Thursday, January 19, 2017

Look for the Silver Lining

Began the day with work. Work was...really boring. We were pin-drop quiet for almost the entire morning. I rounded up carts once, when I first arrived. It took me 10 minutes. After that, we had plenty of baggers and not enough for anyone to do. I gathered baskets, did returns, and bagged when there were people around to bag for.

Went straight home after that. The sunny morning had become a gloomy, on-and-off-cloudy afternoon. It was no day for hanging out. I watched an episode of The Monkees to brighten the day while eating lunch and getting organized. The boys were swashbuckling in the very first episode of the series, "Royal Flush." Davy rescues the lovely princess of Harmonica from drowning. The other guys get involved when he suspects that her uncle is out to kill her, and they try to save her and her throne.

Went through several file folders after I ate. I was looking for the list of jobs I made a few years ago. I did find it. The trouble is...I have no idea how to get started. It all seems so big, so much. Other than calling Food Stamps, I have no idea what my first move should be. I  have no idea what company I want to join, or what job I really want to do that I'm suited for and would make me enough money to live. I just want to write and have a better job than what I have currently.

Gave up and finally did some writing. Leia dances with her brother for a while before Anakin insists she has to greet her guests. Among the new arrivals are Jabba and his "sons." Boba Fett dances with Leia, but he's rude and aggressive and tries to hard to force himself on her. Han arrives just as she stomps on his foot. Unlike the prince in the original story, Leia recognizes him right away, despite the family's butler announcing him as "Prince Harron." Han evades her questions about what he's doing there and just leads her into the dance.

Broke for dinner (finished out the "Baked Ziti Soup") while watching Sally. We jump way back to 1929 and the dawn of the talkies for this adorable Cinderella tale. Sally (Marilyn Miller) is currently a bus girl at a New York restaurant, but she'd give anything to become a great dancing star. Blair, the rich boy who's been flirting with her (Alexander Gray), recommends her dancing to her boss...which leads an agent (T. Roy Barnes) to encourage her to portray a Russian dancer who canceled out of a huge garden party. The party goes well at first...until her guy friend Connie (Joe. E Brown), a former duke, almost blows her cover, and then she discovers Blair is engaged. But true love - and true talent.- has a way of winning out in the end...

Miller had been the darling of Broadway for nearly a decade when she appeared in this film version of her 1920 stage hit. While most of it is static-y and stiff, as per the early talkie era, two delightful sequences would pave the way for movie musicals to come. Miller and Brown do a hilarious duet to this show's best-known number, "Look for the Silver Lining." They really throw themselves into the comic dance, and it's obvious they're having a wonderful time.

Sally was originally filmed in Two-Strip Technicolor. Unfortunately, the original color prints have disappeared...except for part of the movie's best ensemble number, "Wild Rose." The color gives Miller's dance with the chorus boys a Wizard of Oz-like sense of fantasy that the rest of the movie lacks, and Miller looks especially pretty here.

If you're a fan of early talkie musicals or of Broadway history, you'll want to "Look for the Silver Lining" and get to know Sally, too.

Stayed in the 20's with Ken Russell's pastiche The Boy Friend. The wrap around is basically Sally crossed with 42nd Street. Stage manager Polly (Twiggy) has to go on at the last minute when the star (Glenda Jackson) breaks her ankle. She's only interested in the handsome male lead (Christopher Gable), who may or may not have eyes for her, too. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast of a small-time touring musical about shenanigans in a girl's finishing school in France are bent on impressing a movie director who is in the audience, including an amnesiac tap dancer with a melodramatic back story (Tommy Tune).

Russell want to out-do Busby Berkley in this homage to the musicals of the late 20's and 30's. He went too big. The numbers (most of which are fantasy sequences in various character's minds) are a bit too overblown for such a simple tale. On the other hand, the music is fun, and the cast is really cute, including the first pairing of Twiggy and Tune. (They'd pair again on Broadway in the 1980's in another pastiche, this one directed by Tune, My One and Only.) This is currently on the Warner Archives if you're a fan of the music or the 30's Berkley-style musicals.

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