Saturday, November 19, 2011

Seven Days Ashore(1944).

Seven Days Ashore(1944). Directed by John H. Auer Cast: Wally Brown, Alan Carney, Marcy McGuire, Dooley Wilson, Gordon Oliver, Virginia Mayo, Amelita Ward, Elaine Shepard, Marjorie Gateson, Alan Dinehart, Miriam Lavelle and Margaret Dumont.

Violinist Carol Dean and Lucy Banning, are members of an all girl orchestra, both believe that they are engaged to, Merchant Marine Dan, who has been at sea for the past seven months. Dan, writes a letter to each woman, informing them that he will be in town on leave and asks them to meet him at the dock. He then puts both letters in a hat and after drawing Lucy's name, he throws out the letter addressed to Carol. The captain of Dan's ship finds Carol's letter and mails the letter to her.

After, Dan and his shipmates Monty and Orval arrive, Lucy is there to meet him. To his surprise, he also sees Carol waving from the dock. Pretending to be in pain, Dan asks Monty to take Lucy to the Indigo Club, where she performs. Just as he is about to catch up to Carol, Dan sees his parents and his former girl friend, Annabelle Rogers, also there to meet him. Pretending to be in pain once again, Dan sends Carol to the club with his friend, Orval.

That night, Dan's mother is hosting a party in his honor and he sends a message to Dot to come rescue him. It is not long, before Dot, Lucy, Carol and the rest of the band show up and liven up the party with their nightclub act.

Lucy, wanting to freshen up her makeup, opens Carol's purse, to borrow some lipstick. There, she finds Dan's letter in her purse and confronts Carol and then shows her own letter. The two women decide to teach Dan a lesson and confront him in front of Annabelle, who announces that she is going to leave in the morning.

The next morning, Dan finds two breach-of-promise suits from Lucy and Carol and Annabelle decides to stay to see what happens. Trying to find the best way to get out of the lawsuits, he asks Orval and Monty, to pose as millionaires and romance the gold-digging violinists. Unknown to Dan, Annabelle has sided with Lucy and Carol and has a lawsuit of her own.

Orval and Monty, begin their plan by taking Lucy and Carol, on a canoe ride. The two women end the date by dumping the two into the lake. Having second thoughts, they help their dates out of the water. Before, they know it.. Lucy and Carol, fall in the lake and realize that they have fallen in love, with Orval and Monty and the two couples elope.

Dan proposes to Annabelle, but when she rejects his proposal, he tells her that he plans to call Lucy and Carol's bluff by proposing to them, knowing that they are in love with, Orval and Monty.

After, Jones shares with Dan, Annabelle's role in the lawsuit, Dan becomes angry and Annabelle decides to leave. While packing her things, Annabelle hears the Arlands' servant, sing her and Dan's song "Apple Blossoms in the Rain," she realizes that she is still in love with him. With only seven hours of leave left, Dan and Annabelle rush to the justice-of-the peace to be married and are welcomed home when the band plays "Hail and Farewell," the Merchant Marines say good-by to their brides and return to their ship.

I watched this film, because I really wanted to see, Miriam LaVelle, musical numbers. If you enjoy wartime musicals, you may enjoy, "Seven Days Leave".

Virginia Mayo (November 30, 1920 – January 17, 2005). Tutored by a series of dancing instructors, she appeared in the St. Louis Municipal Opera chorus and then appeared with six other girls at an act at the Jefferson Hotel. There she was recruited by vaudeville performer Andy Mayo to appear in his act (as ringmaster for two men in a horse suit), taking his surname as her stage name. She appeared in vaudeville for three years in the act, appearing with Eddie Cantor on Broadway in, 1941's Banjo Eyes.

She performed with, Danny Kaye in the films: Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). At the  height of her career, Mayo was seen as a voluptuous Hollywood beauty. It was said that she "looked like a pinup painting come to life," and she played just such a role in the 1949 film comedy, The Girl from Jones Beach.

In 1949's White Heat she took on the role of treacherous "Verna Jarrett", opposite James Cagney. She was also cast against type as a gold digger in, The Best Years of Our Lives. Her film career continued through the 1950s and 1960s, frequently in B-movie westerns and adventure films. While she also performed in musicals, Mayo's singing voice was always dubbed.

Miriam LaVelle, performed as a 'speciality' dancer throughout the 1940s. Her acts were beautifully choreographed dances put to music in a way that was unique. She performed in several films and television shows.

As a young child, she was encouraged to practice dance steps to rectify a foot ailment. Through that, she took a interest in acrobatics and dancing. Chester Times columnists covering the various school concerts Miriam appeared in 1934 through 1938 quickly picked up on her  dancing skills.

In 1941, aged 15, Miriam was given a minor role in the Broadway play 'Sunny River' at the St James theatre. A year later she appeared in 'Keep 'em laughing' at the 44th Street theatre. Her big break came later in 1942 when an animated electric sign on Broadway that featured a woman dancing, and which was modelled on Miriam, caught the eye of MGM talent scouts, who tracked her down and signed her. During 1943 she made four films: 'Meet the people' , 'The Gang's all here' , 'Cover Girl'  and 'Seven days ashore.'  In 1946, she made a film-short called 'Love me tonight', an dance routine accompanied by Dick Stabile's orchestra.

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