The assistant stage manager of a small-time theatrical company (Polly Browne) is forced to understudy for the leading lady (Rita) at a matinée performance at which an illustrious Hollywood director (Cecil B. DeThrill) is in the audience scouting for actors to be in his latest "all-talking, all-dancing, all-singing" extravaganza. Polly also happens to fall in love with the leading man (Tony) and imagines several fabulous fantasy sequences in which the director is free to exercise his capacity for over-the-top visuals in this charming 1920's era flick.Written by
Bliss Blood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Russell's homage to the twenties has aged better than most of his films because the tone is so right. The orchestration is period-perfect, and the costumes (by Russell's then-wife, Shirley) are astounding. Likewise the amazing sets echo the designs of Clarice Cliff, Lucy Atwell and a host of others. Twiggy is that rare star, a model who made a great transition to film, and she's supported by a Who's Who cast of English performers, especially bad girl Antonia Ellis, who went on to star in the British stage version of 'Chicago'. To cap it all, the film works on three distinct levels, the backstage musical, the onstage drama and the fantasy version. Some lines have even become catchphrases. Sandy Wilson, the original show's author, wrote a sequel called 'Divorce Me, Darling', which parodied the thirties. Some prints are shown without the 'Woodland Pastoral' dance sequence.
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