Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ These Glamour Girls (1939)


Thank my lucky stars that Dancing Co-Ed (1939) has a companion film in These Glamour Girls (1939). The two movies were filmed back-to-back and were released a little over a month apart in 1939 with These Glamour Girls hitting movie theaters first. They both feature Lana Turner in the role of a dancer who is taken out of her normal surroundings and thrust into collegiate life as an outsider. They both have Richard Carlson in either a romantic leading or supporting role. Both are just delightful collegiate films! (Check out my review of Dancing Co-Ed here). The two films were adaptations of stories that appeared previously in popular magazines. These Glamour Girls was written by Jane Hall for Cosmopolitan and she adapted it into a screenplay and Dancing Co-Ed was written by Albert Treynor for American Magazine and he adapted it into a screenplay too.  They were both picked up by MGM and directed by S. Sylvan Simon.


The "Glamour Girls" of New York City are all waiting for the Glamour Boys to invite them to the famous Kingsford house parties. Receiving an invitation in the mail is a big deal. Kingsford is an ivy league school and all the upper crust girls want to snag one of the college's students for their own.
I couldn't help but watch this film with contemporary eyes and wish that those girls would have been excited about college application acceptance letters rather than house party invitations. But the year is 1939 so I'll have to make allowances for that. And that there are other collegiate films from the 1930s with female students at co-ed schools (like *ahem* Dancing Co-Ed).





Lana Turner plays Jane Thomas a taxi dancer at the Joy Lane Club. Philip Griswold ( Lew Ayres) and his buddies take a break from their studies and head to the city to get drunk and to dance with the ladies at the club. Philip meets Jane and they are instantly smitten with each other. He drunkenly invites her to attend the Kingsford house parties with her, conveniently forgetting he's already invited his girl Carol (Jane Bryan ). When Jane arrives at Kingsford, everyone is in a tizzy especially Philip who soberly forgot that he invited Jane in the first place.

 Jane Bryan as Carol and Richard Carlson as Joe

I like that there are a lot of characters each with their own motivations. Sometimes characters just in a story help move the plot along but don't necessarily have interesting stories of their own. Not all of the stories are interesting. I was kind of bored by a few of the Glamour Boys. However I did like most of them. Richard Carlson plays Joe. He's not a glamour boy. Instead he's working his way through school and often finds himself working in service of the other students he shares a classroom with (This reminded me a little of Buster Keaton's character in College from 1927). He's in love with Carol who is still attached to Philip who has something Joe doesn't: money. Carol's motivations are not completely selfish. Her father lost the family's money and she sees a marriage with Philip as a way to provide her family with some financial security.



Ann Rutherford plays the ditzy Mary who is all about the status quo and snagging her ideal mate Homer. I adore Ann Rutherford and thought the role beneath her skills but was glad to see her anyways. Jane called Mary a Park Avenue Squab which I thought was hilarious! Anita Louise plays Daphne, the most coveted of all the glamour girls and the wily instigator.

 Marsha Hunt as Betty

Fans of Marsha Hunt will be happy to see her in the role of Betty. A 24 year old glamour girl who has been to the Kingsford House Parties one too many times. Her out dated style and her sexual reputation makes her the laughing stock at Kingsford. I was confused by why the other girls thought her out dated. Perhaps her look was a little to Greta Garbo? Was Garbo already passe by 1939?

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Spoiler alert: Marsha Hunt is the last surviving cast member as of early 2013 which is a bit ironic given what happens to her character in the movie. End of spoiler

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I was happy to see Dennie Moore  a fiesty character actress who appears in many films in the 1930s. She plays Jane's roommate Mavis and you can also see her in two of my favorite films from 1939, Bachelor Mother and The Women.

This movie was a lot of fun. I'm not surprised that I enjoyed it as much as Dancing Co-Ed. I love the dichotomies of rich vs. poor and men vs. women. I am always a big fan of opposing characters and Jane (Lana Turner) and Philip (Lew Ayres) are definitely opposites! I highly recommend watching These Glamour Girls and Dancing Co-Ed as a double bill. They are both around 1 and a half hours and make for wonderful movies to watch on a rainy or snowy day.



Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. I received These Glamour Girls (1939) from Warner Archive for review.



I submitted this post as part of the "I Totally F***ing Love This Movie" Blogathon hosted by Carley of The Kitty Packard Pictorial.


3 comments:

  1. Looks like a great movie, I'll have to check it out! Marsha Hunt is gorgeous!

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  2. So glad you enjoyed this one too. I love the casts in these MGM "B" films. I really enjoy the young Lana Turner of the late '30s and early '40s. And Marsha Hunt, Richard Carlson, and Ann Rutherford can do no wrong. :)

    The other MGM college "B" to watch for (not on DVD yet) is SPRING MADNESS, directed by S. Sylvan Simon in 1938, with Lew Ayres, Maureen O'Sullivan, and Ruth Hussey.

    It's not a college film, but I love THE AFFAIRS OF MARTHA, another MGM "B" which starred Richard Carlson and Marsha Hunt. Marsha told me it was one of her favorites too. :)

    Best wishes,
    Laura

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  3. i saw this many years ago on tcm - what i remember most is Lana in that black halter dress... its kind of etched in my memory for life i think O_o i've seen "Spring Madness" too and recall that being quite a fun picture as well. Lew Ayres is always worth seeing. i actually have a copy of "The Dark MIrror" (1946) sitting in the living room waiting for me this weekend, he plays a psychiatrist sorting out the twin problems of the de Havilland sisters :) havent seen it in over 15 years now so i'm really looking forward to it after watching "Hold Back the Dawn" last night.

    Quele if you're into college films you should try to see Clara Bow in "The Plastic Age" and also watch that disc i sent you of "The Wild Party" it all takes place at a girls college :D

    fwiw i am also a big Richard Carlson fan, i mean how can you not love the guy who's in "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" AND "It Came from Outer Space"! :D

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