At the turn of the century Rose and ex-showbiz friend Molly get involved in selling steel. When they come unstuck with corsets they embark on the even more hazardous project of selling ... See full summary »
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At the turn of the century Rose and ex-showbiz friend Molly get involved in selling steel. When they come unstuck with corsets they embark on the even more hazardous project of selling barbed wire to highly suspicious Texas cowboys. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the final RKO radio films produced in the last leap of faith in 1956. THE FIRST TRAVELING SALESLADY is a very enjoyable light comedy. What sets it apart from TV shows like PETTICOAT JUNCTION or films like OKLAHOMA both of which it strongly resembles is the A studio production values which allow the film to take on a lavish western look more akin to CALAMITY JANE. It is a jalopy western set in the horseless carriage days of 1899. Ginger Rogers was 43 and Carol Channing was 35 in production and given the mature age of both and the feminist slant of the story, it makes for a liberating tone for a film of the mid 50s. It is well worth looking at the last 20 films made at the RKO studio in this period by RKO TELERADIO PRODUCTIONS who revived the label after Howard Hughes trashed it. All 1955-58 RKO films are very well made, above the prior years of Hughes. TRAVELING SALESLADY is beautiful to see and has visuals cluttered with style and color. I thought it quite lavish in some scenes with overstuffed furniture and antiques that must have helped see unloved props get a final airing. In widescreen and technicolor it must have resembled GIGI or THE MERRY WIDOW. The most hilarious scenes to really really lap up involve a very young Clint Eastwood (25 years old) kissing Carol Channing! Fantastic! They elope together in the last reel! The railway station Ginger arrives at earlier at is the same as seen in OKLAHOMA, the last big musical distributed by RKO; Their very last film a minor but snazzy musical was THE GIRL MOST LIKELY also beautifully produced. Shame they gave up, but their films of the time, terrific as they were and modern in tone, just did not include respectable profits to continue. All other studios big and small had at least one blockbuster in this period, but alas RKO and Republic did not and folded.
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