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This Day in GINGEROLOGY - June 26th

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GingerTelevision...

Next GingerFilm(s) (on TCM - all times Eastern):

June 29, 2017 @ 1:00 P.M.Rafter Romance
July 19, 2017 @ 5:15 P.M. Chance at Heaven
July 21, 2017 @ 2:30 A.M.Lucky Partners
July 28, 2017 @ 1:30 P.M. Follow the Fleet
August 2, 2017 @ 6:00 P.M. The Major and The Minor
August 11, 2017 @ 6:00 A.M. The Tenderfoot
August 11, 2017 @ 7:30 A.M. Flying Down to Rio
August 11, 2017 @ 9:15 A.M. Chance at Heaven
August 11, 2017 @ 10:45 A.M. Twenty Million Sweethearts
August 11, 2017 @ 12:30 P.M. Star of Midnight
August 11, 2017 @ 2:15 P.M. Follow the Fleet
August 11, 2017 @ 4:15 P.M. Tom, Dick and Harry
August 11, 2017 @ 6:15 P.M. Bachelor Mother
August 11, 2017 @ 8:00 P.M. Kitty Foyle
August 11, 2017 @10:00 P.M. Top Hat
August11-12, 2017 @ 12:00 A.M. Dreamboat
August 12, 2017 @ 1:45 A.M. Tight Spot
August 12, 2017 @3:45 A.M. Once Upon a Honeymoon

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...

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ginger Rogers Film Review #5: Honor Among Lovers

"Honor Among Lovers"
(March 21, 1931 - Paramount)



Run Time (approximate): 75 minutes.

Directed by: Dorothy Arzner.

Screenplay by: Austin Parker and Gertrude Purcell.

Based on a story by: Austin Parker.

Also Starring: Claudette Colbert (as Julia Traynor), Fredric March (as Jerry Stafford), Monroe Owsley (as Philip Craig), Charles Ruggles (as Monty Dunn), Avonne Taylor (as Maybelle Worthington), Pat O'Brien (as Conroy), Janet McLeary (as Margaret Newton), John Kearney (as Inspector), Ralph Morgan (as Riggs), Jules Epailly (as Louis (headwaiter)), Leonard Carey (as Forbes (butler)), Grace Kern (as a party guest), Winifred Harris (as a party guest), Roberta Beatty (as Mrs. Fleming, a party guest), Charles Halton (as Wilkes), Granville Bates (as Clark), Si Wills (as a club waiter), Betty Morrissey (as a party guest), Nathan Rozofsky (as Dr. Nathan Rozofsky), Robert Barrat (as a detective (uncredited)), Elisha Cook Jr. (as an office boy(uncredited)), Charles Trowbridge (as Cunningham (Craig's Attorney)(uncredited)).

Ginger's Character: "Doris Brown"

Ginger 'Screen Time': approx. 3 min, 50 sec. (5.1% of the film)

Ginger Tunes: None

Gingery Goodness Factor (1-10): (1.0) - Ginger used to say, "There are no small roles, only small actors". Well, the role of Doris Brown stretches that axiom to its limit, as Ginger is given 4 or 5 lines for the whole movie... and the character is about as 'airheaded' as you can get, with NO real depth or sassiness whatsoever. In essence, Ginger's role here is for 'brief comic relief', but that occurs in just a few short scenes. This role is honestly Ginger's 'least', thus will most likely hold down the lowest GGF ranking for the duration of these reviews - well, I suppose 'zero' would be the LOWEST, but I give it a one just for the simple act of casting Ginger in ANY capacity.

GingerFilm Ranking: #5 of (5) Reviewed

Film Quality (1-10): (7.5) - Pretty fuzzy, but fair audio, and not many noticeable 'skips'.

Available From: eBay (maybe)

Huey's Review for Gingerology: Ginger's fifth film is, as mentioned, has Ginger in a VERY limited capacity. The movie itself is not bad, as it is the old 'love triangle' theme, as two dudes vie for the affection of lovely Miss Julie Traynor (Claudette Colbert). In one corner is Julie's boss, Jerry Stafford (Fredric March), and in the other corner is Philip Craig (Monroe Owsley), who has been Julie's 'steady' for some time.
Jerry takes Julie's title 'personal secretary' quite literally, as he is all up in her business constantly; Julie just dismisses it as part of the 'work experience'. Meanwhile, Philip has finally gotten up enough moxie to ask for Julie's hand in marriage, which she accepts. Of course, upon hearing of this, Jerry congratulates her, then promptly fires her.
But in a weird connection, Jerry entrusts gobs of his money to Philip to invest...and it pays off well, for awhile. Of course, the bottom falls out (as most stock-trading stuff seems to do in early 30's cinema, natch) and Philip is freaking out since he lost all of Jerry's clams in a bad deal.
Julie goes to Jerry to plea bargain, as only she could... but Jerry somehow keeps things 'above board' since she is now a married woman... from there, Philip just freaks out further, gunfire occurs, stories are corroborated, and all the usual suspects are rounded up... and the ending is for you to discover.
Overall, a pretty fair movie, but Ginger is just not well utilized at all... even in her 'comedy relief' role as Doris 'what's-her-name' - the 'fiancee' of Jerry's employee/broker/yes-man Monty Dunn (Charlie Ruggles), there should have been a bit more 'dialogue' or whatever... but the film itself was definitely a 'melodrama', so her scenes were few and far between. Again, I really dig Claudette, so it's definitely a good watch... but Ginger moves on to MUCH greener pastures after this role, y'all...
VKMfanHuey
---
Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): Of the four or five lines Ginger is allowed to utter in this film, the 'cutest' is when someone asks her what her last name is, and she goes into a detailed background of her family tree and the variations of surnames, before Monty cuts her off and succinctly announces,"Her last name is Brown."

...Ginger's first (and to my knowledge, ONLY) 'silent' scene... no dialogue at ALL in her first appearance...a foreshadowing of the remainder of her role in the film, unfortunately...

"...hmmm...wonder if those guys from RKO-Pathe will be calling again soon..."

"...I hope Lelee will be willing to move to Cali..."

"...I think she'll be OK with it...as long as they don't make me bleach my hair or anything..."

...And another smooch on the snoot for Ginger...was there some kind of law back then that you couldn't kiss a female on the lips until she reached 21? Hays wasn't afoot then, so, maybe a mandate from Lelee? No matter, as it's pretty cute anyway...

As usual, here are a few 'promo' pics gleaned from various books...a big 'source' for me is 'The Films of Ginger Rogers' by Homer Dickens...it's an awesome book, a MUST for any Gingerologist... again, they are on the 'grainy' side, but hopefully are 'clear' enough to be discernible - DEFINITELY better than some screen shots...

...as a 'side note', doesn't Charles Ruggles remind you just a bit of William Powell?

Other Reviews: "Claudette Colbert and Fredric March in the leading roles have been provided with ideal roles and give finished performances. Other outstanding players are Charles Ruggles and Ginger Rogers." -Motion Picture Herald.

"Mr. March makes his part as believable as it is humanly possible. Mr. Ruggles furnished some good comedy when he had the opportunity. Mr. Owsley does good work and Miss Colbert is excellent." -The New York Times

From Ginger: My Story: "The fifth film I did for Paramount was Honor Among Lovers with Claudette Colbert and Fredric March. Charlie Ruggles and I were the comic relief in the story of a business executive and his secretary. This time, the director was the talented Dorothy Arzner, one of the few female directors in the movies at that time."

Miscellaneous Stuff:
--- The movie was shot in French and Spanish versions.
--- Fredric March was reported to be very taken with Claudette Colbert, to the point of being a 'burden' for Colbert when working with him.
--- Working titles for the film included 'Strictly Business', 'Sex in Business', and 'Another Man's Wife'.

GingerFilm 'rankings' through FIVE reviews:
#1: Queen High;
#2: Young Man of Manhattan;
#3: The Sap from Syracuse;
#4: Follow The Leader;
#5: Honor Among Lovers.

Up Next: "The Tip-Off" - Ginger's first movie with RKO (well, at that point it is RKO-Pathe) is, as I remember, a GOOD bit more Gingery, so looking forward to it... it's her transition from Broadway to Hollywood, which seemed to work out quite well... the film is a typical 'light gangster' movie from the late 20's - early 30's... and is ultimately more of a comedy. Eddie Quillian and Robert Armstrong co-star.

Until then...

KIG, y'all!!!
VKMfanHuey
---

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

...odds and ends...

Hi y'all! Well, first things first, right? y'all KNOW I can't post without at least ONE GingerPic attached, right? So, I found this one which I have always loved, and it's in keeping with the time period of the recent reviews (circa 1930) - sorry for the 'quality', as it is just a scan from a book...I dig her hair here - curly, but not 'distractingly' so, if that makes any sense...
She REALLY looks older than 19 here - not sure why...maybe the 'serious' pose or whatever... but it works!


OK, just a few things amongst the reviews... First, I have 'updated' each 'existing' review to add the feature, 'Miscellaneous Stuff', which occurs right after the 'Ginger: My Story' excerpt... this will be the 'neat facts, alternate titles, and anything else' section regarding the movie...

Second, ...the Ginger 'six-pack' was received today!!! Haven't looked at them yet, and I will probably 'save' them for the review process, as I can 'critique' the quality of the copy... MAJOR kudos once again to WB for cranking out the good stuff!!!

...NOW, if we can jump on whoever owns Paramount pictures, and get the first five from Ginger out on DVD... and don't get me started on Fox... there's GOTTA be a copy of 'HCG' lying around in the vaults SOMEWHERE...

Anyway... thanks to all for the positive responses to the reviews... hopefully they are proving to be entertaining and informative. Of course, there is NO way these puppies will wrap up by Ginger's birthday... so I am most likely going to just do one a week (which is pretty much what is happening anyway)...will crank one out over the weekend. Actually, the next one, for 'Honor Among Lovers', should be quite easy, as it appears to have the least amount of Ginger I've seen in ANY of her movies... the movie itself may be the best one to date, but unfortunately the LEAST Gingery... thus it will be in the cellar, y'all...

OK - hope everyone has a great remainder of the week... heck, it's almost March! Hard to believe 'GingerMarch' was a year ago... I feel our buds over at TCM are going to crank out nice amounts of Gingery goodness on and around her birthday... they wouldn't let us down, would they? :-]

OK - Y'all Keep It Gingery!!!

VKMfanHuey
---

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ginger Rogers Film Review #4: Follow The Leader

"Follow The Leader"
(December 6, 1930 - Paramount)



Run Time (approximate): 76 minutes.

Directed by: Norman Taurog.

Screenplay by: Gertrude Purcell and Sid Silvers.

Based on the play "Manhattan Mary" by: William K. Wells, George White, Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva and Ray Henderson.

Also Starring: Ed Wynn (as Crickets), Stanley Smith (as Jimmy Moore), Lou Holtz (as Sam Platz), Lida Kane (as Ma Brennan), Ethel Merman (as Helen King), Bobby Watson (as George White), Donald Kirke (as R. C. Black), William Halligan (as Bob Sterling), Holly Hall (as Fritzie Devere), Preston Foster (as Two-Gun Terry), James C. Morton (as Mickie), Tammany Young (as Bull), Jack LaRue (as a gangster), William Gargan (as a gangster), William Black (as Bill Black), Dick Scott (as Richard Scott), Jules Epailly (as Gaston Duval), Charles Henderson (as C. Henderson), and Sid Silvers (as uncredited extra).

Ginger's Character: "Mary Brennan"

Ginger 'Screen Time': approx. 13 min, 06 sec. (17.2% of the film)

Ginger Tunes: None

Gingery Goodness Factor (1-10): (4.0) - This movie is primarily a 'vehicle' for Ed Wynn, whom I think is somewhat funny, but really more silly (guess it depends on how 'silly' a mood you are in at the time...) but it's generally a 'pedestrian' role for Ginger as the love interest - no singing and just a little bit of dancing in a 'rehearsal'...weird they didn't ever show her performing, as that was her line of work, and basically the main plot... again, no real 'close-up' shots, and the 'fuzziness' of the copy reviewed just doesn't do Ginger justice...hence the mediocre GGF rating.

GingerFilm Ranking: #4 of (4) Reviewed

Film Quality (1-10): (7.0) - Pretty 'intact', a few 'hops' here and there... the overall picture is a bit fuzzy... audio not bad. overall, pretty fair for the age.

Available From: eBay (maybe)

Huey's Review for Gingerology: Ginger's fourth film again finds her in a 'supporting' role, although the story line generally centers around her character, Mary Brennan. Mary yearns to become a stage star, and even has a few 'prospects' to break into it, including one from the neighborhood hustler Sam Platz (Lou Holtz).
Meanwhile, a waiter in Ma Brennan's (Lida Kane) restaurant, who is named Crickets (Ed Wynn), accidentally knocks out a gangster who has brashly wandered into the establishment. Well, come to find out this dude was running from the local 'gang', called The Dusters; when they find out Crickets clocked this dude, they proclaim him the Leader of The Dusters (or Grand Poo-bah, or whatever). Well, to show their appreciation, The Dusters assign Crickets to secure a starring role for Mary, who is dear to them for some reason (hey, it's Ginger, right?) - and if he doesn't succeed, The Dusters will dust off Crickets.
So, Crickets must set up a 'tryout' for Mary, and then somehow get her to 'replace' the star of the show, Helen Kane (Ethel Merman). Of course, Sam is still trying to land a role for Mary as well, so he and Crickets predictably keep running over each other in their endeavors. Crickets somehow ends up setting up Mary with the 'understudy' role, which flies all over Mary's beau, Jimmie Moore (Stanley Smith), who is a sax player in a local watering hole. His thinking is that when she gets rolling in the biz, she will leave him far behind, thus is not very supportive of her (in other words, he's a gooberhead...).
Meanwhile, Crickets kidnaps (in theory anyway) Miss Kane, so there will be no doubt that Mary hits the stage that night. But when he nabs the wrong dame, he resorts to Plan B, and just enters Helen's apartment and ties her up, and proceeds to knock himself out in the process... anyway, Mary does indeed go on that night, and of course receives rave reviews. She is presented with an opportunity to do a six-month gig in Paris, which, after a bit of thought (mainly worrying about her status with Jimmie (but she is not THAT worried)), she accepts. Time passes, and Mary returns triumphantly from La Paree back to the old neighborhood... and the wrap-up of this little tale happens shortly thereafter.
Again, this movie is basically a 'vehicle' for Ed Wynn to do his shtick, which is OK in short doses, but wears pretty old after awhile. Other scenes are obviously vaudevillian in nature, with varied results. Ginger is worth watching as usual, but overall this one was unfortunately a bit of a step back for her resume...

KIG, Y'all!
VKMfanHuey
---
Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): Well, there are really not too many moments FOR Ginger... her dialogue is quite 'pedestrian', and no singing gives few chances for her to 'shine'... I guess the early scene where Mary and Jimmy talk about their future may be the most we see and hear from her. As far as 'Screen Caps' go, honestly, they are just too dang fuzzy...I will post a few below, but just not too detailed... Here's a good 'indicator' of the 'distance' they used for the scenes...I think there are one or two spots where you can actually see the whites of Ginger's eyes... otherwise, they are just black dots. So, here are a few, but sorry for the lack of clarity... Below we have Mary and Jimmy hashing out the 'big picture', and how she is about to become a humongous star whilst he toots his horn to no avail...

...Mary realizing that Crickets is working the director pretty dang hard in order to land her the understudy role...

...so she does a short little dance - which gets me to thinking, WHY didn't they (Paramount, that is) ever get Ginger to crank out a 'full routine' of the Charleston in one of these films? Texas State Champ - hel-LO??? ...just one of those 'make ya go hmmmm...' issues, y'all...

...The dude from Paris with the proposal for Mary - Crickets sees this as a chance to proclaim himself Mary's manager (hey, he DID get her the 'first' gig and all...) and proceed to run through a tired old vaudeville routine with the French dude...

...Jimmy and Mary having small talk after her return form the Paris gig...hmmm...wonder what happens to these two...

Again, sorry for the fuzzy pics - sad that the movie wasn't shot with more 'close-up' views - but I guess these guys were still learning the 'nuances' of cinematography. Here are a few 'promo' pics from books which y'all have probably seen, but just in case...


...and yes, the first pic at the top of the post is from the second pic directly above this, not a screen cap - (BTW, I love her hair here... has a bit more 'poof' to it, and the curls seem to be curling in a most beguiling way :-] ).

Other Reviews: "Ginger Rogers and Stanley Smith are supposed to carry the love interest, but they seldom get a chance to do much, and Lou Holtz horns in whenever he can find a vacant inch of film." -Zit's Weekly

"Ginger Rogers is a hit with her sex-appeal voice. Worth seeing if you admire Ed Wynn enough." -Movies

"Miss Rogers is attractive in her part. It is a film that has been adroitly directed by Norman Taurog, who has made the most of both camera and microphone possibilities." -The New York Times

From Ginger: My Story: "Ruth Etting was supposed to play the part of Helen King, a musical comedy star, but at the last minute she was replaced by another young woman. A few weeks prior to shooting this film, Mother and I had gone to a movie theater in White Plains. The emcee introduced Ethel Zimmerman, a new singer who would do some songs with her accompanist, Al Siegel. She strode forcefully to the front of the stage and began to sing. She was sensational; her voice was clear and brilliant and every word could be heard in the far reaches of the theater. And now here she was in the same movie with me with a shortened name, Ethel Merman."

Miscellaneous Stuff:
--- This movie was Ed Wynn's first 'talkie' film.
--- Ethel Merman made her screen debut in this film, as a last minute replacement for Ruth Etting.
--- When this movie was released, Ginger and Ethel were starring nightly in the Broadway musical Girl Crazy.
--- Although Ginger did not sing in this film, one of the tunes from Queen High was 're-cycled' in instrumental form, "Brother, Just Laugh It Off".
--- Additionally, the film uses a few bars of the tune, "We Can't Get Along" from Ginger's 'short' feature, "Office Blues", which was released about a month before this film.

GingerFilm 'rankings' through FOUR reviews:
#1: Queen High;
#2: Young Man of Manhattan;
#3: The Sap from Syracuse;
#4: Follow The Leader.

...As usual, 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...

KIG!!!
VKMfanHuey
---

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

...ALL HAIL WARNER ARCHIVES...

The great folks over at WB Archives have released six...yep, SIX Ginger Movies from the Archives! The titles, generally in order of 'Gingery Goodness', are:

Primrose Path
Lucky Partners
Chance at Heaven
Finishing School
Upperworld
Suicide Fleet

Here is the wickedawesome link:

http://www.wbshop.com/New-Releases/ARCHIVENEW,default,sc.html?src=EDWAC&adid=0211WACNRcEml

Hope this is a BOON to folks who are looking for these... note you can buy the 'six-pack' for a somewhat reduced price... Huey will have his order in by midnight, no doubt! :-]

Again, KUDOS to WB Archives for putting out multiple Ginger titles in the Gingertennial... more to come? ...there's still quite a few RKO gems yet to be 'released', so here's hoping. But a KILLER start to the festivities!!!

KIG, y'all!!!!!!
VKMfanHuey
---

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ginger Rogers Film Review #3: The Sap from Syracuse

"The Sap from Syracuse"
(July 26, 1930 - Paramount)



Run Time (approximate): 88 minutes.

Directed by: A. Edward Sutherland.

Screenplay by: Gertrude Purcell.

Based on the play by: John Wray, Jack O'Donnell, and John Hayden.

Also Starring: Jack Oakie (as Littleton Looney), Granville Bates (as Nycross), George Barbier(as Senator Powell), Sidney Riggs (as Nick Pangolos), Betty Starbuck (as Flo Goodrich), Verree Teasdale (as Dolly Clark), J. Malcolm Dunn (as Captain Barker), Bernard Jukes (as Bells), Walter Fenner (as Henderson), Jack Daley (as Hopkins), Kathryn Reese.

Ginger's Character: "Ellen Saunders"

Ginger 'Screen Time': approx. 23 min, 30 sec. (26.7% of the film)

Ginger Tunes: "How I Wish I Could Sing a Love Song"

Gingery Goodness Factor (1-10): (6.0) - Ginger's first role of 'substance', as she plays an heiress who is about to get hosed out of her fortune, thus has some 'serious' scenes which Ginger performs quite well in... but the BIG issue I have with this movie is...there are basically NO close-ups of Ginger ANYWHERE...for example, the scene towards the end, where Littleton has to confess to Ellen he is not really an engineer, Ginger basically has her back facing the camera the WHOLE scene! It's like Mark Sandrich is let loose on the set! And with only one 'duet' she sings with Oakie, there's a bit lacking there as well... so overall, interesting to see Ginger's first 'semi-dramatic' role, but there could have been a WHOLE lot better scene layout or whatever... AND, check out the 'basic' mention of the film in Ginger's bio, as noted below... thus the 'low' grade here, Gingery-goodness-wise.

GingerFilm Ranking: #3 of (3) Reviewed

Film Quality (1-10): (5.0) - Somewhat rough... frame jumping, audio-video sync in spots, and a total video loss for 30 seconds about halfway through - some fuzziness as well... overall a pretty good candidate for restoration!

Available From: eBay, YouTube

Huey's Review for Gingerology: Ginger's third movie is a fair but predictable tale which ultimately revolves around her character, Ellen Saunders, and Jack Oakie's character Littleton Looney (Henceforth known as 'LL'). LL works on a construction team, and has some 'grandiose' ideas regarding his current and future status... this comes to fruition when he inherits a pretty nice sum of clams from a recently expired relative. He quits the crew and decides to take a trip to Europe, where he can ultimately see the place where his 'mentor', Napoleon, roamed the earth. His bosses...well, ex-bosses... decide to have a bit of fun by 'broadcasting' that LL is actually a famous engineer and is traveling 'incognito'. Thus, LL gets the royal treatment when he climbs aboard - he just figures that is the way ALL folks are treated on ships, as this is his first voyage - thus he is oblivious to the 'prank'. Ellen, meanwhile, is headed to Macedonia (pretty much modern-day Greece) to try to get her inherited mines cooking again; they have to turn a profit soon, or they will be 'taken over' by her swine-like 'guardian', Nycross (Granville Bates).
Of course, we HAVE to get these two together, right? :-) The meeting of Ellen and LL lightens up the proceedings - she literally runs him over whilst chasing after a Macedonia map. From the scuttlebutt aboard the boat, Ellen is under the notion that LL is the engineer of the Erie Canal; LL is again pretty oblivious to it - he just wants to make Ellen happy, so he is pretty much of the mindset of "yeah, sure, whatever...just keep plowing over me on the promenade, sweetie..." - well, of course, the situation gets more and more sticky and the two fall more and more in luv... (Chevy Luv?...) until LL has to confess to Ellen that he isn't really the 'Uber-engineer' everyone thinks he is...and that's where I'll leave it... but just remember kids, it's not good to 'string along' a lie, even if you didn't 'start' it.

KIG, Y'all!
VKMfanHuey
---

Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): Well, the 'lifeboat' scene is really the most memorable, but it is dominated by Oakie, who does a fair job, and seems 'genuine' enough on film, thus pretty likeable. Kissing Ginger on the nose is cool - probably what I would do (I like noses...don't ask...:-] )
Honestly, that's about it - no real favorite 'line' from this one... the only other scene which is 'interesting' is when Littleton is walking down the deck and a map flies by him - as he goes to chase it, Ellen comes flying out of her door and tackles LL as he is picking up the map, about twenty yards downfield... but even this sequence is a bit 'clunky'... oh well...

Below is Ellen blessing out Mr. Nycross regarding his reluctance to her trip to the mines... he's lucky she didn't start throwing stuff at him...

...Ellen overhearing that "Uber-Engineer" is on board (unfortunately, NOT Huey...I am currently just a "quazi-uber-engineer-in-waiting"...)

Ellen and Littleton meet, post-collision...

..."Listen, I'm going to finish this book and go to sleep...so hush up!"



"Littleton...I'm over here, dude...quit watching those snail-eaters...you're just encouraging them!"

...Ah, to be stranded in a dinghy with Ginger... a smooch on the snoot is called for!



"Miss Ellen, the Uber-Engineer is being summoned as we speak... we couldn't get Dr. Huey, but this other guy is the best we could spring for... but be wary of him, as he is prone to break out in song and attempt to kiss you on your nasal region..."

...and a 'close-up' of Ginger in slumber mode... foreshadowing the G-ology 'pic/header/avatar/logo', no doubt...


Other Reviews: "The love interest is Ginger Rogers, very competent ingenue. She is traveling to Macedonia to inspect her gigantic mining properties. She mistakes Oakie for a mining engineer or something of the sort and expects him to save her mines from the Octopodean clutches of her guardian." -Motion Picture Herald

"One of the saving graces of the picture is the charming personality of Ginger Rogers, whose performance is flawless in every detail. When Paramount aquired the services of this youthful stage star the studio scored a beat on other film producers. However, Miss Rogers is little known to Western film fans, but it is the prediction of the writer that she will soon become a popular screen player with the movie folks on the Coast." -Hollywood Daily Screen World

"Ginger Rogers gets her first real chance in this picture." -Zit's Weekly

From Ginger: My Story: "In May (1930) I was paired with Jack Oakie in The Sap from Syracuse. I played an heiress who has a shipboard romance with Jack. A. Edward Sutherland was the director."

Miscellaneous Stuff:
--- An alternate title for the film is 'The Sap from Abroad', as it was feared that European filmgoers would not know where Syracuse (New York) was.
--- The only song in the film was "How I Wish I Could Sing a Love Song (in the copy I have seen, anyway); however, there are two other songs noted in various reviews, entitled "Ah, What's The Use" and "Capitalize That Thing Called IT".
--- It is noted that a copy of this film was set aside for restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archives in 2000; hmmm...wonder if it is ready yet...Lauren? :-].

GingerFilm 'rankings' through three reviews:
#1: Queen High;
#2: Young Man of Manhattan;
#3: The Sap from Syracuse.

...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...

KIG!!!
VKMfanHuey
---

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ginger Rogers Film Review #2: Queen High

"Queen High"
(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!

KIG, Y'all!
VKMfanHuey
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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."

Miscellaneous Stuff:
--- 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...

KIG!!!
VKMfanHuey
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ginger Rogers Film Review #1: Young Man of Manhattan

"Young Man of Manhattan"
(May 17, 1930 - Paramount)



Run time (approximate): 82 minutes

Directed and Produced by: Monta Bell.

Written by: Katherine Brush, Robert Presnell, and Daniel Reed.

Also Starring: Claudette Colbert (as Ann Vaughn), Norman Foster (as Toby McLean), Charles Ruggles (as Shorty Ross), Leslie Austin (as Dwight Knowles), H. Dudley Hawley (as the doctor), The Four Aalbu Sisters (as the Four Sherman Sisters).

Ginger's Character: "Puff Randolph"

Ginger 'Screen Time': approx. 10 min, 38 sec. (12.8% of the film)

Ginger Tunes: "I Got 'It', But 'It' Don't Do Me No Good", "Good N' Plenty"

Gingery Goodness Factor (1-10): (7.5) - Very cute 'freshman' effort by Ginger, playing a 'ditsy' flapper to perfection...although 'Puff' ultimately is the source of 'adversity' of the film. The piano scene (which by all accounts she actually played while singing), along with the subsequent 'kiss' scene, is the apex of the Gingery Goodness.

GingerFilm Ranking: #1 of (1) Reviewed

Film Quality (1-10): (6.0) - Video is a bit grainy, but not too bad for the age...a few 'skips', and the audio/video 'sync' is a bit off - not too distracting except for Ginger's piano scene... and the audio 'track' is on one 'side' only.

Available From: eBay, YouTube

Huey's Review for Gingerology: The story begins as Newspaper reporter Ann Vaughn (Claudette Colbert) crosses paths with Sportswriter Toby McLean (Norman Foster) at a boxing match... after the event, she is trying to gather up her story, and Toby talks her into using his typewriter in his nearby apartment (in Manhattan, where the Young Man Toby resides...hence the name of the film... yup yup yup...) ...well, dude proposes quicker than Jimmy Stewart did in Vivacious Lady (dang, they worked quick back then... guess they didn't want to get bogged down with 'wedding details'...sorry, ladies...)
So, of course they get hitched, and soon Ann realizes that dude is not bringing in that many greenbacks... so, she decides to go back to work for a newspaper outfit, while Toby is all over the place with his 'sports beat', which evidently pays peanuts. In St. Louis, he is introduced to Miss Puff Randolph (Ginger Rogers), a quintessential 'flapper' who is out for no good...she is 'loosely' attached to a dude named Shorty (which is probably a nickname...) Ross (Charles Ruggles), who happens to work the same reporter circles Toby does... well, of course, Toby and Puff are introduced one to another, and you just know they will be seeing more of each other at a later date.
Puff is headed to school in NYC (what are the chances...) Jumping ahead to NYC, Puff runs into Toby and Ann at another sporting venue... of course they all go out gallivanting around, and the seed is planted for the Toby-Puff rendezvous... Ann, meanwhile, is getting a lot of play from her new boss, Leslie Austin (Dwight Knowles)...he just KEEPS scheduling 'working dinner engagements', which Ann feels pressured to keep... this keeps Toby 'home alone' one night, which inevitably leads to his calling on Puff the Magic Flapper for a fun night out... well, she flaps her cute little flappers (?) on over to his place, and begins to wail away on the keyboard (piano, that is...) with a Toby ukulele accompaniment...pretty neat stuff. Well, they smooch, and then trek off to other realms unbeknownst to our gentle audience.
The next morning, Toby tells Ann about the night with Puff, and she seems to have no prob with it...well, ALLLLRIGHT-y, then... Could it be that Ann has a fancy to frolic as well? hmmm...her boss man has been reoccurring quite a bit, so...
All of this carefree existence has its limits, alas, as Toby finds Ann to be not as 'generous' the second time he mingles mightily with Ms. Randolph... a large fight ensues, and it's splitsville for Toby and Ann... of course, neither one is happy about it, and as Ann falls ill, Toby reconciles with her just as she has recuperated fully... all's well that ends well... they live quite a few more years in Manhattan, have a few kids, then retire down to Miami, where they sip Mai Tai's while watching Jai-Alai... Of course, Puff went on to become...well, who really knows... I'm sure it was simply spiffy, tho...
TYPICALLY, I will try to not do any 'spoiler' deals on reviews...but c'mon, the end of this one you could smell a mile away...but a pretty neat film, nevertheless.

KIG, Y'all!
VKMfanHuey
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Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): "Cigarette Me, Big Boy!" became somewhat of a 'catch phrase' of the day; but she is just slap cute throughout this one...
Ginger's first line in her first major role is at the 12:12 mark, at the baseball game - "Wanna buy a sash for the Junior League?"

Also, the entire piano scene - cute singing/playing. And just after the tunes, the 'kiss' scene...Ginger is quite 'Gingery' here... her expressions and smile in that scene really foreshadow her overall persona we all know and love... good stuff!




And a final fav moment for Huey is simply when she answers the (freaky nude dude) phone at the 36 minute mark - a very cute 'Hello' - very foreshadowing of her future 'phone salutations' - such as her 'Hello' in "The Major and the Minor" when Major Kirby rolls into Stevenson...
Other Reviews: "...Ginger Rogers, in the part of Puff, the young girl who chases Toby about with 'irritating regularity'...is attractive and bright and sings well." -New York Times

"Charles Ruggles and Ginger Rogers, a newcomer, both also do excellent work." -Screen Play

"...Ginger Rogers in her interpretation of a modern flapper who talks baby-talk will make a big hit. She is not annoying like Helen Kane, the Boop-A-Doop lady. Ginger rogers makes no effort to be cute - but gives a legitimate characterization of a predatory college girl." -The Film Mercury

"Ginger Roger's Puff Randolph out-Kaned Helen at her best. She came within an ace of purloining the picture and filching the film." -Hollywood Filmograph

From Ginger: My Story: "Monta Bell, the director, instructed me to puff furiously on a cigarette during a scene in which I was supposed to pace up and down the room nervously. This was my very first feature film and I was eager to be as obedient as possible, but I didn't know how to smoke. Monta pointed to the corner of the stage and said "Go over there and learn!" I went to the far corners of the stage and practiced, lighting one cigarette after another, puffing on each one. I soon turned green and sick as a dog. My mouth felt like a barnyard floor. Why would anyone want to puff on this weed?"

Miscellaneous Stuff:
--- Ginger's reoccuring demand, "Cigarette me, big boy!" caught on as a 'catch phrse' throughout the nation.
--- The film was shot on a Paramount soundstage in Queens (NOT in Manhattan...).
--- The film's 'headliners', Norman Foster and Claudette Colbert, were at the time married in real life; this is the only film they worked on together.
--- Stock footage was used for the various sporting events shown throughout the movie; some of the 'real-life' athletes briefly shown include Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney.

Well, that's it for YMOM...please leave any feedback as to the format - it is greatly appreciated!

KIG!!!
VKMfanHuey
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Awards...Thanks, Y'all!!!

...I TRULY appreciate these, and the kind words regarding this blog...thanks for all the inspiration I have drawn from each of your blog sites, which are all awesome in their unique ways!!!
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

Awarded by Gingerella on 11/18/09 AND by Sally on 01/31/10

Awarded by Gingerella on 11/18/09 AND by Sally on 01/31/10
Thanks, Gingerella and Sally!!!

Awarded by Amanda Cooper on 11/21/09

Awarded by Amanda Cooper on 11/21/09
Thanks, AC!!!

Awarded by Maggie on 02/10/10 AND by Kate Gabrielle on 02/11/10

Awarded by Maggie on 02/10/10 AND by Kate Gabrielle on 02/11/10
Thanks, Maggie and Kate Gabrielle!!!

Awarded by Camille on 03/25/11 AND by Anna on 03/29/11

Awarded by Camille on 03/25/11 AND by Anna on 03/29/11
Thanks, Camille and Anna!!!