Sunday, June 30, 2013

Comic Strip

I guess Netflix recommended Doll Face (1945) because I had watched Brewster's Millions: Dennis O'Keefe is male lead in both. I would have gotten to it sooner or later - It was based on a play written by Gypsy Rose Lee! Just like Lady of Burlesque, except with Vivian Blaine instead of Barbara Stanwyck.

So, Blaine is a top dancer in the burly-Q but she wants to go legit. When she is turned down by the hottest producer in town, her manager and boyfriend O'Keefe gets the idea that she should write a literary biography - and get a snooty author to ghost write it. The snooty author, Stephen Dune, isn't interested until he gets a look at Doll Face.

Bet you can figure it out from there - Blaine enjoys having someone smart, rich and smooth pay attention to her. O'Keefe gets jealous, they fight and split up. The sweet thing is that they are really for each other the whole time. This isn't Born Yesterday where the smooth guy gets the girl.

A less sweet thing is the misogyny and symbolic violence against women. Blaine always forgets their little good-luck routine before she goes on stage - a kick in the butt from O'Keefe - and he always reminds her. It's a gentle kick, but she never looks like she enjoys the gag. O'Keefe also recommends that his songwriter should beat the girl he is interested in. Well, I guess burly-Q isn't as feminist as I always figured.

By the way, that songwriter is played by Perry Como. I've heard about his laid-back performance style, but  he literally curls on a bench and falls asleep in the middle of his song.

The other musical star in the movie is Carmen Miranda. She has one weak song but several good lines. Maybe the best thing in the movie.

Or possibly the best part is that Gypsy Rose Lee really did have a ghost writer for this play (probably), so it kind of swallows it's own tail.

In conclusion: No stripping at all.

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