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This Day in GINGEROLOGY - June 23rd

1888: Lee Moran, who starred with Ginger in the films “Hat Check Girl” (as Man on Subway) and “Sitting Pretty” (as Assistant Director), was born in Chicago, Illinois.

1896: Jack Skirball, who, along with Bruce Manning, co-produced the Ginger film “Magnificent Doll”, was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

1913: Bonnie Bannon (born Pauline Frances Bannon), who starred with Ginger in the film “Gold Diggers of 1933” (as Gold Digger), was born in Tulare County, California.

1952: Eddie Arden, who starred with Ginger in the film “Flying Down to Rio” (as Bellhop), died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 44.

2016: TCM aired “Flying Down to Rio”.


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 @ 6:15 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...


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

GingerFilms That Weren't, Part One: Mother Carey's Chickens

Well, hiya, G-ologists! This is the first of (hopefully) a series of posts that will occur every now and again on Gingerology, regarding films that Ginger was pegged for at one time or another, but, for whatever reason, she did not end up in... lots of material here, folks... the more you research this stuff, the more you see that Ginger was a pretty hot 'commodity' for RKO in the mid-to-late 30s... like I have to tell Y'ALL that...

Anyway, this 'installment' concerns itself with the somewhat ill-fated production of "Mother Carey's Chickens", which was based on the novel written by Kate Douglas Wiggin in 1911(!)...she also penned the classic "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm".
Although there is a bit of 'variance' regarding Ginger's history with this film, here's the version that sounds best to me, as Lead Gingerologist...SO, here goes...
 ...the small print on this 'promo' reads, "Memories of "Little Women!" Again the sweet sensation of sheer loveliness glorifies the screen! Our studio believes, that here, at last, is the story of tender emotion, love and tears, destined to replace in the world's affections that picture of happy theatre memory..."

The treatment was picked for Ginger as early as 1936 by the RKO brass, and was to be her first lead role in a film sans Astaire (Star of Midnight and Romance in Manhattan each featured Ginger quite well, but not as the 'official' lead role; In Person does, but is not a 'drama', rather a comedy with music and dance...whatever ya wanna call that (I call it an awesome movie... 'Don't Mention Love To Me' just...is IT, y'all...) (digressing...))

It was reported that Ginge had even dyed her hair a more...well, Gingery shade for the role - a full four years prior to her hair color transformation in Primrose Path - so it appears that she was ready to roll with production. However, if anyone out there knows the saga of RKO upper management at the time (well, heck, for its entire EXISTENCE, for that matter...), there was a heap of shuffling in top brass, and each one with different 'philosophies'...and priorities. As a result (most likely), this treatment was 'shelved' for a few years, while Ginger whirled away with Fred...pretty dang hard to argue with that business model...
So, by the time someone pulled this one back off the shelf in early 1938, Ginger had advanced her career quite nicely, thank ya very much, and had even 'headlined' a few more movies, albeit not 'dramas' (Having Wonderful Time and Vivacious Lady)...so there were a lot more treatments being batted about for her, and this one just wasn't in the mix at that point...

Now, SOMEWHERE along this timeline, our ol' buddy Kate Hepburn was also tapped by RKO to take on the role (evidently when Ginger was slated for 'other projects (i.e., going full-bore with GandF films))...well, this was about the same time she was being labeled as 'box office poison' (she had just wrapped Bringing Up Baby for RKO, which was not well-received in its initial run), which she attributed to substandard roles offered up by RKO... and this script was deemed 'substandard' enough that she bought out her RKO contract and shuffled off to Columbia...Pictures, that is...  it's more than a bit interesting that the 'promo' above cites Little Women for comparison...
SO, where did that leave this film? Well, the role was eventually taken by Anne Shirley, as Nancy Carey... additionally, Ginger's bud from a few years back, Ruby Keeler, played the sister role in the film. Here's the link to TCM's info regarding the movie:

Mother Carey's Chickens

 The book, "The Films of Ginger Rogers" by Homer Dickens, also sheds light on the backstory to this movie. I haven't watched it, but plan to...always interesting to see a film which Ginger was originally 'thought of' for the role...

...Also, thanks to the cool blog, MCMXXXVIII by Mark Thom, for info regarding the 'Ginger angle' of the film's history, and general info regarding the eventual film...
***edited 11-09-12...thanks to GF (as usual) for digging up this awesome pic of Ginger in the 'MCC dress'...

Well, hope this has been an interesting post for ya... not 100% sure about all the pics of Ginger, but it appears the first few are 'dead-on' what the 'promo' pic looks like... the next to last one...not quite as much (seems like that one is from In Person...)...but seems to generally match the previous pics quite well, so... 'nuff said.

As for the Roberta review, that's 'in development'...actually, I've been adding stuff to the 'GingerFilmBlogs', primarily screen caps and any other files I have regarding the film in question...yeah, I'm generally setting up 'clouds', but hopefully will be of interest to y'all out there... I think I made it up to Don't Bet on Love...dang, it takes a fair amount of time to 'transfer' stuff... but it's getting there!

In the meantime, y'all...




  1. It's actually quite interesting to me to hear about projects that Ginger was supposed to do, but she never did them. I know this other one that's titled Perfect Harmony. In one of my folders on my computer I have a sort of poster that's presenting it. But obviously it never came to be. Don't know too much on that one, but hopefully when you do these kind of posts you can research.

    On another note, I'm pretty excited cause I'm getting together with a friend and we're going to create a game with my characters. It's going to be a long process cause we have to get copyrights,company, how much we would sell it, and all that stuff that goes into the game. Of course I will be the "director" cause I got everything down and maybe a few adjustments. But I just hope when we release it it's a success and Rex becomes popular! :)

    1. well, believe it or not, Perfect Harmony was going to be my next 'installment'! so... any info available would be of interest! I've found a few newspaper columns on it...it's cool to see the old 'archive' stuff from newspapers...
      but next on the agenda is Roberta... probably this weekend will BEGIN that review... I'm not putting a 'timeframe' on it... heck, aren't there enough deadlines out there as is?
      ...hey, awesome news about the game concept...dang, I don't even know how you would get started on something like that... BUT, if you get good at it, I know video game designers can make GOBS of bread... if I had it all to do over again, I would have looked into that...when I was your age, they were just cranking up with 'Pac-Man' and the like... the first generation of 'cool' video games... but just didn't know where to get started in that field.
      Well, heck, just remember yer ol' bud Hu when you are raking in the $$$$$... maybe you can fund a 'search team' for Hat Check Girl! :-)

      KIG, GF!!!


  2. I would have loved Ginger in His Girl Friday...

    There's also something in assembling clips of Ginger dancing in non-Fred films! Even just little bits of social dancing, but she seems to dance in nearly every film!

    1. ...EVERY movie from the 30s and 40s cannot be viewed by me without wondering...how would Ginger have played that? Especially the ones she was 'in the mix' for... Now, Voyager would have been VERY interesting with Ginger as Charlotte Vale... I can envision her in 'other roles', even when the actual role is a strong one for someone else, like Bette or Kate... 'Bringing Up Baby' would have been another one...although I DO like Kate's goofy prim and proper role in that particular one, honestly...(I'm not NEARLY as 'anti-Kate' as one would think... :-] )

      And yep, Ginger does twirl around in quite a few films... my favorite is in 'It Had To Be You', when she dances with her 'destiny man', he says something like 'you dance very well!"...and she retorts, '...It's my niche...' actually, I believe folks generally EXPECTED her to dance a bit in any given film...Fred was, of course, committed to dancing in any of his roles... but, also, I guess dancing was really much more a 'common activity' back then than now, of course...

      thanks, Ron!


  3. I think Ginger would have been great in "To Each His Own" which she turned down, unfortunately. She also would have been excellent in "Annie Get Your Gun" but the studio foolishly said no. What were they thinking?

  4. I found some hard to find ginger roger classics at this site I am going to try them out.



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