“Show Business” is a wee gem of a musical, with four good leads – Constance Moore and George Murphy for the romance , and Joan Davis and Eddie Cantor for the comedy, plus a slew of tuneful numbers.
”Show Business” is just that, a story of four performers and their efforts to be a success , their ups and downs, set around the First World War.
A quirk of the film was having the five main performers using their own Christian names – Eddie, George, Joan, Connie and Nancy (Nancy Kelly).
Joan Davis, Eddie Cantor
Joan and Eddie do a sketch of “Anthony and Cleopatra” ,with some funny dialogue:
Joan: “Do’eth thou’eth love’eth me’eth?
Joan: “Will’t thou cares for an Egyptian cigarette?”
Eddie: “No, I am smoking already!”
Joan: Shooteth a little crap?”
Eddie: Thou knowest I never gamble.”
Eddie: “I never drink.”
Joan:”May I give you a flower. You must smell.”
Eddie: ……”Remember , my Queen, I’m only a boy, just past twenty.”
Joan: ”Past it? You’ve lapped it two or three times .”
And every so often, Joan turns to the camera and says, “I love that boy, love him , I tell you.”
George Murphy, Constance Moore.
“I wanna a girl just like the girl that married dear old dad.”
Great song ,and Constance Moore sings it beautifully.
Nancy Kellyhas a smallish role as a singer who tries to break up the Murphy/Moore romance. Nancy has a lovely number, “You May Not Remember” – dubbed by Nora Martin.
The film’s director was Edwin L.Marin who was also responsible for several Randolph Scott westerns, also Nocturne, Johnny Angel, several of the Maisie films; and even a couple of Judy Garland’s early films. A versatile director who was only 52 when he died in 1951.
Constance Moore, John Maschio
i was impressed by Constance Moore (1920-2005) who married John Maschio, a theatrical agent in 1939. After that Constance only worked intermittently in films, but appeared on many radio shows, sang in nightclubs and on Broadway ( in “BY JUPITERL, with Ray Bolger.)
She had glamour, style and a lovely singing voice.
There’s a wonderful collection of colour portraits for sale at FINEARTAMERICA.COM , mainly by the artist John Springfield (about whom I could find nothing on the agency which displays his work –The Esoteric Art Agency.
All the paintings can be bought as framed prints, posters, greetings cards etc. And the prices range from £18 upwards.
It’s been available since 2021 on dvd and blu-Ray ( from the excellent Flicker Alley), and I finally got round to viewing this rare 1951 independent drama, made by producer Louis De Rochemont (1899-1978).
Almost documentary in style, it’s the story of a small New Hampshire town whose main employer is Doubleday Plastics . The factory’ s whistle was an integral part of the town –
“That whistle marked the beginning and end of each day. It was our curfew , our fire alarm – we even set our clocks by it….”
The company is losing money. To keep the factory open, it needs more modern machinery and there will be potential lay-offs.
Lenore Lonergan, Lloyd Bridges, Ernest Borgnine.
Lloyd Bridges is the union leader who is asked by the factory’s owner, Dorothy Gish to take over the running of the plant after her husband dies in an accident.
A small role for Dorothy Gish as the factory owner who decides to take a chance on the union organiser running the company.
Diana Douglas, Lloyd Bridges.
Diana Douglas plays Lloyd Bridges’s wife. ( she was married to Kirk Douglas at the time).
James Westerfield, Lloyd Douglas.
Ernest Borgnine, Arthur O’Connell, Lenore Lonergan, Lloyd Bridges.
I was impressed by Lenore Lonergan (1928-1987) as a union activist .Lenore only made a few films, including “Westward The Women”. She had played ‘Dinah Lord’ in the original Broadway production of “The Philadelphia Story.”
Bridges finds being on the management side isn’t easy. He has plenty of opposition from both sides.
Arthur O’Connell, Ernest Borgnine
The film’s producer, Louis de Rochemont won two Oscars for his historic MARCH OF TIME newsreels in the 1930s.
He joined Fox in 1943 and produced four films between 1945 and 1949 – The House in 92nd Street, 13 Rue Madeleine, Boomerang, Lost Boundaries. All reflective of the social issues de Rochemont was interested in. (I’ve yet to see “Lost Boundaries “.)
Many scenes were shot on location in New Hampshire (where de Rochemont came from).
Thanks are due to the De Rochemont family for initiating the project of bringing The Whistle at Eaton Falls back to life.
Directed by Robert Siodmak , this is a film I’ll be watching again. Variety called it ‘ overlong and slow’ and needing ‘plenty of scissoring’. I found it totally gripping and dramatic and well acted by an excellent cast.
Would love to see this photo in colour and full size. If you zoom in, you can see Michael Curtiz in front of the head table on the left, with Errol Flynn to his right.
It’s the scene where Robin has marched in and slung the stag on the table. Directly in front of Errol, sitting facing him is Claude Rains as Prince John , Basil Rathbone as Sir Guy of Gisbourne and Melville Cooper as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The man in the white shirt to the left of the camera could be Sol Polito, the cinematographer.
The photo gives you an idea of the enormous size of the set and all the people involved – and that huge crane carrying the Technicolor camera. And the huge lights overhead. The set must have been so hot.
The soldiers nearest the camera stand to attention but those at the back are at ease!
And here’s Claude Rains taking it easy between scenes. To his left, what looks like a huge “No Smoking” sign, needed on the set for safety reasons. . Love the shoes!
Harry Morgan (1915-2011) didn’t have his name above the title but we all know him well and value his contribution to Hollywood history.
Born Harry Bratsberg, he was In the original stage production of Golden Boy and made his film debut in 1942 In To The Shores of Tripoli, using the name Henry Morgan (which he used for a good part of his career).
Averaging three or four films a year, Harry was never out of work for the next 50 years.
With Henry Fonda. THE OX-BOW INCIDENT.
With Richard Widmark, Robert Arthur.YELLOW SKY.
With Jack Webb .DARK CITY.
With Lon Chaney Jr.,Thomas Mitchell. HIGH NOON.
With James Stewart, Charles Drake. THE GLENN MILLER STORY.
With Spencer Tracy, Fredric March.INHERIT THE WIND.
Harry had his own TV comedy series, Pete And Gladys, costarring Cara Williams. The show ran for two years from 1960 and was a spin-off of a show called December Brides.
Episodes are available on You Tube.
Guesting on an episode of Gunsmoke, with James Arness.
Harry played a no-nonsense judge in two very good TV movies in which he costarred with Walter Matthau.
After his first wife, Eileen died in 1985, Harry married again in 1986 to Barbara Bushman (daughter of Francis X. Bushman).