Fancy Pants

Holy cow, two posts a week apart. The crazy part is that neither one was scheduled. The whole 'old' rule might be modified since we now have a toddler in the house and its either something that's flashy and has lots of music or after bedtime (which means we don't want to read subtitles). Its too bad though, there are some really good foreign films out there.

Anyway back to the movie...

This is a movie where Lucille Ball and Bob Hope play young people. Its a stretch. I mean, come on, Lucy was in her late 30s when this film was released in 1950; she was born in 1911. This is also one of the movies she made before she got her own show. Don't ask me how they thought she deserved her own show from this.

Regardless, the story is about the Floud family a neuvo riche family that made it big in the frontier in Butte, Montana in its pre-statehood days. They go to England to find a man for their daughter {though at this point she would have totally been a spinster}. One guy fancies her and decides to invite them to his country home to meet his family. Small problem, he has neither a country home nor family. No worries, his friend has a country home and he knows an acting troop he can hire to play his family for the weekend.

Enter Humphrey (Hope) the hired actor playing the butler. Humphrey is nowhere near conventional, but Ma Floud believes he can fix her husband so he can act like a true gentleman. She sends atelegram announcing that she was bringing home a "gentleman's gentleman." The entire town assumes a Lord or Duke or some such is coming back to marry Agatha (Ball). This is where the real problems begin.

Suddenly Humphrey has to act the Lord to the townpeople, but still be a butler at the manor all while actually being an actor.

My thoughts

Well, I don't feel enriched or even necessarialy entertained by watching the movie. The best part is that Bob Hope looks incredibly like Kelsey Grammer best known for his role as Dr. Fraiser Crane. Aside from that the humor was almost exclusively physical comedy. If you LOVE those funniest home video shows, you will probably enjoy this movie. If you can't stand them you wonder when there will be humor. I mean Bob Hope was known for his jokes. Lucille Ball was known for more physical comedy, but this physical comedy was just not funny.

Also, why didn't Humphrey have an English accent? EVER? He would throw a few horridly pronounced words in something that sort of resembled a British accent, but it was not consistant and it was not good.

Bottom line, it was an ok movie but its not worth your time. The whole "romantic comedy" concept is brief and it made me wonder how in the world Lucy ever got her own TV show. Trust me, this film does no one justice.
If you think of watching this show because you enjoyed I Love Lucy

Teacher's Pet

This 1958 film is an old fashioned romantic comedy. Of course, that's very different from modern romantic comedies, but it wasn't horrible.

James Gannon (Clark Gable) is the city newspaper editor. He is rough around the edges, but he knows his job and he is good at it. A request from a local professor teaching a journalism class is folly to him. Why would you go to school to learn how to edit? Its a waste of time. His reply letter of course lets Professor Stone (Doris Day) know what exactly he thinks of college journalism courses.

The only hitch in this is Gannon's boss, the editor-in-chief. Gannon of course had given his boss a copy of the letter he sent to Professor Stone, and the boss was not happy. He tells Gannon he he must go to the class. So Gannon goes to talk with the professor before class starts and tell her that he will do the guest lecture.

Gannon doesn't get to the class early enough and find Professor Stone starting class, and reading his scathing letter. Lets just say, she wasn't happy with direct insults to education.

Gannon, while not classically educated, recognizes a beautiful woman and decides he likes Miss Erica Stone, regardless of her less than satisfactory choice in career. So, James Gallagher is born. Mr. Gallagher is a simple blue collar worker that is taking night school so he can write a company newsletter. Its the perfect cover. Professor Stone is impressed at Ghallagher's raw novice talent and takes him on as a protege.

Ghallagher falls for Stone hard. He tries to steal her away from Dr. Hugo Pine, even though Hugo is not a romantic pursuit and is collaborating on a book with Stone. He discovers that Stone is the daughter of a famous small town newspaper editor (modeled after William Allen White who was actually from my small town hometown). Towards the end Ghallager sees the validity of education and realizes he is in love with Stone. Of course before he can confess that he is Gannon and possibly be with her, Stone finds out his identity in an effort to get Ghallager a job.

My Thoughts:

Well, this story line is similar to others. In fact if you have seen many Doris Day movies, she does several films with Rock Hudson that have a similar plot.

I did like that Stone's father was supposed to be William Allen White, just because I grew up in small town Kansas and actually went to William Allen White Elementary School. Of crouse, that had nothing to do with the film really. Just a personal enjoyment.

I also enjoy Doris Day playing a college professor. Lets face it, in the 50s there weren't that many college professors that were female. She had to have shown that she was at least as good as competing males for the job (though her famous father might have helped her out).

I don't like that Clark Gable is in his late 50s and looks like he is in his late 50s. He makes Doris Day look really young, aside from the old lady hair that was popular in the 50s and probably also used to make her more legitimate as a professor. Afterall, bleach blondes aren't typically thought of as educated women.

I guess overall, I liked the movie. It made me think, "Education is important!" It does a good job showing that having an academic background will make you a better worker on the job. I support that theme for sure.

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