Thursday, March 26, 2015

Only Angels Have Wings

Year 7, Day 85 - 3/26/15 - Movie #1,985

BEFORE: Now entering Round 4 of the (M)Archie Madness Tournament, just a few more days to go. Of course, Cary Grant made over 70 films so there's no way I can watch them all in just 3 weeks, so my work will always seem incomplete.  But let's get to Round 4, which was intended to be about the military, but I realize now that this film has nothing to do with wartime pilots, but just regular pilots instead.  Oh, well. 

THE PLOT:  At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.

AFTER:  This film covers the complexities of running a cargo service near the Andes Mountains, working out of the fictional port of Barranca. Whether the planes are carrying the mail, or serving as air ambulances, or delivering nitroglycerin to oil fields (I'm not sure why one would do that, it seems like carrying a torch into a hay barn...) the one thing we learn is that flying these planes is muy peligroso.

Almost as dangerous is being in love with one of these hotshot pilots, because a girl never knows if her man is coming back or not.  I have to acknowledge the accidental timing of watching this film just a few days after a German plane crashed in France, but darn if it doesn't seem like we've had a number of prominent plane crashes and disappearances in the last couple of years.  And you wonder why I never fly, unless I have to?  We've got people working on developing driverless cars, with the noble goal of reducing traffic accidents to zero, why isn't anyone working on safer air travel?  I hate the way humans just invent things that are inherently dangerous and then say, "That's it, we're done!  No way we can improve on that!"  What about fuel that won't explode, or planes that bounce, or can't be tracked by missiles, or won't sink into the ocean?  I'm spitballing here, of course, and I'm not saying those ideas are feasible, but let's keep thinking of new ideas, damn it!!

This almost turned into another dreaded love triangle, when one boat brought a woman who falls for Cary Grant, despite his risky lifestyle and desire to not settle down (I bet all that just makes him more attractive to women, curse him...) and then a later boat brings his ex-girlfriend, who's married to the latest pilot recruit.  Said recruit has a bad reputation, as he once bailed out of a plane, leaving behind the brother of another pilot, but to regain his reputation, he's willing to take the riskiest flights through the most dangerous weather conditions.  Geez, if the terrain is so rough and the weather is so bad in this area, why the heck did someone open an air freight company there?  Wouldn't a delivery service of burros, like a South American Pony Express, make more sense?  

As I've mentioned before, one of the down sides of having gone to film school is that I often need to figure out how certain film effects were achieved.  During last night's film, I needed to figure out how they made Mae West look like a lion tamer.  In some shots they used rear projection of lion footage, and I'm guessing that when she put her head in the lion's mouth, they used a fake lion's head.  Oh, it looked plenty real, but there was a noticeable cut just before and just after her head appeared to be in danger.  Tonight's investigation of special effects concerns the planes taking off and landing on this remote stretch of runway - something didn't look 100% kosher to me, and I'll wager they used scale model planes on wires, though I didn't see any wires.  

Hmm, I guess I'm wrong, because Wikipedia only mentions the real planes that were used for the long-shots, and doesn't make any mention of model planes.  No, wait, I found a web-page where someone mentioned the 2008 appraisal on "Antiques Roadshow" of a miniature plane used in the filming of "Only Angels Have Wings".  It just makes sense - why would someone crash a real plane for a film when they can crash a model much more cheaply and safely?  

A lot of the dialogue feels forced, however, because of something I call "Who, me?" syndrome.  This is a cheap way to lengthen scenes by having every actor question the line before, rather than move on in the conversation.  Example: "I want to talk to you about something."  "Who, me?"  "Umm, yes, you're the only other person here.  Did you talk to Ted?"  "Who, me?"  You get the idea.  

Also starring Jean Arthur (last seen in "The Talk of the Town"), Thomas Mitchell (last seen in "Gone With the Wind"), Rita Hayworth (last seen in "Cover Girl"), Richard Barthelmess, Sig Ruman, Allyn Joslyn, Noah Beery Jr.

RATING: 4 out of 10 condors 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I'm No Angel

Year 7, Day 84 - 3/25/15 - Movie #1,984

BEFORE: Back to the tournament - my third film in a row starring Mae West is also the 2nd film in which she co-starred with Cary Grant.  Why, it's almost like I planned it this way.  From here I head forward through Cary's filmography for 4 more films, all of which have to do with various wars or military actions.  But first, back to Ms. West.


THE PLOT:  The bold Tira works as dancing beauty and lion tamer at a fair. Out of an urgent need of money, she agrees to a risky new number: putting her head into a lion's mouth! With this attraction the circus makes it to New York and Tira can persue her dearest occupation: flirting with rich men and accepting expensive presents.

AFTER: I'm still not sure that I "get" Mae West - I think maybe you have to be someone from the 1930's to get her.  OK, she's a passable singer, though she's got way too much vibrato in her voice and she had a bad habit of rolling her eyes for emphasis.  Was this supposed to be sexy?  Did it suggest some sort of orgasmic pleasure?  Or was it just something to do with her eyes while she sang?  Basically, Mae West just sort of stands there while she sings, which isn't very interesting at all.  Sure, sound was still relatively new in motion pictures, so she's a good singer in the way Al Jolson was a good singer, which means very little by today's standards. 

In terms of sex appeal, I think you really have to be a product of the times to fall for her charms.  In an age where I can jump on the internet and see all manner of explicit actions, where more is more, but she was a star where you couldn't show more, so I guess she's sexy, if you haven't seen things that are much more shocking.  But playing off her "experience" also makes her read as sort of oldish, almost like the first on-screen cougar or something.  Hey, whatever floats your boat, horny men of 1933.

It's also a little hard to see how men found the "bad girl" thing attractive - so you WANT to date a gold-digger?  Someone who's been around the block more than a few times, and is probably only interested in your money?  OK, good luck with that.  She seems like the "Charlie the Tuna" of on-screen sirens.  (Charlie the Tuna used to be a mascot for Star-Kist tuna, he would mistakenly think that Star-Kist tuna wanted fish with good taste, when in fact that they just wanted tuna that tasted good.  Common mistake I guess, but it never made much sense - why would Charlie WANT to be caught and killed and canned?)  In the same vein, men only THINK they want a bad girl, when what they really want is a good girl, who's willing to act like a bad girl, but only with them.   I can't imagine why this parade of men is so enamored by her, when they all know what she's about.  Does each suitor think things are going to be different with her, but just for him?  

I also think you have to be from that era to appreciate the circus scenes.  With the recent announcement that Ringling Bros. will be phasing out elephants from their circus shows - because apparently using elephants in performances AND treating them humanely can't be done simultaneously - it's odd now to watch scenes where lions are being whipped and also shot at (probably blanks in the gun, but still...) and this is considered appropriate entertainment.  

The best part of the film is probably the court scene - and you know this took place in a different time than today, because back then you could sue someone if they called off an engagement.  Breach of promise suit - but today this would be laughed out of court, because people are more allowed to follow their hearts, call off weddings and that sort of thing.  Logically, calling off a wedding would be preferable to getting married under false pretenses and then having lengthy divorce proceedings.  

A number of Tira's men are called to the stand, each one describing how they bought her expensive presents, and then "spent time" with her.  But Tira cross-examines each one, asking about, for example, their marital status at the time.  Since each man can't admit to cheating on his wife in court, he's forced to "admit" that nothing untoward happened - so she basically calls each man out.  Clever bit, that. 

Still, it wasn't really enough to hold my interest - again, it's more of a character study than an actual plot, though there's more storyline than in "She Done Him Wrong", there's less than was seen in "My Little Chickadee".  I fell asleep at about 2/3 of the way through, and had to finish the film in the evening.

Also starring Cary Grant (last seen in "She Done Him Wrong"), Edward Arnold (last seen in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"), Gregory Ratoff (last seen in "All About Eve"), Ralf Harolde, Gertrude Howard.

RATING: 3 out of 10 horoscopes

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Little Chickadee

Year 7, Day 83 - 3/24/15 - Movie #1,983

BEFORE: Today marks five weeks since adopting a low-cholesterol diet, and later today I'll be at the doctor's office for a shot, and I'll finally find out if there's been progress in losing some weight.  My pants feel looser, and I've noticed it's been easier to climb stairs, and if I drop something, I've got a fair chance of being able to bend down and pick it up, so I think the outlook is good.  I've been mostly subsisting on a regimen of veggie burgers and falafel platters, so somewhere my ex-wife is having a laugh at my expense.  Also, frequent visitors to my Flickr page are probably wondering why I haven't posted any pictures of interesting restaurant food like pretzel nachos, hot dogs wrapped in bacon or hamburgers with fried eggs on top.  

Today, I'm also taking a break from the (M)Archie Madness Tournament - Cary Grant is NOT in this film.  What happened was - months before running a tribute to Mr. Leach, they ran a few Mae West films, and old Archie was in two of them.  When he was named their Star of the Month for December, I realized that the two chains would dovetail nicely.  Now, it would have been easy to run all of the Cary Grant films together, and end with today's film, but today's film links to almost nothing, and to me, that's a dead end.  So I found another outro for the Cary Grant chain, and there's really no place else to put today's film, except right between two other Mae West films, which maintains the linking, but breaks the Tournament into two parts - it's the lesser of two organizational evils, the same sort of thing happened earlier this year when I wrapped up the Edward Norton chain, then again with the Bruce Willis chain at the end of January.  C'est la vie. 


THE PLOT:  Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "respectability."

AFTER: Since I'm trying hard to wrap up the project this year, it's time to get to those last-minute film-related sins.  I finally got to Chaplin late last year, and I'll be dealing with the Marx Brothers very soon, but I have to admit that I've never seen a W.C. Fields film before (and before last night, I hadn't seen a Mae West film before, either).  Oh, I know the stereotypes about his character, and I've seen clips, but never watched a full film.  As a kid I worked my way through the catalogues of the Three Stooges and Abbott & Costello, and in college I got turned on to Buster Keaton, and that was pretty much that.  Fields seemed to bridge that gap between silent, physical comics like Keaton and Harold Lloyd, and later physical comics like the Stooges.  I guess I assumed he was the thinking man's comic, because his humor seemed mostly verbal - and when you're young the physical comedy is where it's at. 

Now that I'm an adult (or so they tell me) I've got a better chance at understanding the humor in Mae West's suggestive lines, or W.C. Fields' wisecracks.  Plus I can appreciate the fact that both were known for writing their own material, and both signed on for this film with the assumption they'd be writing all the dialogue.  In the end, he wrote his own line, and she wrote hers.  This seems a little disjointed, but given the fact that her character spends most of the film rebuffing his advances, it kind of helps the story when their dialogue clashes a bit. 

Their characters fit together because they're both con artists, he's a literal snake-oil salesman, and she's more noted for romancing men to get diamonds or gold - so they sort of desert each other.  When they meet on a train and she sees the big bag of (fake) money that he carries around, she agrees to (fake) marry him so that she can make a name for herself in a Western town, where he coincidentally gets set up as a (fake) sheriff.  After that, it's kind of like the situation in a romantic comedy like "My Favorite Wife" - she's got to keep fending him off, because we can't see two people sleep together if they're not really husband and wife.

Eventually the Masked Bandit returns, and I'll admit I guessed wrong about his identity - I think they put a few red herring suggestions into the storyline.  And I'm glad to see that there IS a storyline, it's a nice refreshing change from last night's character study.  

Reportedly W.C. Fields walked off of the set of this film, and after about two weeks the director realized he wasn't coming back, so they hired a stand-in to finish the last third of the scenes.  This probably motivated certain scenes, like when he dresses up LIKE the masked bandit to try and catch the bandit, or the gag where he's taking a bath and you just see his feet sticking up from the tub.  If anyone really took a bath like that, they'd most likely drown. 

And I know it was a different time and all that, but the portrayal of Native Americans here is downright criminal.  They're either savages attacking a train, or passive drunkards who say "Ugh!" and "How!" and not much else.  I guess one of them is our hero Twillie's friend, but in the same way that Kato was Inspector Clouseau's friend in the "Pink Panther" films.  It's downright deplorable.

Also starring W.C. Fields, Margaret Hamilton, Joseph Calleia (last seen in "For Whom the Bell Tolls"), Dick Foran, Donald Meek (last seen in "Love on the Run"), Willard Robertson, Fuzzy Knight. 

RATING: 4 out of 10 poker chips

Monday, March 23, 2015

She Done Him Wrong

Year 7, Day 82 - 3/23/15 - Movie #1,982
 
BEFORE: Well, tonight I'm going about as far back into Cary Grant's career as I can - heck, I'm darn close to the start of movies themselves.  OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit since tonight's film was released in 1933, and movies had been around for over 20 years at that point.  But out of all the films I've watched in the last few years, only 24 are older than this one.  (The oldest film so far is Chaplin's "The Kid".) 


THE PLOT:  In the Gay Nineties, a seductive nightclub singer contends with several suitors, including a jealous escaped convict and a handsome temperance league member.

AFTER: I'm occasionally surprised by which films appear on that list of "1,001 Movies to Watch Before You Die".  This film is on that list, but last night's wasn't, and tomorrow night's won't be - there's just no rhyme or reason to it sometimes.  OK, so this may be Mae West's first feature, does that by itself justify its inclusion on that list?  Is it because this is one of the last films to be made before the Production Code?  Is it significant for being somewhat racy, and proving the need for the Code?  

Maybe it's because it's the film that made stars out of both Mae West and Cary Grant?  That seems to be the prevailing mentality.  I don't think it could be due to the elaborate story, because there's barely a plot worth talking about here - it comes off more like a character study of a showgirl, or perhaps a period piece trying to encapsulate the spirit of the 1890's.  Perhaps people in 1933 were nostalgic for an early time, due to the Great Depression - in much the same way people now are romanticizing the 1980's or 1990's.  

My wife and I have been watching repeats of VH-1's "I Love the 80's", during dinner if we don't have a show like "Hell's Kitchen" or "Top Chef" to watch - because that's our nostalgia jam.  But it's starting to get depressing, like when they do a segment about Whitney Houston, followed by one about Robin Williams and Comic Relief.  Of course, those people were alive when they made the show, but no longer.  

I'm surprised that I don't get more depressed while watching a film like "She Done Him Wrong" - if I stop to think about how everyone appearing in the film and everyone who worked on the film is most likely deceased, that's always a sobering thought.  I mean, it's nice that their images and the film they made will live on, thanks to film preservation efforts and now digital storage, but still...it's like I spend my nights being entertained by ghosts and shadows. 

This is the shortest film (66 minutes) to ever receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture - it's also the film where Mae West says the often misquoted line, "Why don't you come up some time and see me?" It was based on a play titled Diamond Lil, but they changed her character's name to Lou for the film.  It was shot in only three weeks, and I dare say it feels like it - it doesn't seem like anyone spent much time working on story details, or even worrying whether there was a coherent plot at all.  There are also nearly as many continuity mistakes as there are saucy comebacks.    

Also starring Mae West, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland (last seen in "Around the World in Eighty Days"), Noah Beery Sr., Rafaela Ottiano (last seen in "Grand Hotel").

RATING: 3 out of 10 5-cent beers

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Holiday

Year 7, Day 81 - 3/22/15 - Movie #1,981

BEFORE: We went out to a Chinese auction on Long Island yesterday - this is not an auction run by Asians, it's a fund-raising affair for a church or scout troop where people bid on donated items by buying tickets and placing them in little cups, sort of like a raffle.  It's "Chinese" meaning strange, like in Chinese checkers or Chinese fire-drill.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law did well, winning 6 prize baskets, but I only bought $20 worth of tickets and won just one item, a plaque signed by Mookie Wilson of the 1986 Mets.  I don't collect sports autographs, just ones from Star Wars actors, but I think I'll hang on to this one.  I moved to NYC in 1986 for college, and became a Mets fan for a while - in the 1986 World Series I rooted for both teams, so I'll keep a piece of Mets nostalgia.  



THE PLOT: A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancĂ©e's eccentric sister and long suffering brother.

AFTER: I'm not sure if this constitutes a love triangle or not, because it's clear that Cary Grant's character might be dating the wrong sister, but no one realizes it at the time.  He's too hung up on Julia, the staid, boring sister, and Julia wants to mold him into a hard-working rich person.  He wants to get there eventually, but having come up through the ranks as a hard worker in steel mills and such, he wants to take a few years off and see the world while he's young enough to enjoy it.  

Johnny and Julia are so mismatched here, it's tough to see how they fell in love in the first place - while her sister Linda, though overprotective of Julia, eventually comes to believe that his spontaneity might be just what Julia needs in her life, so she stands up for Johnny and comes to admire him in the process.  Linda would also like to travel and see the world, hey, you don't suppose...nah, that's crazy talk.  What kind of man would pursue one sister, and then the other?  

This highlights something that a lot of romantic comedies seem to forget - people tend to come together when they're of similar mindsets about the world.  Sure, opposites sometimes attract, but I think that's an oversimplification, as well as a storywriting crutch.  If two characters have similar outlooks, we the audience might think they're made for each other before they do or before the writers do - and that's how fan fiction was born.  

Remember "Moonlighting"?  Fans of that 80's show naturally assumed that Bruce Willis's character and Cybill Shepherd's character would get together, even though the whole premise of the show was that these were two very different people, with vastly different approaches to life.  Eventually fans clamored to see their pairing, and then once it took place, there was a realization that not only would their relationship not work out (not without massive amounts of compromise, which would dilute each character's individuality and/or free will) but suddenly the tension was broken, suspense was lost, and there were few stories left to tell.  

There's a double meaning to the title, because Grant's character wants to go on holiday, and the film is also set in the week between Christmas and New Year's, and some have pointed out that a New Year's Eve party is planned with very little notice - but perhaps we can assume that this family is so rich they can plan and cater a party within a couple days, get invitations messengered out to the city's most fashionable guests, who naturally would change their plans at the last minute in order to attend such a high-class function.  So, no NITPICK POINT there. 

Also starring Katherine Hepburn (last seen in "Woman of the Year"), Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres (last seen in "All Quiet on the Western Front"), Edward Everett Horton (last seen in "Arsenic and Old Lace"), Jean Dixon, Henry Kolker.

RATING: 3 out of 10 puppet shows

Saturday, March 21, 2015

In Name Only

Year 7, Day 80 - 3/21/15 - Movie #1,980

BEFORE: Fulfilled my annual spring equinox ritual by shaving off my winter beard, and in honor of Ronald Colman's scene in "The Talk of the Town", this year I made sure my trusty manservant was on hand to witness it - damned if the sight didn't bring a tear to his eye, imagine that.  I guess now I'm ready to reconsider my positions on the American legal system.  

I think that's it for Cary Grant's screwball comedies, so that means I've entered the third round of (M)Archie Madness, let's call these the "oldies".  One more week of the tournament to go.  Yes, I realize I didn't hold true to reverse chronological order, this film was released in 1939 and "The Awful Truth" came out in 1937 - but I wanted to keep the three Irene Dunne films together, and they all sort of riffed on the same theme, so I stand by that decision.



THE PLOT:  While out riding in the country, wealthy New Yorker Alec Walker meets young widow Julie Eden, and a relationship quickly develops. However, Alec has not told her that he is already locked into a loveless marriage to the avaricious Maida.

AFTER: Cary Grant and his leading lady?  Check.  Love triangle with legal complications?  Check.  Screwball antics?  No way, not here.  And when you take the comedy out of the situation, it seems we're just left with sentiment - love and caring, but also infidelity, back-stabbing and serious illness.  

Is it me, or did Cary Grant's characters always have something going on the side?  In this film he's got a wife and a few ex-girlfriends, and still he starts up a new relationship.  He and his wife seem to have some sort of understanding, however, as long as he comes home to her and she gets to live a life of luxury, she's willing to look the other way, believing that his flings will burn themselves out after about a year, maximum, and he'll come back to her.  

But when the latest girlfriend seems like a keeper, the wife goes off on holiday with her in-laws, saying she'll break the news about the impending divorce, but really planning to pitch herself to them as the ideal, one-and-only mate, and poisoning their minds against their son's new love.  It's another case where a character is afraid of having a five-minute conversation, and it costs them weeks, or months, of personal growth.  The resulting situation also manages to fill up about 30 minutes of screen time, but it's maddening for a viewer who realizes there was a better way to handle things. 

I wonder how many viewers in 1939 rooted for the wife, even though she was portrayed as the conniving gold-digger.  Some people would no doubt champion the cause of marriage even to the point of making both of its participants miserable, and couldn't imagine rooting for the adulterous affair to win out.  And while it's obvious that the wife's love needed to be depicted as "not real" or impure in order to justify the adulterous relationship with regards to the production code, it's still amazing that this one got by the censors, since it portrays a couple living in sin, but being very happy together. 

Also starring Carole Lombard (last seen in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"), Kay Francis, Charles Coburn (last seen in "The Paradine Case"), Nella Walker, Helen Vinson, Katharine Alexander (last seen in "Now, Voyager"). 

RATING: 4 out of 10 garden parties

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Awful Truth

Year 7, Day 79 - 3/20/15 - Movie #1,979

BEFORE:  First day of spring, my ass.  We're getting a snowstorm today in NYC, one final (or so we hope) indignity of winter, and if Mayor Bloomberg had followed through on plans to put a big clear dome over the city, it wouldn't even be a concern right now.  I'm assuming this was proposed at some point, because why else would we have elected a crazy billionaire mayor for three terms when the legal limit was two?  

This is my third film in a row with Irene Dunne co-starring with Cary Grant, which means it's the first one they made together, since I'm still going backward chronologically.  


THE PLOT: 
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

AFTER: By now, the vagaries of the production code and the typical antics of the screwball comedy are familiar to me - they've been repeated again and again since diving back into Cary Grant's career, past 1950 or so.  First, we've got a set of instructions imposed by a legal system or government - here it's a divorce that will become effective in 90 days, but in past films in this chain it's been either the rules of courting a Persian princess, or Grant being forced by a judge to date a teenager.  Secondly, we've got the production code, a second set of rules relating to the perceived morals of the time - Grant's character can't kiss the princess, and he certainly can't get physical with the teenager.  Similarly there couldn't be direct references to extra-marital sex in "My Favorite Wife", not on the island, and not in a hotel room - separate beds, please, we're married...

In today's film, the "rules" say that there can't be references to sex outside the marriage - but come on, that's totally what's happening.  The husband's pretending to be in Florida when he's somewhere else, and the wife is spending a lot of time with her music teacher.  You, as a viewer, have to guess at what they're really doing.  I think the couple here, like a great many people, find that legal married sex just isn't as appealing as cheating, or single sex.  Oh, it's still fun, to be sure, but it's not nearly as naughty, by definition.  

So the Warriner couple here decides to face facts and divorce - but the plot device that keeps them in contact is shared custody of their dog, Mr. Smith.  It's clever, the dog knows tricks like "hide and seek" so he provides both comic relief and a plot device.  Other plot devices abound, ones that give clues into who's really sleeping with whom.  OK, so maybe it's not that much of a mystery, but compare this to a more modern film like, say, "The 40-Year Old Virgin", and it's like night and day - films can be so much more explicit now, even our modern light comedies seem sort of shocking by comparison.  

Keeping the two ex-lovers in contact with each other provides them with opportunities to sabotage each other's new relationships, and in the wife's case, she pulls another identity deception by pretending to be her ex-husband's less refined sister - but she still calls him "Honey".  Umm....ewwww??  We've got the same NITPICK POINT as last night - namely that someone pulls an unlikely deception, because chances are that since the Warriners were elite members of society, it's extremely likely that fellow rich people would have recognized her from photos in the newspaper, so her masquerade shouldn't have worked.

Eventually the couple realizes that maybe splitting up was the best thing for the marriage - after all, once the divorce is final, wouldn't that make sex all single-like and naughty again?

This is regarded as one of the most classic and representative films of the screwball comedy genre - but what exactly is the "awful truth"  mentioned in the title?  The fact that many married people cheat on each other?  The fact that sex is more fun when it's not legalized?  Or does it refer to the fact that the couple belongs together, which they are hesitant to admit?  I'm not sure, but the dialogue seems to suggest the latter.

Also starring Irene Dunne, Ralph Bellamy (last seen in "His Girl Friday"), Alexander Darcy (last seen in "How to Marry a Millionaire"), Cecil Cunningham, Joyce Compton.

RATING: 5 out of 10 pratfalls