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Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Red, Hot And Blue which was also the title of one of Cole Porter's more successful shows from the Thirties has absolutely nothing to do with this film starring Betty Hutton and Victor Mature. If Paramount did anything they bought the title and nothing else.
Hutton plays one of three roommates and members of a little theater stock company in which Victor Mature is the director. They're doing some serious things at his company like Hamlet. But Paramount asking us to envision Betty Hutton in Hamlet is really a bit much. A serious version of Hamlet that is. Betty does contribute a rollicking swing version of the Hamlet story in her own raucous style.
Betty's got a publicity agent in William Demarest who is busy trying to get her in the media with a variety of loony stunts. The last one was more than she bargained for when he set her up with William Talman who is going into the producing business, but in fact is a gangster. When she's the only witness to his sudden demise, she get kidnapped herself by one of the gangster factions looking for answers to Talman's murder.
Although Betty's fans will love Red, Hot and Blue the film really gets more silly than funny. Mature looks really uncomfortable doing some of the physical comedy that's called for in the end. I've a feeling that Bob Hope or Eddie Bracken might have been what was originally in mind for her leading man.
Frank Loesser wrote the score for Betty and he gave her one of her best musical numbers a few years earlier in The Perils Of Pauline with I Wish I Didn't Love You So. He didn't write anything remotely as good for her in Red, Hot and Blue, but the songs do fit her personality. Loesser also appears as one of the hoodlums.
June Havoc is one of Betty's roommates doing an Eve Arden part probably because Eve Arden was busy elsewhere. Art Smith plays a Walter Winchell like columnist and Raymond Walburn a lecherous old coot out for a little back seat fun with Betty or whomever. All three are memorable.
It's not hardly one of Hutton's best films, but it will satisfy her fans.
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