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This Day in GINGEROLOGY - May 22nd
1961: Joan Davis, who starred with Ginger in the film “The Groom Wore Spurs” (as Alice Dean), died in Palm Springs, California, at the age of 53.1965: Bobby Watson (born Robert Watson Knucher), who starred with Ginger in the film “Follow The Leader” (as George White), died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 76.
Next GingerFilm(s) (on TCM - all times Eastern):
June 23, 2017 @ 11:30 A.M. Flying Down to Rio
June 23, 2017 @ 1:00 P.M. Top Hat
June 23, 2017 @ 2:45 P.M. Swing Time
June 23, 2017 @ 4:45 P.M. Carefree
June 23, 2017 @ ^:15 P.M. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
Next GingerFilm(s) (on FXM Retro - all times Eastern) - NOTE - the FXM Retro site is kinda 'cryptic' as far as specific times, so please check local listings for 'specific times':
...No Films Scheduled...
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Well, the fourth and final week of GingerMarch 2010 on TCM occurs on Wednesday, March 31, and runs well into Thursday, April 1... it starts with her most acclaimed role, "Kitty Foyle", along with her other two films of 1940, "Primrose Path" and "Lucky Partners". the remainder of the movies shown are 'post-Kitty', from the 40's and 50's... a somewhat diverse lot of films, but all quite entertaining and including ample "Gingery Goodness" that we all crave... so, on to the synopses for this weeks offerings:
Kitty Foyle (3/31/10 - 8:00 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Kitty Foyle, who works at an upscale fashion cosmetics store in New York. One day after work, she meets up with her current boyfriend, Dr. Mark Eisen (James Craig); he asks her to marry him, and she accepts. He wants to get married ASAP, and tells her to meet him at the hospital at midnight, and they will go to Gretna Green, which must be a good place to get hitched. All things are humming along well until she stops back by her apartment to pick up some things, only to find her old flame, Wyn Stafford (Dennis Morgan) waiting inside. He wants her to run off with him to South America; the trouble is he is still married to someone else, and she is now engaged to Mark. But she has never gotten over Wyn, and tells him she will meet him at midnight to sail away with him. Now, Kitty is great, but she can’t be in two places at once… so she has to make up her mind. In order to do so, she has to have a ‘heart-to-heart with her conscience, which reminds her of her past experience with Wyn. The movie ‘flashes back’ to when they first met; Wyn, who is from the Philadelphia elite ‘Mainliners’, was looking for a secretary for his new magazine start-up, and Kitty just happened to be a grad from typing school; he hires her, and he instantly falls for her… and they become a couple. However, with Kitty being from the ‘common folk’, Wyn takes Kitty to New York to avoid being seen with her… sad, because he truly seems to love her, but is still more worried about his ‘Mainline’ image. They do eventually get married, and Wyn plans to renounce his ‘heritage’ and live a ‘normal’ life with Kitty… but when he brings her home to ‘meet the folks’, they give her the third degree, and of course she gets her Irish up and leaves, while Wyn tries to reason with the family…Kitty sees he will never let go of them, and she leaves alone for New York. After a bit, she discovers she is pregnant, and later that day she finds out Wyn is re-marrying. The remainder of the story will be left for you… Ginger won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, and it is really her most memorable role.
Tom, Dick and Harry (3/31/10 - 10:00 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Janie, a telephone operator in a small town, who has aspirations of finding a rich man to marry. In the real world, however, she is courted by a car dealer, Tom (George Murphy). Tom is doing alright, but is obsessed with climbing up the job ladder, thus not connecting with Janie, even though he has proposed to her. Janie has a heavy dream about their possible marriage, and the future routine of being the ‘model housewife’…not her scene. In the meantime, through work, she hears of a rich young millionaire, Dick Hamilton (Alan Marshal), which fuels her dreams… she tempts fate one day at a stoplight by getting in a very nice car which has (supposedly) a wealthy fellow behind the wheel…could it be Hamilton? Nope, it’s only a mechanic working on the car at the time – she doesn’t know this until she agrees to go out with him… this would be Harry (Burgess Meredith). Harry drops the reality on her, and she almost bolts, but he manages to get her to go with him… between frames of bowling, they discuss why ‘average’ girls can’t hook up with rich men… and Harry gives her a reality check…she sets out to prove him wrong, of course… but he is so enamored with her, he proposes to her…and she says ‘sure’… of course, waiting for Mr. Rich Dude… and by dumb luck, she is introduced to the aforementioned Rich Dude named Dick – and promptly sets out on a wild trip with him…of course, he also falls for her, and soon she has her third fiancée, but this last one is the one she has always had her sights set on… it all sorts out from there, as you will see.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Vivacious Lady (3/24/10 - 8:00 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Francey Morgan a nightclub singer who is being courted by Keith Morgan (James Ellison); Keith, however, does not give Francey her married name, but rather, his brother, Peter Morgan (James Stewart). Peter was sent to retrieve Keith from his ‘lost weekend’ in NYC and take him back to Old Sharon, where they work at the college that is led by their father, Mr. Morgan (Charles Coburn). However, when Keith sneaks out to evade Peter, Francey has her performance, and Peter is basically ‘hit by a truck’… Peter and Francey go out for dinner, and eventually spend all night roaming NYC. Not into long courtships, Peter asks for Franceys hand in marriage the next morning, and she becomes Mrs. Morgan. They meet up with Keith, who is a good sport about it, and they all catch the next train to Old Sharon. The remainder of the movie generally involves Peter’s attempts to inform his folks that he has married Francey, but results in a deeper hole being dug. The infamous(?) fight between Francey and Peter’s (unwanted) fiancée, Helen (Francis Mercer), is one of the funniest moments of Ginger’s career.
Bachelor Mother (3/24/10 - 9:45 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Polly Parrish, a struggling single girl who has just been axed from her job at Merlin’s Department Store, just in time for Christmas. On the way to the employment agency, she watches a lady leave a newborn at the stoop of an orphanage; being worried the child gets hurt, she picks it up and takes it in, saying someone left this baby outside for you all…of course, she is pegged as the actual mother by the folks, and she gave them just enough info for them to track her down after she leaves. She gains her job back after the orphanage boss talks with David Merlin (David Niven), the playboy son of the Big Boss, J.B. Merlin (Charles Coburn); the catch is she must keep the baby in order to keep her job. David begins to take an interest in the single mom, at first ‘platonically’, but then romantically as well. Rumors soon circulate that David is the father, and J.B., who has all but given up on David ever settling down and raising a family, seeks to basically ‘abduct’ the baby from Polly, as he thinks it is his grandson. Everything works out in the end as one would suspect… this movie is honestly one of my top 5 Ginger movies ever…just very entertaining from top to bottom…why it isn’t on DVD is a great mystery! Funniest scene is when Polly pretends to be Swedish… and when she walks into David’s office to be reinstated, she is just so beautiful in that scene…
In Person (3/25/10 - 3:45 AM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Carol Corliss (a.k.a. Clara Colfax), a famous movie star who suffers from agoraphobia, that is, fear of being in public places. Therefore, she treks outside incognito, as the rather homely Clara Colfax. She is helped by Emory Muir (George Brent) after she faints while out one day; he escorts her back to her hotel, which happens to be where he is staying. Emory and his uncle, judge Thaddeus Parks (Grant Mitchell) are later at the hotel lounge speaking of retreating to their mountain cabin; Clara overhears this, and asks Emory if she could join him in the trip, so she can ‘get away’ for a bit. He agrees, and they are off. They stay in separate cabins, of course, but Clara is told to clean up and cook. This does not sit well with Clara, who, after out swimming one day is spotted by Emory, who figures out she is in reality Carol Corless by seeing pictures of her on movie magazines. After she reveals her true identity, Emory decides to act unconvinced she is Carol Corliss, but just a lady who has problems; ultimately in the hopes of prolonging their stay together. After a series of events, Emory finally relents and admits she is Carol. He gives up any hope of winning her love, and plans to take her back ASAP… but not before they get married (at gunpoint) by the local justice of the peace, who was told they were in the same cabin, but not man and wife. They fall away from each other, but get back together in the end. Ginger has a few dance routines in this one – “Got a New Lease on Life” and “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”, along with a ‘non-dance’ tune, ‘Don’t Mention Love to Me’ (one of my faves).
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
A lot of these movies are the 'B & B movies' Ginger speaks of when she was breaking into the industry, and for the immediate timeframe, trying to stay afloat during the Depression... as a result, some of these only have Ginger in limited roles (...NOT 'small' roles, mind you, cause Ginger was NEVER a 'small' actress!)
So, you may or may not be that interested in some of these - can probably tell by the length of each synopsis whether Ginger is featured prominently or not... but of course, the staff here at Gingerology definitely recommends that you take a look at each of them, cause even a bit of Ginger is worth the time and effort!!!
42nd Street (3/17/10 - 8:00 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Ann “Anytime Annie” Lowell, one of many hopefuls trying out for a new musical, which is bankrolled by the “Sugar Daddy” of the female lead, Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels). After Miss Brock sustains an injury after late night shenanigans, the lead role must be taken over by Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler), who becomes a star overnight and hooks up with Billy Lawler (Dick Powell), the show’s ‘juvenile’. Check out Ginger and Una Merkel singing ‘Shuffle Off to Buffalo’…very cool.
Gold Diggers of 1933 (3/17/10 - 9:45 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Fay Fortune, a showgirl working on a premier of a new show which is shut down by the law due to unpaid bills by the producer, Barney Hopkins (Ned Sparks). As Fay and the other girls fret about their next working gig, a nearby songwriter, Brad Roberts (Dick Powell) catches the fancy of Polly Parker (Ruby Keeler). Brad’s tunes catch the ear of Barney, and a new show is in the works. Along the way, two of the girls, Carol King (Joan Blondell) and Trixie Lorraine (Aline MacMahon), mess with Brad’s brother Lawrence and the family attorney Peabody, who track Brad down to ‘save’ him from these ‘Gold Diggers’…to no avail. The first scene is arguably one of Ginger’s most well-known routines (sans Fred), although there’s not much in the way of dancing. ‘We’re In the Money’ is a song folks still know today, and Ginger’s ‘pig-latin stanza’ is about the coolest thing ever caught on film, IMHO…
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The Gay Divorcee (3/10/10 - 8:00 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Mimi Glossop, who is unhappily married, and seeking to put an end to it, as her husband refuses divorce. Her Aunt Hortense (Alice Brady) arranges a meeting with Egbert “Pinky” Fitzgerald (Edward Everett Horton), a lawyer who specializes in arranging ‘professional correspondents’ in order to ‘force divorce’. Eggy’s friend Guy Holden (Fred Astaire) pursues Mimi after a chance meeting, and finally ‘catches’ her, but not very well. All parties end up at a seaside resort; Mimi to meet up with her correspondent, and Guy tagging along with Egbert to take his mind off of losing Mimi back in town. Of course, Mimi and Guy hook back up, do some dancing (to put it lightly!), and become quite enamored with each other, until through misunderstanding, Mimi believes that Guy is her assigned correspondent. The real correspondent, Rodolfo Tonetti (Erik Rhodes) shows up, and you'll just have to see how things end up from there… check out a young Betty Grable in this one, dueting with Edward Everett Horton in “Let’s Knock Knees”. Fred and Ginger dance to “Night and Day”, their first ‘epic’ routine…Ginger sings the bulk of “The Continental”, the first tune ever to win an Academy Award for Best Song.
Top Hat (3/10/10 - 10:00 PM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Dale Tremont, a wealthy young lady visiting London at exactly the same time as dancer Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire). It takes Jerry a few tries, but eventually he wins Dale over; Jerry sends her flowers, but uses the charge account of his manager, Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton). This leads Dale to believe Jerry is actually Horace, who happens to be married to Dale’s friend, Madge (Helen Broderick). Madge has been suspicious of Horace for some time, so when Dale breaks the news that Horace (actually Jerry) was pursuing her, Madge is not surprised, and actually seems ok with it! This floors Dale, and when they all meet up in Venice, she dances with Jerry to ‘Cheek to Cheek’…but then breaks off the romance. She turns around and marries her dress maker, Alberto Beddini (Erik Rhodes), who had asked for her hand for years. Will Dale and Jerry reconcile? I wouldn't bet against it... Their dance down the stairs is pretty dang cool...
Swing Time (3/11/10 - 12:00 AM Eastern): Ginger portrayed Penelope “Penny” Carrol, a dance instructor in NYC; John “Lucky” Garnett (Fred Astaire) has just missed his wedding day while gambling with his buds in his stage revue, and is now trying to prove to his fiancée’s dad that he can hold down a job and bring in some money. Thus, he is off to NYC to find work, with his friend, Everett “Pop” Cardetti (Victor Moore) in tow. Of course, John and Penny cross paths, and eventually fall in love; Pop also becomes a ‘sugar daddy’, via gambling, for Penny’s friend, Mabel Anderson (Helen Broderick). In the process, John gambles with a nightclub owner and wins the club orchestra contract so he and Penny can dance, but then loses it after the ‘original owner’ discovered they were bamboozled the first time. At the same time, John tries to not get ‘too’ involved with Penny, remembering his promise to his fiancée back home – so Penny eventually decides to marry the orchestra leader, Ricardo “Ricky” Romero (Georges Metaxa). Meanwhile, John’s fiancée shows up and lets John off the hook about their engagement, thus John proceeds to catch Penny to try to win her back before marrying Ricky…will he make it in time? Probably so…Ginger said this movie was her favorite of her collaborations with Fred Astaire.
It is my hope that I can continue to make 'G-ology' interesting and informative regarding the 'Beautiful Science' of VKM, which is SUCH a great topic!!! ...And remember, your comments are what make Gingerology click - so keep cranking them out!
Thanks again, JW