Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2023) & Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2023): Rita Hayworth in… You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

We’re back again for a look at the other Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth film, their 1942 musical You Were Never Lovelier, co-starring Adolphe Menjou!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Spooky Hooky (1936)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 6 (1936-1938) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 10 minutes, 42 seconds)

The circus comes to town, and Spanky (George McFarland) and Alfalfa (Carl Switzer) make plans to play hooky to go see it. However, their plan goes awry when their teacher tells them that she bought tickets for the whole class to see it, leaving them in trouble when they have to retrieve their “doctor’s note” from her desk! It’s another short that seems slightly more fitting for the Halloween season, as the kids get spooked by everything in the school during a storm. It does lean a little too heavily into stereotypes when the black janitor gets easily scared, too, but that’s brief enough that it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s good fun, and I would certainly recommend it!

And Now For The Main Feature…

American dancer Robert “Bob” Davis (Fred Astaire) is in Buenos Aires on a “holiday.” Otherwise translated, he’s betting on the horse races at the Palermo Race Track. When he loses all his money, he decides that it’s time for him to get back to work, and heads for the Hotel Acuña, where he hopes to dance at the Sky Room. He tries to meet with the hotel’s owner, Eduardo Acuña (Adolphe Menjou), but Eduardo refuses to see him. Bob runs into his old friend, orchestra leader Xavier Cugat (played by himself), who offers to help Bob get noticed by having him sing with the orchestra at the wedding of Eduardo’s oldest daughter. At the wedding, Bob meets Eduardo’s second oldest daughter, Maria (Rita Hayworth), although he doesn’t immediately learn who she is. She is indifferent to him, and when he does actually talk to Eduardo, he makes the mistake of referring to her as being like “the inside of a refrigerator” (which is when he learns that Maria is Eduardo’s daughter). This certainly doesn’t endear Bob to Eduardo, and it also serves to alarm Eduardo with regards to Maria. Eduardo has two younger daughters, both of whom have fiancés, but it is the family tradition to marry off the daughters in order of their age. Eduardo consults Maria’s godmother (and the wife of his best friend), Maria Castro (Isobel Elsom), on what to do about Maria’s indifference to men (side note: with two characters in the cast called Maria, we will refer to them from here on out as Maria A and Maria C). Against her advice, Eduardo decides to start sending his daughter orchids and a note from an unknown admirer, with plans to produce somebody he approved of if the idea worked. For a time, it seems to work, with Maria A receiving orchids and a note every day at the same time. The idea starts to go awry when Eduardo takes a trip for a few days (and forgets to do something about the situation while he’s gone). Upon his return, he hastily attempts to make up for it, but, in an attempt to see Eduardo, Bob ends up taking the flowers and note (without Eduardo’s knowledge). When Maria A sees Bob deliver the flowers, she remembers him from her sister’s wedding, and assumes that he is the “unknown admirer.” Frustrated with this turn of events (and obviously unable to reveal that HE is the note writer), Eduardo has no choice but to go to Bob, who demands a contract to dance in Eduardo’s Sky Room in exchange for disillusioning Maria A. However, his attempts to deter her only make her fall harder for him (and he for her). At Eduardo’s anniversary party, Eduardo is so agitated by the whole thing that he announces that Bob is leaving the country (which Bob is forced to go along with). However, Eduardo’s wife walks in on him composing a farewell note to “Maria,” but assumes it is her friend Maria C. Bob sacrifices himself by revealing the whole truth, earning Eduardo’s admiration, but also finally disillusioning Maria A. Will Bob be able to overcome this problem and win Maria A’s heart back, or will their breakup be permanent?

In 1941, up-and-comer Rita Hayworth was teamed up with Fred Astaire for the Columbia Pictures musical You’ll Never Get Rich. She had enjoyed some success in films for other studios, but it was that film that established her as a major star for the studio she was under contract to. As a result, the studio wanted to replicate that success by teaming her up again with Fred. The studio decided to do a remake of an Argentinian film made the year before called Los martes, orquideas (otherwise translated as On Tuesdays, Orchids), with music provided by composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Johnny Mercer. Fred Astaire worked out the dance numbers with Rita, but, due to the lack of available rehearsal space on the Columbia lot, they had to rehearse in a room over a funeral parlor (usually pausing when there was a funeral procession). The film proved to be another hit with audiences and scored three Oscar nominations (Best Song for “Dearly Beloved,” Best Score and Best Sound Recording), although, due to circumstances, it was also the final time Fred and Rita worked together on the big screen.

This is a film that I’ve seen many, many times, and that I first saw when it was released on DVD back in 2004 (or thereabouts). Of the two Fred Astaire/Rita Hayworth pairings, this has long been my favorite. To say that I love the Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer score is an understatement, but I particularly like the songs “I’m Old-Fashioned” and “Shorty George.” Fred and Rita’s dance duets to those songs are arguably the highlights of the whole film. Fred also has his fun dance solo for his “Audition Dance,” which is fascinating to watch as he makes use of the space in Mr. Acuña’s (Adolphe Menjou) office. The story itself is a bit ridiculous (and certainly creepy with a father writing love notes to his daughter). Still, this movie is a good source of humor that always keeps me coming back, especially with regards to Mr. Acuña’s secretary Fernando (played by Gus Schilling), who is constantly on the wrong end of Mr. Acuña’s wrath for one reason or another. The only real complaint I have against the film is that it takes a little over thirty-five minutes before we see any dancing in the film. OK, if you want to get technical, Rita does a little bit of dancing quicker than that when she (or rather I should say Nan Wynn, who was dubbing her) briefly sings “Dearly Beloved” in her bedroom, but that’s not really much of a routine. Apart from that (very) minor complaint, this is a film that I thoroughly love to see again and again, and I would very enthusiastically recommend it!!

This movie is available on DVD from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Film Length: 1 hour, 37 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Holiday Inn (1942)Fred AstaireThe Sky’s The Limit (1943)

You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) – Rita Hayworth – Tonight And Every Night (1945)

Roxie Hart (1942) – Adolphe Menjou – My Dream Is Yours (1949)

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… They Came To Cordura (1959)

It’s December 17, so that means that it’s time for one last round of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” featuring Rita Hayworth for 2021! For this series’ last post of the year, we’re focusing on the 1959 film They Came To Cordura, also starring Gary Cooper, Van Heflin and Tab Hunter.

Note: After doing this series for two years (on films from 1939 in 2019 and films of actress Rita Hayworth for 2021), I have decided to change up how I do this series. Both years left me feeling like keeping up with this extra series was a little overwhelming (granted, this year, I’ve done a HUGE number of posts compared to previous years, which doesn’t help). So, starting in 2022, I will be doing it a little differently. Instead of a special focus, I will instead use this series in place of either my Sunday or Wednesday posts whenever I have a movie from 1939 or one featuring Rita Hayworth. I will also be adding a third subject, which will fit in with some of my planned Star/Genre Of The Month blogathons (and which was a plan I hinted at when I put together this series’ logo): screen teams. I can’t guarantee posts in this series every month, but I will try to fit them in when I have a film that fits.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Woody Woodpecker (1941)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Woody Woodpecker Screwball Collection from Universal Studios)

(Length: 6 minutes, 58 seconds)

The woodland animals think that Woody Woodpecker is crazy, and so he goes to see a psychiatrist. So far, I haven’t had much opportunity to see too many Woody Woodpecker cartoons, but I certainly enjoyed this one! It was Woody’s first solo outing (following his appearance in the 1940 Andy Panda cartoon Knock Knock), with him still being voiced by Mel Blanc (the second of three shorts that Blanc voiced the character for). The character’s design is far different than what it would later become (and what I currently identify with the character), but the fun and insanity is there (similar to some of the Looney Tunes types of cartoons). At least, I look forward to seeing more of the cartoons included in this set!

And Now For The Main Feature…

It’s 1916. Pancho Villa has been terrorizing places along the U.S.-Mexico border, so some U.S. troops under the command of Colonel Rogers (Robert Keith) have been sent to stop him and his men. The Colonel has assigned one of his officers, Major Thomas Thorn (Gary Cooper), to be a battlefield observer, and nominate men for the Congressional Medal Of Honor (an assignment intended to cover up an act of cowardice by the Major). The Colonel and his men catch up with some of Villa’s men (led by Arreaga, as played by Carlos Romero) at the hacienda Ojos Azules, which is owned by Adelaide Geary (Rita Hayworth). As the Colonel is facing forced retirement soon because of his age, he prepares to lead his men in an old-fashioned cavalry charge (with Major Thorn and his Medal Of Honor nominee Private Andrew Hetherington, as played by Michael Callan, watching on the sidelines). However, the Colonel prepares for it poorly, with the men riding into a trench and being picked off by Arreaga and his men. It is only due to the brave actions of four men that they pull off a victory (although Arreaga and some of his men escape). Afterwards, Major Thorn decides to nominate the four men for the Medal Of Honor, but refuses to do so for the Colonel (who was bucking for a promotion to general before he had to retire). Feeling stabbed in the back (since he had helped cover up the Major’s act of cowardice), the Colonel orders the Major to take the five Medal Of Honor nominees (and their new prisoner Adelaide, who was being accused of treason for harboring Arreaga and his men) to Cordura for the ceremony. However, the trip is not an easy one. Along the way, they struggle with limited provisions, come under attack from Arreaga’s men, lose their horses to Arreaga (which forces them to continue on foot), and then have to carry one of the men when he is stricken with typhoid. And that’s just the external trouble, as all of the nominees would rather not receive the medal (and resent Major Thorn’s leadership upon learning of his past cowardice). Can Major Thorn get them all to Cordura? Or, for that matter, will the men let the Major survive?

They Came To Cordura is based on the 1958 novel of the same name written by Glendon Swarthout (who wrote military citations during the second World War). The idea for the story came from the United States Cavalry’s last mounted charge (which happened under the leadership of General John J. Pershing against Pancho Villa’s forces). Making the movie itself didn’t exactly turn out to be a smooth process. They started doing some location filming near St. George, Utah, but a record cold-snap forced them to move to the Moapa Valley near Las Vegas (where they had to reshoot everything). Gary Cooper’s participation in the film was against the advice of his doctors, as he was quite ill at the time, yet he still soldiered on. Sadly, making this film was the start of health problems Dick York suffered for the rest of his life, as he injured his back (an injury that would later force him to leave classic sitcom Bewitched partway through its fifth season). And that’s not even including changes to the movie required by the studio (including their demand that SPOILER ALERT Gary Cooper’s character had to live, which differed from the original novel END SPOILER ALERT). The film did poorly in theatres, and director Robert Rossen bought back the film rights, with the intention of putting out his director’s cut of the film. However, after making The Hustler (1961) and Lillith (1964), he died before he had the chance to work on restoring it.

Like a number of the Rita Hayworth films from the set that I’ve been reviewing all year, this was my first time seeing this film. Frankly, I have a hard time not comparing it to similar episodes of various Western TV shows that I’ve seen over the years (the type where the show’s main hero has to transport a prisoner or lead a group across the desert, with the rest of the group turning against him to the point that he can’t fall asleep for fear of being killed). Compared to some of those TV shows, this movie does feel a bit too long and drawn out for the idea. But, it also has the opportunity to be much more adult (at least, within the confines of what was still enforceable for the Production Code at the time). And that’s where all the performances here shine, as we watch Gary Cooper’s Major deal with the fallout from his previous act of cowardice (and, in the process, manages to show courage as he has to face down his men all the while keeping them alive, even if they think that he is trying to kill them). Watching all the men slowly turn against him is rough, particularly at the end (already did a Spoiler Alert, so not going to do anything further). I will admit, it’s not the greatest Western (and particularly for those looking for action, you will get that in the opening minutes, and then not so much afterwards), but I did enjoy it enough that I would certainly recommend it!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… They Came To Cordura (1959)

This movie is available on Blu-ray either as part of a double-feature with The Man From The Alamo (1953) or as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection (both releases are from Mill Creek Entertainment). Quite frankly, I think this is one of the weakest (if not THE weakest) transfers in the twelve-film set. The picture is full of a lot of dirt and debris throughout the movie, and the color seems off in a number of places. It’s not completely unwatchable, and does offer some decent detail. It’s just that it looks so much worse than those that it was packaged with (and I assume the transfer is the same for the double-feature). The set is probably not worth it for this movie alone except for big fans of the film or those who want at least a few others from the set as well.

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection

The Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection, available on Blu-ray from Mill Creek, includes twelve films starring actress Rita Hayworth (The DVD equivalent features four more movies, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about). The Blu-ray set includes Music In My Heart (1940), You’ll Never Get Rich (1941), Tonight And Every Night (1945), Down To Earth (1947), The Lady From Shanghai (1948), The Loves Of Carmen (1948), Affair In Trinidad (1952), Salome (1953), Miss Sadie Thompson (1953), Fire Down Below (1957), Pal Joey (1957) and They Came To Cordura (1959). These twelve films are spread out over six discs. Three of them (You’ll Never Get Rich, Miss Sadie Thompson and Pal Joey) were all previously available individually from Twilight Time, and this release still uses those really great transfers (albeit with a lesser encoding due to several movies being put on each disc by Mill Creek). Two (The Lady From Shanghai and They Came To Cordura) were already available individually/as part of a double-feature from Mill Creek, and I assume use the same transfers. For the most part, the transfers in this set all look quite good. They could use a bit of clean-up to get rid of some of the dust and specks of dirt, but otherwise are okay. The only transfers that I think could use some serious restoration (and hold the set back from being much better) are Tonight And Every Night and They Came To Cordura. But, for the price, this set provides hours of entertainment, most of which looks really good, and I would certainly happily recommend it for many of these wonderful movies!

Also, if you are interested in joining in on my first month-long “Screen Team Of The Month” blogathon for 2022 featuring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, please be sure to check out my Announcing the Jeanette MacDonald And Nelson Eddy “Screen Team Of The Month (January 2022)” Blogathon post to sign up!

Film Length: 2 hours, 3 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Alias Jesse James (1959) – Gary Cooper

Pal Joey (1957) – Rita Hayworth

Black Widow (1954) – Van Heflin – Stagecoach (1966)

Pal Joey (1957)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… Fire Down Below (1957)

We’ve come around to November 17, which means that it’s time for the second-to-last “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” featuring Rita Hayworth (at least, for 2021, anyway)! So for that, we’ve got her 1957 film Fire Down Below, also starring Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Dogs Is Dogs (1931)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 2 (1930-1931) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 20 minutes, 53 seconds)

Wheezer (Bobby Hutchins) and Dorothy (Dorothy DeBorba) are stuck with the unkind Spud (Sherwood Bailey) and his mother (Blanche Payson) when their father doesn’t return. This one traded in humor for heart, as we come to feel sorry for the kids as they are treated poorly by their “evil” stepmother. This short is very much in the vein of stuff like Cinderella or A Little Princess. For its length, it’s hard not to feel for both Wheezer and Dorothy. It may not be one of the series’ best shorts, but it’s still worth seeing just the same!

And Now For The Main Feature…

A pair of Americans, Felix Bowers (Robert Mitchum) and Tony (Jack Lemmon), have been pulling odd smuggling jobs around the Caribbean. They are offered the job of smuggling a beautiful woman, Irena (Rita Hayworth), to another island. It seems that she has no passport, so she has been moving around constantly to avoid being deported. Tony is interested, but Felix doesn’t want to take the job. He only relents when they are offered a lot of money. Still, Felix is less than thrilled with having to take Irena anywhere, and makes sure his feelings are well known when she comes to the dock the next morning. Tony, on the other hand, is captivated by her. After a while, the two men fight each other due to their opposing opinions on her. When they stop at a port to go to a carnival, though, even Felix finds himself falling for her, although she rejects his advances. When the boat gets to the port they were hired to take her to, Felix lets her go it alone, which angers Tony enough that he follows her and ends his partnership with Felix. However, Irena finds herself in trouble when a hotel clerk realizes that she shouldn’t be there, and offers to keep quiet if she will sleep with him. When he hears about this, Tony (who had been planning to propose to Irena) decides to smuggle in a shipment of contraband to earn enough for them to live on. He tries to convince Felix to help, but he turns him down (but lets him take their boat for the job). However, Tony finds the Coast Guard waiting for him and abandons the boat to avoid being arrested. At the moment, he has no choice but to run away. He is certain, though, that it was Felix who tipped off the Coast Guard, and plans to get his revenge when he returns. After some time, he decides to come back, and gets a job on a freighter. However, the freighter collides with an ocean liner in very foggy weather, which causes a beam to fall and leave him trapped. When the port doctor, Sam Blake (Bernard Lee), is brought to the ship, he feels the best chance for Tony to get out is to have his legs amputated, but Tony refuses. Wanting to give him hope, the doctor goes looking for his old friends. But will the doctor’s efforts work, as filled with hate as Tony is?

After making Miss Sadie Thompson, Rita Hayworth again left the big screen as a result of her new marriage to singer Dick Haymes. During that time, she brought a lawsuit against Columbia Pictures in an attempt to have her contract terminated, but her case ended up being thrown out of court. Left without a choice, she agreed to do two more films for Columbia. Producers Irving Allen and Albert Broccoli had gotten the film rights to the 1956 novel Fire Down Below by Max Catto, and had planned to cast actress Ava Gardner in the lead. When she turned it down, they sought out Rita Hayworth (who had gone to Europe while waiting for Columbia to come up with a good film vehicle for her), who took the part. Joined by Robert Mitchum and rising star Jack Lemmon, they went to Trinidad and Tobago to do some location filming. Originally, the film was to be presented mostly in flashback, starting with some of what is currently the last scene, but the studio put it together in chronological order. In spite of the cast, though, the movie ended up losing money at the box office.

This was my first time seeing Fire Down Below, and I definitely would have to say that I liked it. For me, all three leads gave quite good performances, which certainly helped me to keep watching the movie, especially when Jack Lemmon’s Tony gets trapped on the ship. I know I liked the song “Limbo Like Me,” which was performed by the “Stretch” Cox Troupe (and it was stuck in my head for a while after, so I can identify with Tony and Edric Connor’s Jimmy Jean having it stuck in their heads and trying to do the limbo themselves). As I hadn’t read anything on the film beforehand, I thought the whole film worked well, but, upon reading about how the studio changed things around, I find myself thinking that there are aspects that certainly would have worked better had the studio left it the way the director originally intended it to be. But, we do get Rita Hayworth doing some dancing (and even Robert Mitchum gets in on it, even if it is only to get another guy away, but it’s still hilarious to watch). This was a very entertaining drama (one I certainly think was better than its original poor box office performance would have indicated), and I have no trouble whatsoever in recommending it!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Fire Down Below (1957)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. This is one of the better looking films in the set. The color looks pretty good, and little (if any) dirt and debris is present. All in all, I think this set presents the best way to see this movie!

Film Length: 1 hour, 55 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) – Rita Hayworth – Pal Joey (1957)

Holiday Affair (1949) – Robert Mitchum – Home From The Hill (1960)

My Sister Eileen (1955) – Jack Lemmon – The Notorious Landlady (1962)

Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionPal Joey (1957)

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

Well, it’s October 17, and that means it’s time for another round of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” featuring Rita Hayworth! Of course, we’re REALLY celebrating here, as not only is it her birthday (her 103rd, to be exact), it’s also my 400th post on my blog! I know, in the past I’ve kind of preferred to celebrate milestones like that with a very special post (like a Top 10 list or something of that sort), but I couldn’t find a way to fit one in (and quite frankly, I had no idea for a list at this time). So, we are marking both occasions with Rita Hayworth’s 1953 film Miss Sadie Thompson, also starring Jose Ferrer and Aldo Ray!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Little Daddy (1931)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 2 (1930-1931) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 21 minutes, 10 seconds)

Farina (Allen Hoskins) has been taking care of Stymie (Matthew Beard) by himself, but the authorities are coming to put Stymie in an orphan’s home. This one took a more dramatic turn than some of the other recent ones, but I think that works well in its favor! By now, we as the audience have started getting used to Stymie, so it’s easier to identify with Farina’s plight as he has to deal with losing Stymie. Of course, this short does have its more humorous moments, like Farina trying to tell Stymie the story of Noah and the ark, with Stymie constantly interrupting him. This one had heart, and that makes it just as enjoyable to see as the more hilarious shorts!

And Now For The Main Feature…

On an island in the South Pacific where a military base is located, Marine Sgt. Phil O’Hara (Aldo Ray) and his men are anxiously awaiting their discharges. In the meantime, they are bored, and just going about their days with their humdrum tasks. One day, a ship stops by, with several passengers disembarking for a few hours while they stand by for the next leg of their trip. This group includes missionary Alfred Davidson (Jose Ferrer) and his wife, and Dr. Robert MacPhail (Russell Collins) and his wife. While Davidson and Dr. MacPhail leave to visit the missionary hospital, O’Hara and his men await the mail boat. The men perk up when they realize that the mail boat is also bringing one of the passengers: the beautiful Sadie Thompson (Rita Hayworth). Wanting to keep her presence to themselves, the men try to smuggle her in to the bar in the village (but some of the other Marines quickly find out as well). Their boisterous celebration quickly disrupts the nearby church service, and in the process attracts the attention of Davidson (who is less than thrilled with her conduct). After Davidson breaks up the party, O’Hara and his men rush to get Sadie to her boat, only to discover that everybody has been quarantined for a week. So the men take Sadie to the local hotel run by Joe Horn (Harry Bellaver) and his wife, Ameena (Diosa Costello). The Davidsons and the MacPhails had already gotten there first and got the best accommodations, but Sadie was willing to work with what’s left. Over the next few days, Sadie spends a lot of time with the men, particularly O’Hara, who has become quite fond of her. However, Davidson starts stirring up trouble for her, believing that she was a prostitute from a bordello he helped shut down in Honolulu. Since he thinks that she escaped being deported to San Francisco, he goes to the Governor (Wilton Graff) and demands that she be deported. Due to Davidson’s influence in the area, the Governor reluctantly goes along with it. Sadie tries to appeal to the Governor when she finds out, but he is only willing to rescind that order if Davidson will agree to the idea (which he doesn’t). When he learns that Davidson is unwilling to stop Sadie from being deported, O’Hara tries to talk to him, but learns Davidson’s suspicions about Sadie, which she essentially confirms. Shocked, O’Hara is angry, and leaves. Now on her own, can Sadie recover? Will she be able to escape deportation, or will Davidson convince her to go along with it?

In April 1921, the short story “Miss Thompson” was published by W. Somerset Maugham in the literary magazine The Smart Set. The story would be adapted in several different ways, including a 1922 play (Rain), a 1928 silent film (Sadie Thompson with Gloria Swanson) and a 1932 talkie (Rain with Joan Crawford). In 1952, movie producer Jerry Wald bought the film rights, intending to make a film musical version of the story with his production unit at RKO. However, the following year, he became a vice president and executive producer at Columbia Pictures, and brought the project with him. With Rita Hayworth enjoying a resurgence at the box office since her return with Affair In Trinidad, she was cast in the film, allowing them to have a bigger budget to work with. Some of the movie (mostly the exteriors) was filmed on location in Hawaii. Of course, with this film being made while the Production Code was still in effect, some of the story elements had to be changed to conform with the Code. The movie was also filmed in 3-D (due to the then-recent fad), although by the time the movie was released to theaters, the fad had died down enough that all 3-D prints were pulled after only a few weeks.

I’ve seen this a few times over the last few years, and enjoyed it. Admittedly, I haven’t seen the 3-D version since I haven’t had the technology to view it that way (nor will I, considering I can count on one hand the number of films originally shown in 3-D that I actually want to see that way, and the cost is beyond what my budget can handle). Rita Hayworth was part of the original appeal when I first heard of this movie, and I will say that her performance in this film did not disappoint! Watching her go from the good-time gal at the start, to slowly revealing her past (while still staying somewhat ambiguous) makes the movie work for me. I will admit, the (almost) musical nature of the film also appealed to me. And, in some respects, it’s also what hurts the film. To be fair, it’s not the musical aspects that bother me, it’s the change in tone. As I said, the movie was initially conceived as a musical, but partway through production, that idea was abandoned, and it shows. The first half (give or take a few minutes) does seem to veer into musical territory, with her singing with the Marines and a few solo moments (including her song-and-dance to “The Heat Is On,” the song that I came away remembering the most strongly) before veering into more dramatic, non-musical territory. Personally, I wish they’d just kept it as a musical, as I would have been much happier. I’m also not sure about the writing, especially near the end for Jose Ferrer’s Davidson. His ending almost seems to come out of nowhere for me, and kind of bogs things down. This is far from a perfect film, but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the only version of “Miss Thompson” on film that I have any intention of seeing (currently). And, for that reason, it’s definitely one that I would recommend!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. Like two other films in this set (You’ll Never Get Rich and Pal Joey), Miss Sadie Thompson was previously available individually on Blu-ray from Twilight Time (an edition which is now out of print). While this set uses the same transfer (which was pretty good on that release), the encoding on Mill Creek’s disc isn’t as good, thereby making the transfer not look *quite* as good. Of course, the Mill Creek release only contains the 2-D version (whereas the Twilight Time release had both the 2-D and 3-D versions). For the price, it’s not too terrible, but if you’re hankering to see it in 3-D, then this release would not be recommended.

Film Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes

My Rating: 7/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Salome (1953) – Rita Hayworth – Fire Down Below (1957)

Jose Ferrer – The Caine Mutiny (1954)

Aldo Ray – We’re No Angels (1955)

Salome (1953)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionFire Down Below (1957)

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… Pal Joey (1957)

Well, it’s September 17, which means that it’s time for another round of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” with another Rita Hayworth film! Now, if I was strictly doing things in chronological order (working from the twelve film set I was given for Christmas 2020), then today’s film would be Miss Sadie Thompson. However, I’ve got the Musicals: With A Song And A Dance In My Heart blogathon that I’ve been hosting for the month of September, so I decided to skip around to the one film left in the set that really fits: the 1957 musical Pal Joey, also starring Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Teacher’s Pet (1930)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 2 (1930-1931) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 20 minutes, 54 seconds)

The Gang have a new teacher, and, since they don’t think they will like her as much as their previous one, Jackie (Jackie Cooper) makes plans to play some pranks on her. The fun continues in this short, which introduced June Marlowe as their teacher, Miss Crabtree. The humor obviously comes from Jackie’s plans, and how he unknowingly reveals them to Miss Crabtree (and, all things considered, I can’t say as I blame him). Dorothy DeBorba makes a quick appearance, mainly making a nuisance of herself (for the kids, not so much for us) by repeating what the others are saying. Overall, a fun short that manages both humor and warmth, and keeps me looking forward to the rest of the series!

And Now For The Main Feature…

After being kicked out of town for trying to romance the mayor’s underage daughter, Joey Evans (Frank Sinatra) makes his way to San Francisco. He tries looking for work there as a singer, but finds no openings. Finally, he sees a poster promoting his friend, bandleader Ned Galvin (Bobby Sherwood), who is working at the Barbary Coast Club. Joey tries to get a job there, but runs into trouble with the Club’s owner, Mike Miggins (Hank Henry), who knows Joey’s reputation and doesn’t want to hire him. Mike only reluctantly gives Joey a job when his emcee doesn’t show up, and Joey gets up on stage and does it successfully. Afterwards, he is introduced to one of the chorus girls, Linda English (Kim Novak), whom he starts flirting with almost immediately (although she doesn’t respond in kind). Ned invites both Joey and Linda to join the band at a charity event that evening being put on by society lady Vera Prentice-Simpson (Rita Hayworth). Joey recognizes Vera as a former stripper and, when the charity auction doesn’t meet its goal, he proposes the audience bid for her to do one of her old stripper routines. With that, the charity meets their goal (much to Vera’s embarrassment). Later that night, Joey and Ned walk Linda back to the rooming house she is living at. Joey sees a “room for rent” sign and, after Ned leaves, he convinces the landlady to let him rent the room (which just happens to be connected to Linda’s room via the bathroom). Over the next few days, Joey wins over most of the chorus girls at the club, with the two exceptions of Linda and her friend Gladys (Barbara Nichols). One night, Vera comes in to the club, but she and her two male escorts leave without paying. Since her presence there was essentially Joey’s fault, Mike fires him. However, Joey is able to delay his firing by betting that Vera will be back by the end of the week, or he can be fired without pay. To do something about it, Joey returns to Vera’s mansion and tells her that she caused him to lose his job, which gives him no choice but to leave town. Meanwhile, Linda starts to soften and accepts his invitation to dinner that Saturday. However, when Saturday comes around, Vera comes to the Club (thereby allowing Joey to keep his job), and she and Joey leave together. When he tells her about his dream of owning his own club, she decides to invest in the idea. She offers him a place to stay, either on her yacht or at her mansion, and they find a place in a much swankier neighborhood to establish his club. Linda is back to being mad at Joey for missing their dinner, but she (along with everybody at the Barbary Coast Club) are hired to come work at Joey’s new place, “Chez Joey.” While the place is being remodeled ahead of the grand opening, Joey starts getting his show in place. When Vera sees that Linda has been given the love song to perform, she gives Joey an ultimatum: get rid of Linda, or Chez Joey will never open. Will Joey be able to give up on his dream of owning a nightclub for Linda, or will he give in to Vera’s demand?

The stage musical Pal Joey, based on a series of short stories by John O’Hara, made its Broadway debut in late 1940. This show was Gene Kelly’s first lead role on Broadway, and helped him on his rise towards Hollywood. He signed first with David O. Selznick, with his contract later being sold completely to MGM after his film debut, For Me And My Gal, turned out to be a success. While they tried to figure out what exactly to do with him, MGM loaned him out to Columbia Pictures for the 1944 film Cover Girl with Rita Hayworth. With his newfound freedom to choreograph his own routines, Gene Kelly helped make the film a hit. Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures, had bought the film rights to Pal Joey, intending to have Gene Kelly reprise his role for the big screen, but, now that he was a bigger star, MGM refused to loan him out (at least, not for a price that Columbia was willing to pay), so the idea fell by the wayside. The play’s revival in the early 1950s also brought renewed interest in producing a movie, but the censors were now just as much what was stopping production. After making a number of changes (including some necessitated by the casting of Frank Sinatra, who was a singer as opposed to a dancer like Gene Kelly), the censors allowed production to go forward (of course, by that time, the Hays Office was getting a bit more lax in what they let through, combined with audiences no longer being as in favor of censorship as they had been). The film turned out to be a big hit at the box office, and even received four Oscar nominations.

In the original Broadway production of Pal Joey, there were fourteen songs, but only eight managed to make it into the movie, with four songs originally written for other shows being added. Personally, I think that Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth had the best songs in the film. While it was one of the Rodgers and Hart songs added for the movie, Frank’s rendition of “The Lady Is A Tramp” is one of the most memorable moments in the movie, in between being a great song (and Frank certainly does it justice with his singing) as well as the added comedy from Frank’s Joey using it to insult Rita’s Vera (with Hank Henry’s Mike Miggins groaning at this turn of events in the background). Then there’s Rita Hayworth singing (and when I say “singing,” I mean she was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer) “Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered” and “Zip” (which she also dances to), both of which manage to be quite entertaining. I’ll admit, even with her singing dubbed by Trudy Stevens, Kim Novak’s musical numbers are rather forgettable. She’s not terrible, but the other two leads feel far more at home in a musical than she does. Still, she has her moments in this film, including when her character tricks Joey into buying the dog (thus calling his bluff on a childhood sob story he had told her). I do think another weak spot on this movie is the film’s final musical number, a dream sequence set to the songs “What Do I Care for a Dame,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and “I Could Write a Book.” It starts out fine, with Sinatra and the two leading ladies dancing together. The problem is the way it just cuts out, almost as if part of the movie is missing. From what I’ve heard, there was supposed to be more, with choreographer Hermes Pan putting together a much bigger sequence, but Frank Sinatra decided against it and started having stuff cut. I think it works well enough in the movie with the immediate reaction coming out of it, but it still feels cut short. In spite of these complaints, though, this is a movie that I have come to enjoy seeing every now and then. Certainly one I would recommend!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Pal Joey (1957)

This movie has had at least three releases on Blu-ray. The first edition came from Twilight Time waaaay back on February 14, 2012. That was a limited edition (at 3,000 copies) which has since sold out completely. On November 17, 2020, it was made available again as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. And for those who want this movie (but not any of the other Rita Hayworth films), on July 20, 2021, it was made available again individually by Sony Pictures Entertainment. I’ve seen both the Twilight Time and Mill Creek releases (but not the recent release from Sony), so the best I can say is that these appear to be the same transfer (which itself looks quite good), with the main differences being the disc encode. On that, the Twilight Time is better (but, again, it is out-of-print and very hard-to-find). Mill Creek releases tend to be done on the cheap (usually reflected in the pricing on their products and a poorer disc encode), so, unless you want any of the other films in the Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection, I would sooner suggest the Sony release (but, again, it all boils down to what you are willing to pay for quality).

Film Length: 1 hour, 49 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Fire Down Below (1957) – Rita Hayworth – They Came To Cordura (1959)

High Society (1956)Frank SinatraKings Go Forth (1958)

Phffft (1954) – Kim Novak – The Notorious Landlady (1962)

Fire Down Below (1957)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionThey Came To Cordura (1959)

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… Salome (1953)

Now that it’s August 17, that means that we have another Rita Hayworth film! This time, it’s her 1953 movie Salome co-starring Stewart Granger!

Now, before I get too much further, I have something else to say (mainly addressed to my fellow bloggers). As I stated in my first “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” post this year on Music In My Heart, I was considering hosting a three-day blogathon around Rita Hayworth’s birthday (October 17). It’s been a long, rough year so far, and I have, for the time being, decided not to go forward with it. However, there is still nearly two months before that time, and, if there is enough interest in the idea, I may reconsider, so chime in if you would like a Rita Hayworth blogathon (just do it within the next month, as my decision will be final after September 17). That’s all I have to say on the subject. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program…

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pink Paradise (1967)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 2 (1966-1968) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 11 seconds)

When the Pink Panther comes upon a tropical island, he finds himself trying to avoid the Little Man doing some hunting. This is another short featuring the Little Man and his dog (with the dog constantly getting in trouble because of the unseen Panther). Due to its similarity to other shorts of the same type, it’s hardly original, with the setting being the main change (and the types of gags that can be done with it). In spite of its lack of originality, it’s still a funny cartoon. At least, I don’t mind coming back around to it here and there (as long as I haven’t watched any of the similar shorts in short order).

And Now For The Main Feature…

In the Roman province of Galilee, John The Baptist (Alan Badel) denounces the “marriage” of King Herod (Charles Laughton) to his brother’s wife, Queen Herodias (Judith Anderson). Herodias wants John silenced, but Herod doesn’t want to do anything, for fear that John might be the prophesied Messiah. In Rome, Herodias’ daughter, the Princess Salome (Rita Hayworth), wants to marry Marcellus Fabius (Rex Reason), who is the nephew of the Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). However, the emperor wants his nephew to marry a Roman, and has Salome banished from Rome. She is sent back to Galilee on the same boat as the newly-appointed governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate (Basil Sydney) and Commander Claudius (Stewart Granger). Claudius attempts to flirt with her, but she is still bitter over being rejected and wants nothing to do with any Romans. Once the boat arrives in Judea, they have to travel across land to get to Galilee. Along the way, they come across John the Baptist preaching. Pilate orders his men to attack him, but Claudius (a secret convert) saves him. Later that night, Claudius secretly leaves to go see his friend, John, who tells him that he is planning to go preach in the city (and warns Claudius not to protect him any longer). Soon thereafter, the caravan arrives at Herod’s palace. Herodias is happy to see that Salome has returned, but is not as thrilled at the fact that Salome also caught the attention of her stepfather, either (although she figures that to be a possible advantage in her favor, if used right). Salome soon learns of John and his preaching (mainly through Herodias’ biased view), and goes to hear him herself. John recognizes her, but refuses to allow the crowd to harm her, instead warning her to be careful about becoming as wicked as her mother. Upon listening to her mother again, Salome implores Claudius to arrest John. Meanwhile, on her own, Herodias attempts to have John killed, but her assassin fails because of Claudius. When Herod learns of this, he decides to have John arrested, hoping to keep him safer in prison. Claudius tries his best to have John freed, even going to the governor, Pilate, but with no success. However, he learns of someone else performing miracles, and goes to see Him. Meanwhile, Herodias is disturbed by the people shouting for John’s release just outside their palace, and tries to convince Salome to dance for Herod at his birthday celebration in order to have John beheaded (much to Salome’s horror). When Claudius returns, Salome tries to convince him to take her away with him. First, he stops to tell John about Jesus, and Salome realizes that there is still some good to be found in the world. Upon leaving, Claudius decides to gather some of his troops to help free John, while Salome decides to dance for Herod (but to FREE John, not have him killed, like her mother wanted). Both fail, as Herodias takes advantage of Herod’s lust, and orders John beheaded (which, as I said, is successful). So, Salome leaves with Claudius, and the two find Jesus, taking His words to heart.

The story of Herod’s stepdaughter Salome has been told many times in the movies, sometimes with films devoted exclusively to her side (with the 1923 silent starring Alla Nazimova being one of the best-known versions), or with her having smaller parts in films focused on Christ’s life (like King Of Kings). The genre of the biblical epic was enjoying a resurgence in the early 1950s after the likes of 1949’s Samson And Delilah, and Quo Vadis and David And Bathsheba from 1951. The idea of doing a film on Salome was suggested to Harry Cohn (the head of Columbia Pictures), who was looking for another vehicle for his recently-returned star Rita Hayworth. Of course, in order to do the story of Salome with her, Harry Cohn wanted to change the story, making Salome more of a heroine than the villain she was known to be. Salome was produced by Rita Hayworth’s production company (Beckworth Corporation), although it would be the last one they produced.

I will thoroughly admit that I enjoyed Salome. I didn’t know too much about the movie going in, but, from the moment I heard the the music by George Duning during the opening credits, I knew for sure it would be a biblical epic, as the music just had that feel to it. I will say, though, that Rita Hayworth is both an asset and a detriment to the movie. I think her performance works well, and it’s fun to see her do some more dancing. That being said, the historical differences do pull me out of it, with her being older than the real-life person was supposed to be, and the changes to make her more of a heroine as opposed to being as evil as her mother and stepfather are a slight negative side to the film. Still, she shows how some of Jesus’s contemporaries could come to Him. Charles Laughton and Judith Anderson are both great as Herod and Herodias, respectively, both managing to creep you out and make you dislike them intensely. I think Alan Badel’s performance as John the Baptist could use some work, but I blame that on the reverence shown for some of the bigger biblical characters at the time that sometimes resulted in some of those characters not being well-portrayed. Regardless, the movie was very enjoyable (and, given its biblical connections, makes me wish I had watched it sooner so that it could have been my April review in the “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” series to go alongside Easter, but it is what it is). It’s certainly one that I would recommend!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Salome (1953)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. For the most part, this transfer looks very good. The color looks pretty vivid, and the detail is wonderful. There are some issues along the edge of the frame here and there, but nothing really distracting. The picture has been cleaned up of dirt and other debris. It’s certainly the best way to see this movie, in my opinion!

Film Length: 1 hour, 43 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Affair In Trinidad (1952) – Rita Hayworth – Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

Abbott And Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952) – Charles Laughton

Affair In Trinidad (1952)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionMiss Sadie Thompson (1953)

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… Affair In Trinidad (1952)

It’s July 17, and that means it’s time for another round of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” featuring actress Rita Hayworth! This time, we’ve got another movie she made opposite actor Glenn Ford, the 1952 noir Affair In Trinidad!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Boxing Gloves (1929)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 1 (1929-1930) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 17 minutes, 28 seconds)

Harry (Harry Spear) and Farina (Allen Hoskins) are fight promoters, and decide to pit Joe (Joe Cobb) and Chubby (Norman Chaney) against each other. So far, of the four early “Little Rascals” shorts that I’ve seen, this one has been the most fun! Joe and Chubby are quite entertaining, as they both let Jean (Jean Darling) get under their skin, and their fight is equally as fun! It’s sad that this one is missing part of its soundtrack (mostly during the fight sequence), but I think it’s easy enough to understand what’s happening onscreen that it doesn’t hurt it as much as it could. A very enjoyable short, and I can only look forward to seeing more!

And Now For The Main Feature…

In Trinidad, American artist Neal Emery is found dead. At first, the police suspect suicide, so Inspector Smythe (Torin Thatcher) enlists the aid of Mr. Anderson (Howard Wendell) from the American consulate to tell Neal’s wife, Chris Emery (Rita Hayworth) (who works as a singer and dancer at a local nightclub). They question her about what reason Neal might have had to commit suicide, and when it is discovered that the two were estranged, with her on the receiving end of the affections of Neal’s friend Max Fabian (Alexander Scourby), she gets angry with them. The next day, the police determine that Neal was murdered. They bring Chris in, and take away her passport. The inspector reveals that they strongly suspect Fabian is guilty of murdering Neal and can easily arrest him, but they want bigger fish. They believe he is part of a group that deals in information and other forms of treason, and, since Fabian likes her, they want her to go undercover and find out what she can, which she agrees to do. Meanwhile, Neal’s brother, Steve Emery (Glenn Ford), has just arrived in Trinidad at his brother’s invitation. When he finds out his brother is dead, Steve quickly heads over to the inquest, where he listens to everybody talking about how suicidal his brother was. Angered, he follows Chris home, where he confronts her about the supposed love triangle with her, Neal and Fabian that the newspaper is reporting on. She is unable to say anything, and talks to the inspector, who tells her not to say anything until he can check on Steve. Later on, Steve apologizes for his initial reaction, and shows her a letter from his brother that had asked him to come down to Trinidad for a job. For a few days, Steve and Chris spend some time together, until Fabian shows up and reminds Chris that they have a dinner date (although he also invites Steve along). The dinner is interrupted when some of Fabian’s friends arrive earlier than expected (one of whom Steve recognized as a fellow passenger on his plane to Trinidad). After the party is over, Steve is angry with Chris, believing she has feelings for Fabian. She tries to explain that she has no interest in Fabian, but refuses to leave the country with Steve (or explain why), which makes him angrier. Steve tries to take the letter from his brother to the police, but they ignore him, leaving him to go off on his own to solve his brother’s murder. Chris has been invited to Fabian’s birthday party, and she makes use of that opportunity to look into the guest house to see what she could discover. She is able to discover what Fabian and his “guests” are planning, but she is caught when she accidentally leaves behind a scarf (which was a gift to her from Fabian, no less). Will Steve be able to rescue Chris and help stop Fabian’s crew, or will their plans succeed?

After filming The Loves Of Carmen in 1948, Rita Hayworth had left Hollywood behind and married Prince Aly Khan. However, that marriage fell apart after a few years, and she returned to Hollywood and Columbia Pictures. Her return was very much unexpected, though, forcing studio head Harry Cohn into a corner, as he had to put her in a movie or lose her (according to her contract). As a result, he tricked director Vincent Sherman into doing the film with almost no story written, save for a few bits and pieces. The film’s writer, Virginia Van Upp, also dealing with some personal issues, struggled to piece together a story from the different storylines going through her head. The fact that Rita had been away from Hollywood a few years (and wasn’t in the same shape she had been in) worked against them at the start, but with hard work, she was able to get back in shape. Audiences at the time didn’t mind the mild reviews, as they flocked to the movie, making it a decent-sized hit for her return.

I will admit, after seeing this film for the first time, that I do like it. As usual, Rita Hayworth is fun (and we get to see her dancing again, the first time we see her in this movie). Glenn Ford also has great chemistry with her, and the movie itself is entertaining. I do think it feels a little too disjointed, like they did indeed have issues putting the story together. And while I do like Glenn Ford’s performance, I think the love/hate relationship is a bit much, and his character’s feelings towards her turn too much on a dime for me. I think the film fares a little better than their last film together, The Loves Of Carmen, but this one again feels too easy to compare to Gilda (since, in bringing Rita back, they tried a little too much to make it like one of her biggest successes), and I have a very high opinion of that film. Still, as I said, I do like this one, and would certainly be willing to recommend it!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Affair In Trinidad (1952)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. This film’s transfer looks quite good, with good detail helping to show off the film’s cinematography. The picture has been cleaned up of dust, dirt and other debris, so it’s certainly the best way to see this movie!

Film Length: 1 hour, 38 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Loves Of Carmen (1948) – Rita Hayworth – Salome (1953)

The Loves Of Carmen (1948) – Glenn Ford – It Started With A Kiss (1959)

The Loves Of Carmen (1948)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionSalome (1953)

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… The Loves Of Carmen (1948)

It’s June 17, which means that it’s time for another entry of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” featuring actress Rita Hayworth!  This time, it’s her 1948 film The Loves Of Carmen, also starring Glenn Ford!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Super Pink (1966)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 2 (1966-1968) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 5 minutes, 58 seconds)

After reading a superhero comic, the Pink Panther tries to be a superhero himself!  This is a fun one, as the Panther repeatedly attempts to help an old lady.  His intentions are there, but the way he does things is rather stupid (which is what makes this cartoon so funny).  The ending is particularly fun (and one that you wouldn’t see coming)!  I like this one, and find it worth returning to every now and then!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Upon arriving in Seville, young Spanish soldier Don José Lizarabengoa (Glenn Ford) explores the city.  He meets Carmen (Rita Hayworth), a beautiful gypsy woman, who ends up stealing his watch.  In spite of that, he falls for her (which is the start of a lot of trouble for him).  She soon gets in a fight with another woman, and he is forced to arrest her.  However, she manages to get away, and he fakes an injury to keep the other soldiers from going after her.  This angers his Colonel (Arnold Moss), who demotes him, puts him on guard duty, and confines him to barracks.  Of course, the Colonel also falls for her, but she invites José to her quarters.  Carmen is warned by a fortune teller that she will be killed by a man that truly loves her, which gives her a slight pause.  However, she still believes in doing what she wants to do, and keeps the date with José.  They run into trouble when the Colonel also arrives, and decides to duel with José to teach him a lesson.  The Colonel has poor luck, though, as Carmen trips him, causing him to fall on José’s sword and die instantly.  So, now José and Carmen are on the run.  They are joined in the desert by a band of thieving men that includes Garcia (Victor Jory), her husband.  The sparks of jealousy are ignited, eventually resulting in a fight between Garcia and José, with José again emerging victorious (although this time it is no accident).  So, now José is the leader of this band of thieves, and grows more and more jealous of Carmen as she continues to do what she wants (even after they are married).  Will José’s jealousy get the better of him (thus ensuring the fortune teller’s prophecy), or will Carmen be able to change her ways?

The Loves Of Carmen, which was based on the novella Carmen by Prosper Mérimée, was actually one of several films suggested by Orson Welles as a film for his then-wife, Rita Hayworth, but he ended up not handling it himself.  Columbia studio boss Harry Cohn decided to return to the idea, though, after Welles and Hayworth broke up.  After the failure of The Lady From Shanghai at the box office, Harry Cohn wanted to put together a big hit, preferably in something similar to Gilda.  While Harry Cohn had others in mind for the role of Don José, Rita Hayworth made a big push to have her Gilda co-star Glenn Ford cast, and have Gilda director Charles Vidor return as well (and, since it was to be done by her production company, Beckworth, she was able to get her way on that).  Some of her family was also involved, from her father Eduardo Cansino (assistant choreographer) to her brother (a soldier) and her uncle (flamenco dancer).  The film proved to be a success with audiences, and Harry Cohn had plans to cast her in Born Yesterday.  Those plans were upset when, during a much-needed vacation after filming wrapped, Rita met her next husband, Prince Aly Khan, and she ended up staying offscreen for a few years.

This is another movie that I’m coming off my first viewing of, and I will admit, my feelings are slightly mixed.  Mostly, I do like this movie.  I think the cast is fun, with the chemistry between Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford still evident.  I will admit, though, that I think the plot is a bit weaker, with the particular sore point being Glenn Ford’s character essentially becoming the leader of the group of thieves when Victor Jory’s Garcia dies. To me, it feels like there is no indication beforehand that that would even be likely, since I get the impression that he feels like an outsider in that group.  And while I’m thrilled to see Rita do some more dancing, I don’t particularly care for how her first dance is filmed, with barely anything seen.  I know it’s more or less being shown from the viewpoint of Glenn Ford’s character, who can’t really see it either, but, it’s Rita Hayworth!  We want to see her dance!  To a degree, you can see the ending coming ahead of time (not helped by the fortune-telling with the cards, and a few other things).  Again, I do very much enjoy this movie, and these are the only points I have against it.  Even with this film’s limitations, I would definitely say that this movie is well worth seeing (just don’t go comparing it against the far superior Gilda)!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… The Loves Of Carmen (1948)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment.  Another film from this set originally done in Technicolor, and this one actually looks the best to me so far.  The color shows up quite nicely, and the film has been well cleaned up of dirt and debris.  I don’t think I could ask for better on this one!

Film Length: 1 hour, 37 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Lady From Shanghai (1948) – Rita Hayworth – Affair In Trinidad (1952)

Glenn Ford – Affair In Trinidad (1952)

The Lady From Shanghai (1948)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionAffair In Trinidad (1952)

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!

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

Well, the 17th has rolled around again, and that means that it’s time for another Rita Hayworth film! Today’s film is the 1948 classic The Lady From Shanghai, which also stars Orson Welles. So let’s start things off with another theatrical short!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Dixieland Droopy (1954)

(Available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

(Length: 7 minutes, 44 seconds)

Droopy plays Dixieland musician John Pettibone, as he tries to become famous. This is probably one of the weaker Droopy cartoons, with the main gags being how he gets thrown out of places for playing his record, and then is on the run after “stealing” some Dixieland musician fleas. Do I enjoy it? Yes! I’ll gladly stick it on to watch it! But I can’t deny that I’ve seen better from both Droopy and Tex Avery.

And Now For The Main Feature…

While walking through Central Park one night, sailor Michael O’Hara (Orson Welles) comes across Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) being mugged, and helps her get away. He learns that she is married to famous criminal lawyer Arthur Bannister (Everett Sloane), who later offers Michael a job on his yacht (which he very reluctantly accepts). While they are sailing around the country, Michael falls for Elsa, but they find themselves watched, both by Arthur’s partner, George Grisby (Glenn Anders), and Sidney Broome (Ted De Corsia), a detective Arthur uses for some of his divorce cases. Eventually, Grisby makes Michael an offer: for $5000, he wants Michael to “murder” him (so that he can disappear and live a life in obscurity). Once the yacht arrives in San Francisco, Michael decides to go with the idea, hoping to use the money to help Elsa get away from her husband. What he doesn’t count on is Grisby’s treachery (as he plans to kill Arthur and blame Michael), which Broome finds out about. Broome tries to blackmail Grisby, but gets shot for his efforts. Before he dies, Broome tries to warn Elsa and then Michael about Grisby’s treachery, but it’s Grisby himself that gets killed. Michael is arrested (because of all the previous set-up, which included a signed confession), and has no choice but to have Arthur represent him. Will Michael get out of this mess, or will he go to the gas chamber for murder?

The Lady From Shanghai came about mostly due to Orson Welles’ fall from grace. With Citizen Kane‘s failure, The Magnificent Ambersons famously being cut and redone by the studio, and another film that he had planned to shoot in South America never being completed, Orson Welles was no longer looking like the genius he was originally thought to be. He had gone back to the stage, to put together a musical for Around The World In 80 Days, but had run out of money to get the costumes right before the premiere. Without anywhere else to turn, he called Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures (and his wife Rita Hayworth’s boss), to ask him for the money. In return, he promised to direct a movie for him essentially for free (and Harry Cohn accepted). Some sources say that the film was chosen because the original story, If I Die Before I Wake by Sherwood King, was on a display of paperbacks next to where Orson Welles was when he made the call, and some say that it was a story that Columbia had already purchased the rights for, but whatever the case, it’s what Orson Welles ended up doing. Rita Hayworth was cast at Harry Cohn’s insistence (instead of some of the other actresses that Orson was considering), although Harry Cohn later made a fuss about her changing her image (which he had been carefully crafting for his star for years) by cutting her hair and dying it blonde for the film. At the time, The Lady From Shanghai still didn’t do well at the box office, and was considered one of Orson Welles’ biggest failures, but, like some of his other films, its reputation has improved with time.

This is a movie that I had heard of, but it’s taken me several years to actually get around to seeing. And I will admit to having enjoyed it! Like I said back when I reviewed Tomorrow Is Forever, after watching Citizen Kane, I was generally less than interested in any of Orson Welles’ films. Following up that film (Tomorrow Is Forever), I find my opinion improving, as I was impressed with his performance in this movie as well. I certainly feel for his character, trying to do good, but getting sucked into all the mess of the people he’s trying to help (and getting into trouble because of it). It’s definitely a different role for Rita Hayworth, one that seems to fit in somewhat with her role in the classic Gilda. Overall, I do think all the performances worked well, as everybody kept me guessing what was going on, and who was going to be the big culprit. I admit, the story could be confusing at times, in such a way that multiple viewings would certainly be preferred to fully understand what was going on. But, in this film’s favor, I find myself WANTING to watch it again (admittedly, it’ll probably be a while, but at least it’s not one that completely alienated me on the first viewing). So, I would definitely say there is a movie here worth seeing!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment, either individually or as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection. This is another transfer that seems typical of Sony (the company that owns this movie). In other words, it’s quite good! The detail is superb, and it shows off some of the cinematography very well, especially in the aquarium and the scene in the funhouse with all the mirrors! Certainly one of the best ways to see this movie!

Film Length: 1 hour, 28 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Down To Earth (1947) – Rita Hayworth – The Loves Of Carmen (1948)

Tomorrow Is Forever (1946) – Orson Welles

Down To Earth (1947)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionThe Loves Of Carmen (1948)

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The Long And The Short (Series) Of It on… Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Down To Earth (1947)

It’s been almost two years since I had a post on a movie series, but I’ve finally gotten back around to doing one, with this specific column newly rechristened “The Long And The Short (Series) Of It!” This time around, I’m talking about the two film series that includes the 1941 Here Comes Mr. Jordan and the 1947 Down To Earth!

Here Comes Mr. Jordan: On his way to his next boxing match, Joe Pendleton’s (Robert Montgomery) plane goes down. However, right before it crashes, Joe’s spirit is pulled out by the angelic Messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton). This turns out to be a mistake, as 7013’s superior, Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains) says that Joe was actually supposed to survive the crash and live for another fifty years. To make things worse, when Joe and 7013 return to find his body, they discover that Joe’s manager, Max Corkle (James Gleason), had already cremated the body.  So, to rectify that mistake, Mr. Jordan tries to help Joe find a new body to live in, to Joe’s satisfaction.  They end up using the body of millionaire playboy Bruce Farnsworth, who had just been murdered by his wife and her lover. Joe was reluctant to use that body, except he wanted to help Bette Logan (Evelyn Keyes), who had come to see Farnsworth about getting her father out of jail. Joe manages to do just that, all the while falling in love with her. He still wants to fight in the championship match, so he starts working out and reveals himself to his former manager, Max. Of course, Farnsworth’s wife and her lover have other ideas, especially as he spends a lot of their money.

Down To Earth: Playwright and actor Danny Miller (Larry Parks) has put together a show about the Greek muses. However, unbeknownst to him, the actual Greek muses hear about, and object to how they are portrayed! In particular, Terpsichore (Rita Hayworth) is angered by this development, and decides to do something about. Unable to go to Earth on her own, she goes to Mr. Jordan (Roland Culver), and convinces him to let her come to Earth to “help” Danny. He agrees to the idea, and sends her to Earth, with Messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton) along to keep an eye on her. She successfully auditions for Danny under the name Kitty Pendleton, and is given the lead role of Terpsichore. She enlists Max Corkle (James Gleason) to be her agent, and starts preparing for the show. Danny is enchanted by her, but the two keep coming to odds about how the muses are portrayed (particularly Terpsichore). After some time, Terpsichore convinces Danny to make some changes, much to the annoyance of Danny’s friend and co-star, Eddie (Marc Platt). When the show premieres out of town (with all the changes that Terpsichore made), it is poorly received, forcing Danny to go back to his original concept. At first, Terpsichore is infuriated and threatens to walk out, until Mr. Jordan shows her how Danny had indebted himself to gangster Joe Mannion (George MacReady), which would require the show to be a hit, or Danny would be killed. With this new information, she comes back to the show, ready to do things Danny’s way. But, will the show be a hit, or will Danny be murdered?

Now, given that, unlike the two earliest posts in this series (pun intended), where I essentially reviewed the films themselves (instead of giving them individual posts), I’ve already reviewed one of these movies individually a while back (and just did the other one), so I’ll keep my comments here confined to the series as a whole. Here Comes Mr. Jordan was based on the play Heaven Can Wait by Harry Segall. The movie was produced at Columbia Pictures, although it was considered a risky venture for the “Poverty Row” studio. However, Harry Cohn was convinced to do it, and the movie ended up being a hit for them, along with receiving several Oscar nominations. A sequel was planned, with the working title Hell Bent For Mr. Jordan, but it never happened (mainly because the hope was to bring back the original cast of Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains, Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason, which never quite worked out). However, when actress Rita Hayworth and then-rising newcomer Larry Parks were paired together for Down To Earth, it was decided to make that film a sequel of sorts to Here Comes Mr. Jordan. Edward Everett Horton (Messenger 7013) and James Gleason (Max Corkle) were brought back to play their respective characters, although Max Corkle’s occupation was changed from fight manager to theatrical agent (with references to his previous profession). Claude Rains didn’t come back to portray Mr. Jordan (for reasons I have yet to discover), so Roland Culver took over that role (with his appearance a strong reminder of the previous portrayal). Director Alexander Hall was also retained for both movies.

Both films managed to make an impact, but Here Comes Mr. Jordan made the biggest. As a result of its success, Hollywood made more films of that type, such as I Married An Angel (1942), Angel On My Shoulder (1946), Angels In The Outfield (1951) and Heaven Can Wait (1943) (no relation to the play other than the title). The movie would be remade (under the play’s original title of Heaven Can Wait) in 1978, and again in 2001 as Down To Earth (apparently borrowing the title of the sequel). While the 1947 Down To Earth didn’t have *quite* that impact, it was rather infamously remade… as the 1980 movie musical Xanadu.

As I mentioned when I originally reviewed Here Comes Mr. Jordan, I more or less discovered that film because of Bob Hope’s reference to it in Road To Morocco. I thoroughly enjoyed Here Comes Mr. Jordan when I saw it, particularly because the cast did such a great job. Of course, in the humor department, Edward Everett Horton and especially James Gleason left me cracking up at their antics, leaving me wanting more! Having finally had the chance to see Down To Earth a few years later (with them reprising their roles), that fun continued on! While it wasn’t the full-fledged sequel that was originally planned, it still worked quite well! James Gleason starts us off being interrogated by the police (again) in a manner quite reminiscent of what it was like in the first film (before he tells us what happened in flashback). Comparatively, I prefer Claude Rains over Roland Culver in the role of Mr. Jordan, as I feel he better fit the role, with all the gravitas it required. That being said, Roland Culver certainly wasn’t too far from it, either (and was pretty good casting since they did have to replace Claude Rains, for whatever reason). I prefer the first film overall, as the second does have its slightly weaker moments (including, to my mind, the inclusion of the Greek muses/”goddesses,” although that’s a minor complaint), but as an overall series, I can’t complain! Here Comes Mr. Jordan is an almost perfect film, and, as such, I really have little to no interest in seeing the later remakes. I have seen Down To Earth‘s remake (Xanadu), and, while it’s certainly not in the same league as Down To Earth by far, it at least had the appeal of a few cast members that I like (as opposed to Jordan‘s remakes). I would definitely recommend either of the two films from this series without any hesitation!

Both movies are available on Blu-ray (Here Comes Mr. Jordan from Criterion as an individual release and Down To Earth as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment).

Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Film Length: 1 hour, 34 minutes

My Rating: 10/10

Down To Earth

Film Length: 1 hour, 41 minutes

My Rating: 8/10