One one hand it's outright inconceivable washboard-dry Bari was an actual bona fide pin-up girl in ye 40s (and somewhat 30s), her bony chest somehow missperceived as part and parcel of a "million dollar figureiii". June Havoc on the other hand is the adult instar of vaudeville's Baby June, sister to ecdysiast and... socialite, I suppose, Gypsy Rose. Just as much B ; she was definitely and undeniably A as a dancin' & prancin' preteen, but by the time the baby fat dried off Hovick her pretty blue eyes and readily kicky legs stuck to RKO. Payne is such a forgettable turdiv I spent the whole time thinking I'm watching William Powell in The Great Ziegfeldv and awakening from the sweet delusion with an unpleasant start each close-up. Jack Oakie, finally, is a John Goo
fdman forerunner like you couldn't believe. I kept thinking I'm seeing that oaf, then figuring what the hell, is he negative twenty years old ?! Then coming back to sense, it's Oakie, not Oafie! If you're a Goodman fan (you don't have to be as big a fan as I am, even a smaller fan will do) you gotsta do yourself the favour and watch his prophet at work.
Oh, right, and Alice Faye, Hell's Kitchen's most famous singer in the world. She sure can sing alright. She's a perfectly acceptable operatic contralto, with personal color, though she doesn't protect her lower ranges correctly and so on. Actress singers, whatever. She introduced "You'll Never Know" here, which supposedly is still a standard (though I don't expect you know it). She took off soon thereafter to mom out, and returned two decades later (to make State Fair), which prompted a quite memorable
I don't know what happened to the picture business. I'm sorry I went back to find out. Such a shame!
that I also very much don't expect you know about. And that was in the sixties, which is to say long, long before
Hot Topic Netflix.
All the foregoing slowly constructs the context and atmosphere for what exactly is so delightful about this production. Simple enough to explain, now : its not having much to do with your usual stock in trade, that's what. Yes the woman gets the man, yes eventually, but I can't imagine who'd begrudge her the success, or why would they. Nor is it a matter of "having earned it", in the meta-sense. She's actually earned it. Not "something you say", you know ? None of it is "something you say", not even the parts they sing. That's what's delightful about it.
Everything other than what you are, and what you do, and what you think and how you think it. That's the only delight in this world.———
- The mayor actually complained, resulting in MGM billing it "Hello, San Francisco, Hello" for all local screenings. [↩]
- 1943, by Bruce Humberstone, with Alice Faye, John Payne, Jack Oakie, June Havoc and Lynn Bari. [↩]
- No shitting, "The Woo Woo Girl" and nonsense in that vein, bitch ain't got what to fill a B-cup with. Lifelong B-lister, B-cup Lynn B.
Speaking of which, hey bimbo you should get her whole film list, she's been nobody in a lot of half-decent to almost-interesting productions. [↩]
- Borne out of something quite like Dangerous, incidentally. [↩]
- Not a much better, or all that different, film. Actually worse, really, which in retrospect explains how come I never reviewed it. [↩]