Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2022) on… International Lady (1941)

Today, we’re here to look at a 1941 spy thriller called International Lady starring George Brent, Ilona Massey and Basil Rathbone!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Beginner’s Luck (1935)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 5 (1935-1936) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 18 minutes, 38 seconds)

After having Spanky (George McFarland) recite for some of her lady friends, Spanky’s mother decides to enter him in an amateur talent contest. However, Spanky has no desire to win, and enlists the Gang’s help to sabotage his performance. It’s yet another short focused on Spanky, and the results are once again hilarious! Spanky brings the fun, whether dealing with a meddlesome parrot or doing his recitations (especially when he defends himself against everything the Gang was throwing at him). Of note with this short is the debut of future Our Gang star Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer (although not as the character he would become known for). I laughed from start to finish on this one, which in my book makes it worth recommending (and I’ll certainly be coming back to it whenever I can)!

And Now For The Main Feature…

During the London bombing by the Nazis, Tim Hanley (George Brent) runs into concert singer Carla Nillson (Ilona Massey), and invites her to a bomb shelter/nightclub. There, they run into music critic Reggie Oliver (Basil Rathbone), who joins them. However, Tim and Carla had been followed there by somebody, and Tim decides to go down to the police station with the man to do something about it. There, he is joined by Reggie, and it is revealed that neither Tim nor Reggie are who they claimed to be. Tim (who had claimed to be a lawyer working with the U.S consulate) was actually an FBI agent while Reggie was from Scotland Yard, and they were both with Carla because she was suspected of being part of a ring of saboteurs trying to stop American planes from being shipped to England. However, the two men can’t quite agree on how to handle the case, resulting in Tim trying to sneak Carla off to Lisbon (without Reggie), where he helps her get a visa to America. While in Lisbon, Carla sneaks away to meet with members of the sabotage ring to get her new “music” (which is the code for the organization). Tim had seen her sneak away and tried to follow, but the cab he tried to take quickly lost sight of her. Reggie joined them after they got back together, and the three finished out the trip to the U.S. together. Once in the country, Carla went her way to the home of chocolate magnate Sidney Grenner (Gene Lockhart) (who was also the head of the ring of saboteurs) to prepare for his radio program (where they would use the music to communicate with the other members). At the party being held for Carla’s “concert,” Reggie goes undercover as a waiter, and snoops around while everybody is listening to Carla sing. He overhears a telephone conversation between Grenner’s “butler” Webster (George Zucco) (who is an expert marksman) and another member of the ring. After the concert, Tim finds Carla’s sheet music, and, discerning the existence of a code on there, he writes it down to pass off to another agent. When Webster sees Tim alone in the garden, he is suspicious and takes a shot at Tim (but doesn’t kill him on purpose). Carla discovers that Tim is an FBI agent, but she doesn’t reveal it to anybody else until after Tim has left the premises. With time running out as the saboteurs follow through with their plans to destroy all the planes being sent to England, Reggie works hard to crack their code. But will he succeed in time? And will Carla’s feelings for Tim stop her from continuing to take part in the sabotage (or will she let Tim get killed)?

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of this film at all until it was announced for a Blu-ray and DVD release from ClassicFlix (but more on that in a moment). I’ve come to enjoy trying out the different films that ClassicFlix has been putting out, so I was willing to give it a try (and the presence of Basil Rathbone in the movie certainly didn’t hurt its appeal). In general, the film turned out to be better than I had anticipated. I found the film’s way of showing the saboteur’s code being sent while Ilona’s Carla was singing to be an interesting way of portraying it. I have mixed feelings about George Brent’s performance, as I don’t think he fully works as the leading man in this film, yet I like his relationship with Basil Rathbone’s Reggie, as the two almost work well as a comedy team (with their main comedy bit being the language difference between British and American slang). Even apart from his dealing with George Brent’s Tim, Basil Rathbone really carries the film, especially when he is in disguise at the party (which is almost hard to notice at first unless you are really looking for it, which is saying something). You won’t really find a lot of tension here (especially since this is considered a spy thriller), and you won’t find much in the way of shootouts. Still, I found it to be a very entertaining film (and one I’m glad to have seen), and I think it’s worth giving a chance!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… International Lady (1941)

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from ClassicFlix as part of their Silver Series line of releases. According to a post by the founder of ClassicFlix on one of the forums I frequent, their original plan was to release the film on DVD only, but they were given an HD master by the owner that was good (but not quite good enough for their main line of releases, and would be too expensive of a proposition for them to do a new and better master). Having seen it now myself, I’m still very impressed with a picture that looks quite good, with very little damage evident, and a fairly sharp picture throughout. Overall, it’s a very good transfer given a pretty good release on disk. Given that it’s part of their “no frills” Silver Series, there are no extras beyond a few trailers for some of ClassicFlix’s other releases, and there are no subtitles for those who need them (but dialogue is still relatively easy to understand the majority of the time).

Film Length: 1 hour, 42 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Jezebel (1938) – George Brent – Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)

Balalaika (1939) – Ilona Massey

The Mark Of Zorro (1940) – Basil Rathbone – The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad (1949)

The Sea Wolf (1941) – Gene Lockhart – Going My Way 1944)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… In Person (1935)

We’re back for some more fun with the 1935 Ginger Rogers movie In Person, also starring George Brent and Alan Mowbray!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Rocket To Mars (1946)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 6 minutes, 35 seconds)

While touring a museum, Popeye and Olive accidentally start a rocket that takes Popeye to Mars. Fun little cartoon, possibly one of the first to feature an alien invasion (or so I’ve read). Admittedly, Olive’s presence is so quick, you almost wonder why they bothered. The fighting between Popeye and the Martian Bluto (and his troops), especially after Popeye has his spinach, is fun as always (even if it is a little one-sided). Obviously, realism goes down the drain here, but that’s the fun, and I definitely enjoyed this cartoon!

And Now For The Main Feature…

After being mobbed by a group of unruly fans, movie star Carol Corliss (Ginger Rogers) developed a fear of crowds and people. Wearing a disguise of a wig, glasses, buck teeth and a veil, she tries to go back out under the guise of “Clara Colfax,” with limited success. On one attempted outing, she is nearly in an accident, but is helped by Emory Muir (George Brent). When she later overhears him talking with his uncle Judge Thaddeus Parks (Grant Mitchell) about going to a mountain retreat, she tries to get in on the idea. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Aaron Sylvester (Samuel S. Hinds), a friend of the judge, reluctantly signs off on the idea, but doesn’t tell Emory who “Clara” really is. When they arrive, Emory lets “Clara” stay in the cabin by herself, while he goes to a nearby shack. In the morning, while bird-watching, he spies Carol swimming in the lake, and follows her wet footprints back to the cabin. Going into town for an errand, he finds a few pictures of Carol Corliss in the magazines and realizes who she is. Upon returning to the cabin, he finds that Carol has abandoned her disguise and decides to tell him who she is. He fakes a lack of knowledge of Carol Corliss, and has her work around the cabin, doing cleaning and cooking chores instead of letting her sit around doing nothing. As Carol tries to convince him of the truth, she starts getting through her fear, even taking him to a local screening of one of her movies, where she has to deal with another mob of fans. There, she also runs into her co-star, Jay Holmes (Alan Mowbray), who has come after her to bring her back to Hollywood. Emory threatens to leave, but Carol manages to con the local sheriff into forcing a marriage between the two. However, the sheriff catches Jay instead, resulting in some confusion until Emory shows up, and the two are reluctantly married, with plans to divorce before Carol goes back to Hollywood.

Based on a novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams (who wrote It Happened One Night), the movie was originally conceived as a potential Astaire-Rogers film. Fred Astaire turned it down, but Ginger decided in favor of it, and was joined by others who had worked on the Astaire-Rogers films, including director William A. Seiter (who had directed the 1935 Roberta), regular writer Allan Scott, choreographer Hermes Pan and lyricist Dorothy Fields. The new music was written by Oscar Levant. Honestly, the Astaire-Rogers connection makes it a bit more fun, with Easter Eggs such as the song “Lovely To Look At” playing on the radio when they first get to the cabin, or Alan Mowbray’s line of “I’ve co-starred in every picture that Carol Corliss has ever made” (which probably fit Ginger better, as she had had a movie career apart from Fred, but, outside of his small debut in Dancing Lady, she had co-starred with him in every movie he had done up to that point).

Now, I had first heard of the movie when I read the book Astaire And Rogers by Edward Gallafent most of fifteen years ago. According to that book, it was said to be a difficult movie to find, so when I found it listed on the schedule for the Turner Classic Movies channel a few years later, I jumped at the chance and recorded it on my DVR. I ended up enjoying it very much! With only three new songs, it really barely qualified as a musical (especially since the first song doesn’t really happen until more than halfway into the movie), but they were still fun! Admittedly, the song “Don’t Mention Love To Me,” sung by Ginger for the “movie-within-a-movie,” was rather forgettable. However, the song “Got A New Lease On Life” was fun, giving Ginger a chance to dance around the cabin while she was still preparing the food (and if I have any complaints about that one, it’s that the dance was too short). But I REALLY enjoyed the tune “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind,” which starts with her walking on a revolving bar while she sings, before getting off to dance with the male chorus. While her dancing may not be as polished as it would be when she danced with Fred Astaire, it’s still a fun dance number! I do admit to having mixed feelings about George Brent’s character. On the one hand, Ginger’s character is a bit selfish and too proud to do work to start out, but then again, I do feel that his thing of making her do domestic chores is pushing it a little. Still, I will readily admit to enjoying this movie, and I very heartily recommend it!

So, as you can imagine, after seeing it that first time, I very patiently waited for this movie to be released on DVD, and finally, the Warner Archive Collection announced it for release on DVD on March 19, 2019, much to my happiness (and it certainly took long enough to come out)! Now, do I wish it could have been given a full restoration and released on Blu-ray? Yes. But I’m no fool. As I said before, this movie has been described as rare and hard to see, which makes me question what shape the film elements might be in or what’s available, and, since the movie has been (to quote my favorite song from this movie) “out of sight and out of mind,” it certainly wasn’t likely to be popular enough to warrant what might be a costly restoration, so I’m definitely glad to have it on disc, so that it is that much easier to see!

Film Length: 1 hour, 27 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

*ranked #5 in Top 10 Movies Watched In 2020

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Top Hat (1935)Ginger RogersFollow The Fleet (1936)

42nd Street (1933) – George Brent – Jezebel (1938)

Alan Mowbray – Rose-Marie (1936)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… Out Of The Blue (1947)

Our next film is the 1947 comedy Out Of The Blue, starring George Brent, Virginia Mayo, Turhan Bey, Ann Dvorak and Carole Landis.

German shepherd Rabeleis has been burying his bones in the Earthleighs’ terrace. Mae Earthleigh (Carole Landis) wants her husband Arthur (George Brent) to tell off their next-door neighbor (and Rabeleis’ owner) David Galleo (Turhan Bey), and have him get rid of the dog, or they will have him evicted. Mae leaves by train to go visit her sister, and while she is gone, Arthur goes to a restaurant, where he meets Olive Jenson (Ann Dvorak). After flirting and drinking together, Arthur invites her back to his home. However, he decides against it, but can’t get her out of his apartment, and she ends up fainting. Arthur, believing her to be dead and unwilling to risk the scandal, tries to leave her on David’s terrace. The police are called when two nosy neighbors see the “body” (considering how much the news had mentioned a serial killer in the area), but Olive wakes up for David and his girlfriend, Deborah Tyler (Virginia Mayo), and they plan to get their revenge on Arthur for trying to evict Rabeleis. They fool Arthur into helping them bury a dummy made up to look like Olive, while the strain continues to get to him. Meanwhile, Olive ends up causing trouble between David and Deborah when she won’t leave his apartment, either.

I admit, I had a lot of fun with this movie. Now, to be fair, this movie does require a LOT of suspension of disbelief, considering George Brent’s Arthur Earthleigh is told by Olive that she has trouble with fainting, and he conveniently forgets it (although, to be fair, the two spinsters watching everyone do admit he tends to forget things when we are first introduced to him). Still, Ann Dvorak as Olive is absolutely hilarious, as she is almost always tipsy, and easily gets under everyone’s skin as she continuously overstays her welcome, whether with Arthur or with David. Of course, watching David and Deborah play a trick on Arthur and have him help bury a dummy is hilarious, as is Arthur’s visit to the lawyer to tell him about the “murder.” Is this one of the absolute best comedies you can find? No, but it was a fun one, and easily recommended just the same!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Classicflix. Honestly, that alone should say how wonderful this movie looks (great!), and it certainly made it an easy decision to give this movie (which I had never even heard of before they announced it) a try! An easy recommendation as the best way to see it!

Film Length: 1 hour, 25 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Tomorrow Is Forever (1946) – George Brent

Virginia Mayo – White Heat (1949)

An Old-Fashioned Christmas Movie On The Farm (2019) with… Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)

As we get into the holiday season, let’s get started with the melodrama Tomorrow Is Forever starring Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles and George Brent.

It’s the end of the first World War, and Elizabeth MacDonald (Claudette Colbert) is looking forward to the return of her husband John Andrew MacDonald (Orson Welles). However, she receives a telegram stating that he has been killed in action. Pregnant with his baby and grieving, she is helped by her boss, Larry Hamilton (George Brent), and they get married. However, John is alive, but in very bad shape in an Austrian hospital, and although the doctors can help him, he decides to let Elizabeth continue to believe him dead. Fast forward to 1939, and Elizabeth and Larry are still happily married, with her now grown-up son Drew Hamilton (Richard Long) contemplating joining the Canadian RAF to help fight in the coming war, much to his mother’s dismay. Larry has also recently hired celebrated Austrian chemist Erik Kessler (John MacDonald’s new name), who has emigrated with his adopted daughter Margaret (Natalie Wood). While Erik recognizes Elizabeth still, she doesn’t quite recognize him the first few times they meet. She is more concerned with the thought of losing her son Drew, much the same way she lost her first husband. While she starts to believe she recognizes Erik as John, he denies it while also trying to repair the rift between mother and son (especially since Drew doesn’t know he has a father other than Larry).

Admittedly, this is probably not a movie that can really be classified as a Christmas movie. Most of the connection to the holiday is in an early scene when Elizabeth is coming home with a Christmas tree, only to find the telegram that told her of her husband’s death. While the movie comes around to that time of year again, it is mainly to emphasize December 20, which was Elizabeth’s wedding anniversary with John MacDonald. Otherwise, there is no connection to the Christmas holiday. Still, it’s a good movie to watch any time of the year, whether for Christmas or not.

As I have mentioned previously, I’m not generally fond of melodramas, but this is one I very much enjoyed! More than anything, the cast is what makes this movie work. As Elizabeth, Claudette Colbert does a great job of portraying a woman who has kept herself busy in motherhood and everything else, delaying the possibility of closure in the “death” of her first husband, until her only son from that first marriage is now trying to go off to war. Natalie Wood does very well in one of her earliest roles. For me, personally, I have nothing but praise for Orson Welles in this movie. While I have seen the classic Citizen Kane, I found I completely disliked the movie and Orson Welles himself, and thus I have otherwise avoided a lot of the other movies that he did. This one I like, especially once he becomes Erik Kessler, helping him to express so much, all the while walking (and moving) like the cripple the character had become after the war. For me, there’s not a sour note in any of the performances in this movie, and I very much would recommend it to anybody interested!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Classicflix in yet another one of their stellar transfers. As usual, that made it an easy film to try out (and having actress Claudette Colbert in it didn’t hurt, either), and it is a release I would heartily recommend!

Film Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Since You Went Away (1944)Claudette Colbert

Orson Welles – The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

International Lady (1941) – George Brent – Out Of The Blue (1947)

Natalie Wood – The Bride Wore Boots (1946)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… Jezebel (1938)

Now we’re here for that classic 1938 drama Jezebel starring Bette Davis, Henry Fonda and George Brent.

In 1850 New Orleans, Southern belle Julie Marsden (Bette Davis) bucks a lot of social conventions as she tries to do things her own way. She is engaged to banker Preston “Pres” Dillard (Henry Fonda), who disagrees with her, but seems more prone to giving in to her. However, things come to a head on the night of the Olympus Ball, when Julie plans to wear a red dress instead of the traditional white dress she was expected to wear. Pres isn’t thrilled, but he goes along with it when he sees that she refuses to back down. Once there, she starts to regret her decision as everyone else shuns her, but Pres forces her to take her medicine and stay there dancing with him. Afterwards, they break their engagement and Pres leaves New Orleans on business. After a year has passed, Julie has barely left her house, even as yellow fever is starting to hit New Orleans. Dr. Livingstone (Donald Crisp) encourages her and her Aunt Belle (Fay Bainter) to go to her plantation at Halcyon, but she really doesn’t want to. She changes her mind when she hears that Pres is coming back, and starts making plans for a big party. However, when Pres arrives, he brings along his new wife, Amy (Margaret Lindsay), which upsets Julie. As the party goes on, she goads her friend Buck Cantrell (George Brent) into trying to pick a fight with Pres, but he has to leave on business, and Preston’s brother Ted (Richard Cromwell) challenges Buck to a duel. When Buck is killed in the duel and Pres comes down with yellow fever, Julie is forced to reconsider her selfish actions.

Jezebel generally receives a lot of comparisons to Gone With The Wind, which was actually in production at the same time. Jezebel was actually based on a Broadway play (that had flopped) that was actually before the novel of Gone With The Wind was published. Warner Brothers was able to get the rights pretty cheaply, but it wasn’t until after the novel of Gone With The Wind became a big hit that Warner decided to revisit Jezebel, giving it to Bette Davis and teaming her with director William Wyler, whose frequent retakes allowed Bette Davis to improve her performance over time. Due to the similarity between the stories, Gone With The Wind producer David O. Selznick worried about how Jezebel would affect his own movie’s performance (of course, history has shown that David O. Selznick had nothing to worry about, as Gone With The Wind has become one of the biggest and most popular movies of all time).

To be honest, I was very hesitant going into this movie. I’ve never really been much of a fan of Bette Davis. Sure, I’ve seen a handful of her films (including her appearance in the previously reviewed Thank Your Lucky Stars), but as a whole, I just tend to avoid most of her films. With this movie, I was more willing to try it out, since I know Warner Archive Collection’s reputation for their Blu-ray releases, plus I’ve been waiting four long years to see more of the Warner-owned 30s movies given a Blu-ray release, and I wanted to support this one in hopes of continuing to see more of their films from that decade. All I can say, after having seen this movie now, is that it was WORTH EVERY PENNY. Sure, as a movie about the Old South, it’s not exactly the most politically correct when it comes to how the slaves are treated in the movie. But, it is well worth it just to see Bette Davis’ Oscar-winning performance. I admit, I was entranced right from the start, and, not only that, I now have a strong desire to see more of Bette’s filmography (starting with the recently restored WAC release of The Letter, if I can get to it sometime soon)! While it has certainly been compared time and time again to Gone With The Wind, I think this movie is good enough to stand on its own two feet! And for those that like to dream of the “what if”-type scenarios, it is as close as we will get to seeing what Bette Davis might have been like as Scarlett O’Hara in that classic! Again, see this movie if you get the chance!

As I said, this movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection. Since this was my first viewing, I don’t know what the transfer was like on DVD firsthand, but I’ve heard it was definitely in need of a lot of work. For this Blu-ray, Warner Archive put in a lot of work, going with nitrate lavender fine-grain elements (since the original camera negative was gone), and it certainly paid off! The movie looks fantastic, almost as if it was filmed yesterday! I certainly can’t recommend this release enough, not just for the movie, but also for the wonderful restoration here, too!

Film Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

*ranked #6 in Top 10 Disc Releases Of 2019

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Petrified Forest (1936) – Bette Davis – The Letter (1940)

Henry Fonda – Spawn Of The North (1938)

In Person (1935) – George Brent – International Lady (1941)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2019) on… 42nd Street (1933)

You know, “you’re getting to be a habit with me,” but we’re back for the classic 1933 backstage musical 42nd Street, starring Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler and Guy Kibbee.

Director Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) has plans to do one more show, which he needs to be successful so he can quit with a huge bank account. Big star Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) secures a prominent role in the show through her “sugar daddy” Abner Dillon (Guy Kibbee) backing the show. However, she is still in love with her former vaudeville partner Pat Denning (George Brent), and they keep meeting in secret. Pat is fed up with their secret relationship, and leaves town to find work elsewhere. As Julian drills everybody in his attempt to bring the show together, they end up taking the show to try it out in Philadelphia, where Pat has gone. Pat has been spending time with chorus girl Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler), which makes Dorothy jealous. The night before the show opens, Dorothy gets drunk, tells off Abner, and, as she tries to fight with Pat, she sprains her ankle. Julian is forced to consider postponing the show, until it is suggested that Peggy could handle the lead. Julian works with her to bring her up to speed, in the hopes that they might still be able to put together a great show.

42nd Street is famous at least partly for reviving the film musical. At the time, the genre’s popularity had sunk pretty low, due partly to audiences losing their taste for the plotless musicals that had dominated the genre after the advent of sound. Choreographer Busby Berkeley was a major reason for the film’s success. The previous film musicals had struggled with how they were filming dance, but he figured out some better ways to do it, getting the camera to move as well. He was in charge of quite a lot for his dance numbers, as he helped design the various sets for them. Of course, having the perfect cast helped, too.

This is one of those movies that is certainly fun to watch every now and then. I’ll admit, for modern audiences who prefer the music to help advance the plot, this movie is a tough sell, as almost none of the music does so. The closest anything comes is the song “It Must Be June.” The lyrics have nothing to do with it, but watching the “rehearsal,” one can’t help but feel like it is something that has been done time and time again (which Julian Marsh accuses it of being), with the cast seemingly doing it halfheartedly (with Ginger Rogers and Una Merkel’s characters carrying on a conversation like it was nothing). Other than that, the music really doesn’t advance the plot, but it’s all still oh so fun! Obviously the title tune is one of the best moments, starting off with Ruby Keeler dancing alone before being joined by the rest of the cast! “Young And Healthy” gives us a good introduction to Busby Berkeley’s use of overhead shots and various kaleidoscopic images, things that he would become known for. “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” is a fun tune, giving us Ruby Keeler paired up with Clarence Nordstrom, as a couple newly married on a train trip. The concept would kind of be revisited later that year in another Busby Berkeley film, Footlight Parade, although Ruby would be paired with Dick Powell for that one. Personally, I prefer “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” as I enjoy the song more, not to mention it actually has some dancing to it.

I know I can’t help but marvel at this movie. The movie makes much of being the debut of Ruby Keeler, who would be one of the first big dance stars for the decade. And yet, Ginger Rogers, who as “Anytime Annie” gives up her chance at stardom, believing Ruby’s character to be able to handle the lead, would end up actually being the bigger dance star, starting later in the year when she would be famously paired with Fred Astaire in their first film together, Flying Down To Rio. Still, this is a fun movie, and one I would very highly recommend!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection. Their restoration helps this movie soar, and the details are quite crisp, showing off Busby Berkeley’s show-stopping numbers quite easily. Certainly highly recommended either on its own or as a companion film to their recently released Blu-ray of the aforementioned Footlight Parade!!

Film Length: 1 hour, 29 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

You Said A Mouthful (1932)Ginger RogersGold Diggers Of 1933 (1933)

Dick Powell – Gold Diggers Of 1933 (1933)

George Brent – In Person (1935)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!