Everbody Sing


Judy (Judy Garland) is a troublemaker.  She can't stop singing swing music and this gets her kicked out of the best girls schools in New York. Upon returning home from her latest expulsion she finds her house in chaos. Her playwright father and actress mother are having trouble keeping backers for their play, and Judy's mother (played by Billie Burke) insists on keeping Jerrold, a flattering ham, as her leading man. Rounding out the household is Olga (Fannie Brice) the immigrant housekeeper, Ricky the chef who moonlights as a nightclub singer, and Sylvia, Judy's sister and the apple of Ricky's eye. Judy tries to get a job singing at the nightclub to help with the family finances, but her father disapproves, fires Ricky and sends Judy on an educational trip to Europe. She ditches the ship before it sails and goes to work on Ricky's new Broadway production. On opening day Judy is found out, Ricky declares his love for Sylvia, and the show is a smashing success.

I don't really know anything about Fannie Brice. She was the subject of the movie Funny Girl but due to an unfortunate gap in my movie knowledge I don't think I have ever seen it. In Everybody Sing she does a song as "Baby Snooks", a character my Mom says she remembers listening to on the radio.

Judy Garland performs a song in blackface. In the context of the movie she is not just performing in blackface but actually pretending to be black.  Here is a snippet of dialog:
Ricky: "What's your name?"
Judy: "Opal Pearl Washington and I'm one of twins. Emerald Ruby passed on but my mammy didn't mind so much cause we have twelve others, all twins."

Judy Garland in blackface

Trade Winds


Joan Bennett plays Kay Kerrigan, who is goaded into shooting a man she blames for her sister's suicide. She then drives her car into the San Francisco bay while eluding the police. She is presumed dead, but actually begins a globe-trotting life on the lamb. The police hire freelance detective and playboy Sam Wye (Fredric March) to track her down. Along with oafish police detective Blodgett (Ralph Bellamy) and later his wisecracking secretary Jean Livingstone (Ann Sothern), Wye tracks her from the Territory of Hawaii to Japan, Shanghai, Saigon (then in Indochina, now in Vietnam), Singapore, Colombo (then in Ceylon, now in Sri Lanka) and Bombay. Sam and Kay fall in love, and Blodgett falls for Livingstone. They are forced to return to San Francisco by super detective George Faulkiner, where Wye proves that Kerrigan was not guilty of the murder that she believed she had committed.

Two Robert Osborne comments about this movie: most of the acting is done in front of projected scenes from the exotic locales that were visited.  The director, Tay Garnett, had taken extensive footage of a vacation cruise around the world a year or two before, and had talked the studio into letting him use the footage in this movie. Second, as part of the plot of this movie Joan Bennett dyes her blonde hair brunette in order to conceal her identity.  She had always played blondes up until this point and ever after played a brunette.

Familiar face: the San Fransisco police commissioner is played by Thomas Mitchell, who was Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life.

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