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Men on Her Mind (February 12, 1944)

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Men on Her Mind
 

Released on February 12, 1944: (running time 68 minutes) A radio singer must decide who she will marry when three of the men in her life propose to her on the night of her radio program premier.

Produced by Alfred Stern

Directed by Wallace Fox

The Actors: Mary Beth Hughes (Lily Durrell), Edward Norris (Jeffrey Wingate), Ted North (Jim Lacey), Alan Edwards (Roland Palmer), Luis Alberni (Alberti Verdi), Kay Linaker (Eloise Palmer), Claire Rochelle (Mayme Munson), Lyle Latell (Big Joe Munroe), Claire McDowell (Mother Molly Goodwin), Eva Hamill (Gracie Tuttle), Isabel La Mal (Miss Wiggins), Lane Chandler (Frank Tuttle), Josephine Dillon (unknown), Eugene Gericke (unknown), Robert F. Hill (unknown), Victoria Horne (unknown), Ralph Littlefield (unknown), Pat McKee (unknown), Terry O'Sullivan (unknown), Jessie Proctor (unknown), Dick Rush (unknown)

 
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She is Easy to Love, but Hard to Catch

Mary Elizabeth Hughes was born on the thirteenth of November 1919, and before many months had passed, her parents divorced and baby Mary Elizabeth, along with her mother Mary Frances, became the charges of her maternal grandmother. Her grandmother was Flora M. Lucas, who, with her two sisters, were stage actresses. Grandmother Lucas never became a super-star, and her daughter Mary Frances never became a star, but she saw the opportunity to groom granddaughter Mary Elizabeth to have the super-star fame that had eluded her and her daughter.

During the Great Depression, Mary Elizabeth’s mother gota job in Washington, D.C.  as a government clerk, and her young teenage daughter began acting with the Washington National Theatre. While on tour in England, young Mary Elizabeth is offered a contract by movie giant Gaumont-British Studios, but she is not out of high school yet and must return to America to finish school.

After high school Mary Elizabeth heads to Hollywood looking for fame. When she tries out for a position in the Earl Carroll theater, she is rejected, along with many other wanna-be actresses. Before they leave the theater, the rejected actresses are warned about shady characters who wait outside the theater stage doors promising big careers in the movies. Sure enough, when she is leaving the theater a young man rushes over to her and asks her if she wants to be in the movies. Mary Elizabeth quickly turns away and walks off into the night, not knowing that the man approaching her was Wally Ross, a well-known theatrical agent.

Thankfully, when Mary Elizabeth told grandmother Lucas about the fresh young man who propositioned her in the stage door alley, Grandmother Lucas recognized that her granddaughter had met a real, honest talent agent. They called Wally Ross, and he arranged a contract for Mary Elizabeth with the William Morris Agency and they got her a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios.

Mary Elizabeth chased fame all of her life, with five husbands and many more almost-husbands. She appeared in television episodes with Milton Berle, Red Skelton and others, and even formed a stage show called, “Mary Beth and the Swingers.” She is also credited as being the first television weather girl beauty in 1953 for Los Angeles television station KTLA. She never reached the world-wide stardom that her mother and grandmother wished on her, and in the 1970’s she commented, “Maybe wishing isn’t enough. Perhaps luck is the important factor. It now seems to me that a freak of fortune was responsible for whatever I got.”

In this adventure, Mary Beth Hughes is an orphan who grows up wanting to be a torch singer, and in soap-opera fashion meets three men who want to marry her and make her a star, but her wish is to become famous first and find love later. She doesn’t want love or marriage until she is famous. Much like in real life, she may inherit neither fame or love. Three men offer her love, fame and fortune, and she must choose one man, but which one will it be? Maybe luck is the magic potion, and wishing isn’t enough . . . . or is it? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Alan Edwards
Alan Edwards
Alan Edwards
Alan Edwards
Claire McDowell
Claire McDowell
Edward Norris
Edward Norris
Edward Norris and Mary Beth Huthes
Edward Norris and Mary Beth Huthes
Edward Norris and Mary Beth Huthes
Edward Norris and Mary Beth Huthes
Edward Norris and Mary Beth Huthes
Edward Norris and Mary Beth Huthes
Kay Linaker
Kay Linaker
Kay Linaker and Mary Beth Hughes
Kay Linaker and Mary Beth Hughes
Luis Alberni
Luis Alberni
Luis Alberni and Mary Beth Hughes
Luis Alberni and Mary Beth Hughes
Lyle Latell, Mary Beth Hughes and Lane Chandler
Lyle Latell, Mary Beth Hughes and Lane Chandler
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes and Claire McDowell
Mary Beth Hughes and Claire McDowell
Mary Beth Hughes and Isabel La Mal
Mary Beth Hughes and Isabel La Mal
Mary Beth Hughes and Ted North
Mary Beth Hughes and Ted North
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes
Ted North
Ted North
Ted North and Mary Beth Hughes
Ted North and Mary Beth Hughes
Ted North
Ted North