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Playwright Stanley Krown has a terrific new play. It's got a great part for reigning Broadway star Beatrice Page, and a young actress named Sally Carver will do just about anything to get the ingénue lead. The problem is that Beatrice doesn't want the great role written for her. She wants the ingénue role, something she could have played wonderfully -- when she was twenty years younger. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The framed caricatures that line the walls of the Sardi's set are black and white sketches that include at least one movie star (Charlie Chaplin); in reality, the caricatures at the actual restaurant in New York are in color and, because they only honor celebrities connected with the Broadway stage, would certainly not have included Chaplin. See more »
Charming, slight piece of entertainment sold by it top lined stars and almost scuttled by its featured player.
Ginger Rogers and Paul Douglas are most happily matched as the formerly married couple who are still best friends, a great Broadway star and her producer. Their interchanges are expertly played by two pros who are easy in each others company and really seem like they would have been together for years. Her gentle ribbing of him over back alimony is sweet and believable and actually provides a bit of insight into her character. She doesn't really expect to ever get it but neither does she ever plan to write it off either nor does she let get in the way of their relationship.
William Holden's part is secondary to the story although he is prominently featured due to his star status. He is his usual charismatic self making the minor part much better than it is. One ironic note is that in a story about Ginger Roger's character realizing she's too old for the ingénue role in Holden's play they cast an actor who is too old for his part. The playwright the way he is referenced should be in his early twenties, Holden extremely handsome and youthful though he may be is 35 if he's a day. He can't be held responsible for that since contract actors were routinely assigned parts at the studios whim.
Where the picture runs into trouble is the performance of Pat Crowley in what clearly was planned as a star making part. That didn't happen most probably due to the fact that as directed a more annoying, grating, jejune enactment of a character couldn't be possible. As she constantly proclaims that she is a great talent and better than anyone could imagine you want to push her out of the frame. The actress who did go on to some degree of fame, most notably as the star of TV's Please Don't Eat the Daisies, has proved to be an enjoyable presence elsewhere so the direction must be at fault but she really is hammy and unpleasant here.
Many fine character actors, James Gleason, Jesse White, George Reeves, Maidie Norman etc., add nice little touches throughout and hey look in one short scene its the future Mrs. C herself: Marion Ross just starting out.
A good comedy played by experts just ignore the ham-bone on the side of the action.
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