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Two producers are putting together a Calvacade of Stars for a wartime charity show. Along with a list of well-knowns they promote the work of an unknown singer and songwriter.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
In the scene where Conrad Wiedell takes Bette Davis and does a "Jitterbug" dance, she felt he was holding back in rehearsals, and told him to treat her like an experienced dance partner. When the cameras rolled, Wiedell--a national jitterbug champion hired specifically for this dance--pulled out all the stops and swung her around and she fell on her knee. As she finishes her song, you see her limping out of the nightclub set and leaning against a post, rubbing her knee. This was a real injury, but she finished the song despite the pain. When director David Butler asked Davis to "try it once more", she replied, "No! No! I said one take, and that was it." She then turned to the press who had shown up to watch her number, telling them "Show's over, gentlemen. Now get the hell out." See more »
In one of the scenes where Eddie Cantor, dressed as an American Indian, is being chased by other men dressed as American Indians, the film negative has been flipped - you can see the signs on store windows are clearly backward/mirror images of what they are supposed to read. See more »
Thank Your Lucky Stars was a wonderful all-star musical comedy from Warner Bros.
This is the second of the "war musicals" I'm reviewing for the next few days, the first having been Something for the Boys. This was Warner Bros. initial contribution of an all-star extravaganza to the war effort. I mean, seeing non-singing stars like Errol Flynn and Bette Davis warble entertaining tunes and having fun doing them are special treats to watch even today. And seeing Humphrey Bogart get shouted down by S. Z. Sakall is hilarious. In fact, the screenplay by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama (both of whom were natives of my birthtown of Chicago, Ill.) provided non-stop laughs for most of the time especially when the plot was focused on Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, and especially on Eddie Cantor who plays both himself as an egotistical jerk and a down-on-his-luck actor-turned-bus driver named Joe. And Sakall and Edward Everett Horton make a wonderful team when they have to deal with Cantor. The songs, by Frank Loesser and Arthur Schwartz, are highly entertaining especially Davis' "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" and Cantor protégé Dinah Shore sings a couple of their ballads wonderfully. Also a treat was a performance by Spike Jones and the City Slickers doing their funny stylings on a classical piece. Okay, not everything clicked and the movie, at a little more than two hours, may have been a little long. But I was so entertained, I mostly didn't care. So of course, Thank Your Lucky Stars gets a high recommendation from me. P.S. I found out that three players from my favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life, appeared though I only noticed one, Mary Treen as an Eddie Cantor fan who encounters Joe, while watching. Perhaps Frank Faylen, as a sailor, and Virginia Patton, as one of the girls in Ann Sheridan's number, didn't appear long enough for me to recognize them.
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