tries his/her best and does pretty well considering that the scheme of things" is against them all. Doris Borland, played charmingly by Celeste Holm,, is married to nice-guy wrecker Paul Douglas, who has a partner, Millard Mitchell. Her parents, Charles Coburn and especially Lucile Watson, encourage her singing aspirations; Dougals as Leonard Borland isn't interested. The final shove to the family's already-tilting applecart--her side is wealthy, he just runs a business--occurs when Douglas discovers that he has a magnificent operatic singing voice. Encouraged by gorgeous Linda Darnell, a singer herself, and coached for stardom, Douglas reveals his talent to his astounded in-laws and his furious wife; then he goes onstage for his debut--only to be undone by unforeseeable bad luck. The entire script's development, from a James M. Cain story via Nunnally Johnson and director Edmund Goulding, derives every bit of humor possible from what is fundamentally a two-line joke about upper-class snobbery and lower-class down-to-earth realism. Kay Nelson's costumes are unusually fine; the competent music is by Afred Newman. But this is an actors' film. Douglas and Mitchell are wonderful together and separately; Darnell is lovely and right for a difficult part; Holm nearly steals the film by her ladylike reactions to goings on; Coburn and Watson add to the proceedings, as always. Others in the cast are John Hoyt as a music professor, fine actor George Tobias and Leon Belasco. The climactic scene of the film, Leonard Borland's operatic debut, is probably worth the price of admission alone. But the ending, which I won't reveal, is arguably the perfect commentary on the entire experience everyone has suffered. I recommend this humorous surprise of a film to everyone I know who isn't deceased--for the laughs.
This is one of the best post war comedies. The performance of Paul Douglas is perfect against Linda Darnell. It has been said that Celeste Holm had to learn how not to sing, in order that she carry out this role.
OK, I'm a great Paul Douglas fan so consider me prejudiced, but this is
just a plain terrific film. I understand from a video dealer that some
legal problems has its rights tied up so if you get a chance to it, by
all means do so. Perhaps some day it will be shown again on TV or maybe
even a DVD will be for sale.
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
One of the all time sleeper... I cant tell you how super this little movie is. But it is a super LITTLE movie. What was called a B movie. What a laugh. The problem is its out of print and its not shown on TV any more... Paul Douglas is a man with a rich wife. He runs a wrecking company in NY and his wife wants to sing on stage. So he has to rent a hall and force all his friend to buy tickets. And she cant sang. At a party at the rich in-laws, he sings and breaks the mirror. Wonderful. But the wife is fit to be tied because she didn't know he has an opera quality voice. So she goes home first and gets a golf club out and stands on a chair in the dark to club him as he comes in. One of the ladies at the party is an opera singer and wants to get it own with him and talks him into taking lessons to refine his voice so she can take him on the road with her. But he is reluctant but does it lying to his wife about what city he is in and that he is looking for wrecking business. And then the big chance at the Met. He is a little sick and everyone gives him "their" best medicine to fix him up but it only cause him to become drunk.. and then he goes on stage..drunk..but it is what the wife needed to see, him in trouble in front of the world...The production is first rate as is the script and acting. Just a wonderful little movie. I have my TIVO set on Paul Douglas to see if I can catch this little movie and for the last 15 months no luck...but I will keep trying.
FINALLY scored a copy of this! What can I say, I adore Paul Douglas - and he delivers everything here. Love the farce, love the slapstick, love all the humor. And then, almost like another movie (think "Body Heat" spliced into "Mixed Nuts")we have Darnell and Douglas. These two have the most amazing heat, I wish they had done more than their three films together. Although I am eternally grateful for their time on screen (YOWZA!!!)it makes poor Celeste Holm even more insipid than she is written to be. No matter, the movie is great great fun. I even liked John Hoyt, an actor that normally annoys me. The much loved FOX rep company is well represented. Now the search is on for "THE GUY WHO CAME BACK"!!!
The beautiful music for the opera in the film, an imaginary work titled
"L'Amore di Fatima," was written by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
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.
Was there ever an opera star as beautiful as the flawless Linda
Darnell? Maybe Anna Moffo and Anna Netrebko come close, but it was
something to hear a gorgeous voice (Helen Spann's) coming out of
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.
Although I am a fan of movies from the 1940's and 1950's I somehow had
never seen this film before. This is one of those delightful comedy
sleepers like "Champagne for Caesar". I happened to see it listed on
the DIRECTV TCM channel view-on-demand list and downloaded it to my DVR
via the internet for viewing.
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.
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