(August 23, 1930 - Paramount)
Run Time (approximate): 88 minutes.
Directed by: Fred Newmeyer.
Produced by: Lawrence Schwab and Frank Mandel.
Screenplay by: Frank Mandel.
Based on the play: "A Pair of Sixes" (1914) by Edward H. Peple; Adapted from the (1926) musical comedy by Lawrence Schwab, Lewis Gensler and B.G. DeSylva.
Also Starring: Charles Ruggles (as T. Boggs Johns), Frank Morgan (as Mr. Nettleton), Stanley Smith (as Dick Johns), Helen Carrington (as Mrs. Nettleton), Rudy Cameron (as Cyrus Vanderholt), Betty Garde (as Florence Cole), Theresa Maxwell Conover (as Mrs. Rockwell), Nina Olivette (as 'Coddles'), Tom Brown (as Jimmy), Edith Sheldon (as dancer), Elenor Powell (uncredited dancer), Theresa Klee, and Dorothy Walters.
Ginger's Character: "Polly Rockwell"
Ginger 'Screen Time': approx. 25 min, 50 sec. (29.3% of the film)
Ginger Tunes: "Everything Will Happen For the Best", "Brother, Just Laugh It Off", "I'm Afraid of You", "It Seems To Me"
Gingery Goodness Factor (1-10): (8.0) - First role that really is a 'pure Gingery' one, albeit a VERY young Ginger... it's cool to watch where the mannerisms we all know and love from Ginger (Gingerisms?) start to already show up in her second film...along with the 'easygoing confidence' she typically exudes. The singing numbers are cute, but not much different than in YMOM... this one DOES have Ginger doing a wee bit of dancing, so it's the first 'recorded' dancing for Ginger in a 'full' feature...
GingerFilm Ranking: #1 of (2) Reviewed
Film Quality (1-10): (7.5) - Video not too bad for the age...a few 'skips' - the audio/video 'sync' is pretty much in order. My copy is from the Library of Congress - there are quite a few GingerFilms in the LofC.
Available From: eBay, YouTube
Huey's Review for Gingerology: The story is quite straightforward, if a bit weird; business partners T. Boggs Johns (Charles Ruggles)(referenced as 'TBJ' henceforth) and Mr. Nettleton (Frank Morgan)(referenced as 'Mr. N' henceforth) are caught in the typical bickering which a lot of 'partnerships' see... but has now escalated to the point of 'breaking' the firm up; the 'firm', by the way, is a 'garter' R&D firm... which gives us plenty of...well, 'garter models' prancing about...(BTW, is this 'garter research and design' occupation still around? hmmm.... I'll check on it...) - and of course, both dudes stay in hot water with their ladyfriends as a result of all their strenuous research.
TBJ has his nephew Dick (Stanley Smith) (referenced as 'DJ' henceforth) on the payroll, and is trying to work up a 'hostile takeover' of the firm; however, Mr. N brings in his niece, Polly Rockwell (Ginger) to 'even things up', if you will.
Well, wouldn't ya know it, on the way to her first day in the office, Polly runs into DJ on the way over, and of course, a spark is mutually created... When she arrives at the office, and eventually learns that DJ is the dude her uncle has blasted for weeks, and of course she is the lass that TBJ has been trashing as well, well... that falls by the wayside.
So, what do we have? Well, more or less a 'Romeo and Juliet' type affair, only without all the blood letting...instead, we are given a 'watershed moment' from the two 'camps', via a lawyer overseeing the loggerheads...TBJ and Mr. N are coerced into playing one hand of poker, and the loser not only drops to 'lesser partner', but also has to be the other one's butler for a year (...wasn't that Jerry and George's concept of their ill-fated pilot episode on 'Seinfeld'?) So, Mr. N pulls 'Queen High', and TBJ dons the monkey suit... and the feather duster.
Meanwhile, Polly and DJ (who was axed by Mr. N) are doing their best to circumvent the feud between the two partners and hook up... and that's really about the gist of things... I won't tell ya what happens, but the end result is predictably a bit more cheery than the fate of the Capulet and Montague siblings...
The musical numbers concerning Ginger are pretty cute, the apex being 'Brother, Just Laugh It Off', where she cuts a BIT of a rug before yielding to a few other hoofers present...one of which is purported to be Miss Eleanor Powell, which is pretty dang cool... The only other tune which is of note, albeit for its quite 'disturbing' tone (yes, 'tongue-in-cheek', I suppose... but still weird), is Ruggles' "I Love the Girls in My Own Peculiar Way"... if you are a dude, don't go around singing this tune, unless you want to be subsequently bound, gagged, and mentally evaluated...
Overall, a neat movie, with a substantially larger role for Ginger, even though the role is a typical 'love interest'; she does get to branch out a bit... and begins to develop the Gingery Goodness we are all in love with!
Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): The favorite scene is the 'Brother, Just Laugh It Off' number... she is really cute singing this, and when she steps up in the second stanza and does a bit of hopping around, it's pretty neat...future Gingerness is really all over that little sequence.
...Another cool 'sequence' is when Polly steps into the middle of the conversation her relatives are having about her... facial expressions again foreshadow future Ginger...
...soon thereafter, Polly hits up her fat cat uncle for a position at his office... no problem there, of course...
Polly's first encounter with Dick Johns, courtesy of the NYC Department of subterranean transportation...
Dude sings quite a bit for Miss Polly... can't really blame him there... although here he kinda looks like he is trying to give her an 'Indian Burn' on her arm (sorry for the incorrectness - if you've got a better name for it, let's have it...)
...Later on, whilst Poor Richard is hang out in the local elm tree, Polly is 'pining' for him... (only women can do that, y'all...) hmmm, maybe he should be in a 'pine' tree instead...oof. I kinda thought this 'cap' was pretty cool... somewhat reminiscent of the photo shoot she did sometime later, with the 'shadeless lamp' (see the header of "Well Behaved Lightbulb")...
Another cool 'cap', after she determines the elm tree has dispatched dude to terra firma in a most uncourteous manner...
Polly warning dude about his precarious tree-climbing habits... well, actually, no...this pic is really from the middle of the film, but thought it would be a nice 'closer'...
Other Reviews: "Ginger Rogers, who has obvious intelligence, though she is not always exactly cast, lends spirited aid in this melange of music, her first endeavour being when she bursts into rhythmic melody in the office of Nettleton and Johns to the terpsichorean accompaniment of the very scantily robed mannequins of the garter department." -Today's Cinema
"...Miss Rogers does nicely by her role and Stanley Smith serves his part satisfactorily. The singing of these two is a good deal better than that in the average musical film." -The New York Times
From Ginger: My Story: "Top Speed closed in March 1930, and in April I began another movie, called Queen High, directed by Fred Newmeyer. I played the love interest of Stanley Smith, with whom I sang two songs. Frank Morgan, known later as the Wizard of Oz, and I also sang two songs. My friend from 'Young Man', Charlie Ruggles, was in the cast too, and we continued our fun."
--- Most 'GingerFilm lists, including TCM and Ginger's bio, list this movie as her second film; IMDB, however, gives that position to 'The Sap from Syracuse', and moves this film to her third... the release date favors IMDb, but the other lists may go with 'finished production' dates...
--- The dance scene in Mr. Nettleton's office featured performers from the Broadway musical "Follow Thru", including a very young Eleanor Powell.
--- Director Fred Newmeyer previously directed some of silent slapstick great Harold Lloyd's films.
So, now that more than one GingerFilm has been reviewed, here are the 'current rankings':
#1: Queen High;
#2: Young Man of Manhattan.
...remember, this is based SOLELY on the "Gingery Goodness Factor", and to a lesser extent the "Ginger Screen Time" and the "GingerTunes"...it's pretty 'subjective', but by no means all that scientific...