Sunday, July 18, 2010
Good News is the title of two American MGM musical films based on the 1927 stage production of the same name.The first, released in 1930, was directed by Nick Grinde. The cast included Bessie Love, Cliff Edwards and Penny Singleton. The film was shot in black-and-white, although the finale was in Technicolor. (The surviving print lacks the finale; no footage is known to survive.)By the 1940s, the original had become illegal to view or exhibit in the United States due to its Pre-Code content, which included sexual innuendo and lewd suggestive humor. A sanitized 1947 remake starred June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Mel Tormé, and Joan McCracken. The screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green was directed by Charles Walters in Technicolor. The original score had tunes by Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin, and Roger Edens, who were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Pass That Peace Pipe.
After Pat McClellan, completes finishing school, she arrives at Tait College, her arrival causes quite a stir on campus. She immediately catches the eyes of the football team, but Connie Lane, sees through her. Connie, works part-time at the university library, disapproves of her slinky red dress which is too "extreme and obvious." Pat, ignores Connie advice and attracts all the men in her flashy red dress, including Tommy Marlowe, the captain of the football team. Pat ignores Tommy, because has eyes for Peter Van Dyne, III. Pat's rejection makes Tommy want her all the more, and he wants to take French lessons. Connie is secretly in love with Tommy and agrees to tutor him. Tommy learns how to speak French well enough to ask Pat to the prom in French, but he is heartbroken when Pat turns down his invitation.
When Babe Doolittle, learns of the rejection, she decides to intervene and tries to interest Pat in Tommy by telling her that Tommy is the heir to his family's pickle fortunes.
Pat is suddenly interested in Tommy. Connie is happy that Tommy has asked her to be his date. When Tommy changes his mind he comes to her and breaks their date. As Tommy's grades begin to slip, Coach Johnson becomes concerned that Tommy will not have the grades he needs to play in the big game against Colton University. With Tommy's football-playing future at stake, the team asks Connie to tutor Tommy for his French class. Connie agrees and is surprised when Tommy admits that his interest in Pat was a mistake. Will Tommy bring up his grades so he can play in the big game?
I just saw the musical Good News for the first time. I thought it was a wonderful musical from 1947 with terrific performances from June Allyson and Peter Lawford.
"Pass That Peacepipe" Joan mcCracken, made a strong impression in her dance number. Allyson and Lawford look like they are having so much fun in the "Varsity Drag" number. Good songs throughout from the 20s stage show like the title song as well as "Lucky in Love," "The Best Things in Life Are Free," "Lady's Man," "Good News," "The French Lesson," and the sad song "Just Imagine".
Peter Lawford spoke French fluently and June Allyson did not, Lawford had to teach Allyson how to teach him to speak French in the French Lesson scene.
Joan McCracken, was an American dancer, actress, and comedian who became famous for her role as Silvie ("The Girl Who Falls Down") in the original 1943 production of Oklahoma!. By age 11, she was studying dance with Catherine Littlefield. She dropped out of high school to join Littlefield's ballet company. She was a student of George Balanchine in the first year of the School of American Ballet. Joan McCracken toured Europe and danced at Radio City Music Hall before creating the role of Sylvie. She made a strong impression in the movie Good News(1947), but her movie career never took off. I just read where Joan McCracken, was married to Bob Fosse.