Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Look for the Silver Lining(1949).

Look for the Silver Lining(1949). Directed by David Butler. Cast: June Haver and Ray Bolger. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1950.

After, Marilyn Miller becomes dizzy during a rehearsal, she decides to rest in her dressing room. Looking at an old vaudeville poster, she thinks back to when she was a Teenager and left school, to join her parents and her sisters, Claire and Ruth, act. Unfortunately, they all come down with the mumps.

She meets, dancer Jack Donahue and he invites Marilyn to fill in for them. Everyone, is surprised how good she is and she quickly becomes part of her families act.

While the family of dancers are playing theaters in London, Jack brings a Broadway producer to see Marilyn perform and it is not long before, she is performing in her first Broadway show.

The show is going well until, investigator from the Gerry Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, suspects that she is underage and wants to see her birth certificate. Frank, comes up with story and Marilyn is able to go on. On opening night, Frank gives Marilyn a small ceramic elephant for luck.

War has broken out and as Frank, is preparing to join the Army, Marilyn asks him to marry her. He thinks it best that they wait until after the war and when he returns, they will elope.

Frank continues the tradition of sending her an elephant on opening night, but when she opens in Sally, the lucky charm arrives late and broken. After her performance, Marilyn learns that Frank has been killed in a car accident on the way to her show.

Soon after Marilyn retires, but quickly becomes bord and she sets her sights on playing the lead in a new play called Sunny. Producer, Henry Doran, first became interested in Marilyn, while she was still a child and is more than happy for her to play the lead.

Back in the present:

Jack visits Marilyn's dressing room and admits that when he dies, he hopes it is onstage on closing night of a big hit. Learning of Marilyn's dizziness, Henry, who is now her husband, wants to call a doctor, but Marilyn, pretends that her dizzy spell is nothing serious.

Later, Marilyn admits to Jack that the doctor advised her to cut out dancing, but she knows that she can not live without the theater. She decides to continue and the play opens on schedule.

A very entertaining musical and a the perfect showcase for Ray Bolger. June Haver, was able to keep up with him and was wonderful in her dance numbers.

Ray Bolger(January 10, 1904 – January 15, 1987). Bolger's film career began when he signed a contract with MGM in 1936. His best-known film performance before, The Wizard of Oz was, The Great Ziegfeld (1936), in which he portrayed himself. He also performed in, Sweethearts, (1938), Rosalie(1937). Following Oz, Bolger moved to RKO. In 1946 he returned to MGM for a featured role in, The Harvey Girls. He continued to star in several films, including Walt Disney's 1961 remake of Babes in Toyland.

Bolger's M-G-M contract stated that he would play any part the studio chose. He was unhappy when he was cast as the Tin Man. The Scarecrow part had already been given to another dancing studio contract player, Buddy Ebsen. In time, the roles were switched. The aluminum make-up used in the Tin Woodman costume coated Ebsen's lungs, leaving him near death. Ebsen's illness paved the way for the Tin Woodman role to be filled by Jack Haley. He was good friends with actress Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, until her death, and gave a eulogy at her memorial service in 1985. Judy Garland often referred to Bolger as "My Scarecrow". Upon the death of Haley in 1979, Bolger said, "It's going to be very lonely on that Yellow Brick Road now."

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