Her First Romance (December 25, 1940)

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Her First Romance
 

Released on December 25, 1940: A frumpy book-worm girl becomes a beautiful young lady with the help of the housekeeper, despite the efforts of her step-sister to keep her from growing up.

Produced by I.E. Chadwick and H.A. Wohl

Directed by Edward Dmytryk

The Actors: Edith Fellows (Linda Strong), Julie Bishop (Eileen Strong, Linda's step-sister), Alan Ladd (John Gilman), Wilbur Evans (Philip Niles), Judith Linden (Marian Strong, Linda's cousin), Roger Daniel (Donald Whiting), Marian Kerby (Katy the housekeeper), Marlo Dwyer (Susie Sloan, Linda's girl friend), Ottola Nesmith (Mrs. Whiting), Ray Hirsch (Student Butch), Alexandria Moreland (co-ed Gladys James), Edwin Brian (student Cyanide), Julie Sheldon (co-ed Nancy), John Adamson (Friday, Niles' driver), Ann Doran (student), David Durand (student), Eddie Hall (student Mushface)

 
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Cinderella and the Man-Eating Step-Sister

One morning after preparing a movie to share with you I checked my e-mail, as is my custom, and I discovered a note from a fan half way around the world from where I was sitting in Niles, Ohio. He mentioned the Alan Ladd movies that are on the web site and asked if I could add more. He had a business relationship with Alan Ladd’s widow for many years and shared some photos and memories with me. I mentioned that after Alan Ladd’s appearance in This Gun For Hire in 1942, he became so famous that most of his movies were carefully copyrighted and renewed and not yet in public domain. He suggested a few earlier movies that Alan Ladd had appeared in and I discovered this independently produced gem that had not been renewed and ordered a copy. The only copy I could find is a bit rough and well-worn, but the story is amazing.

Our romantic comedy begins at a college where we meet two girls . . . Linda has her head buried in a scholarly book and with her big horn-rimmed glasses has the appearance of a girl who will surely never attract a man. Her friend Susie is a hip-hop jive-talking jitterbug queen who tries to talk Linda into trying to become a more modern girl. Next we watch as the boys of Delta Nu Fraternity inform a new pledge that he must ask frumpy Linda to the big dance and dance with her all night long or he won’t get into the fraternity. He grumbles a bit but sullenly goes over to Linda and asks her to the big dance. Linda is excited and rushes home where we meet Katy the cook and housekeeper, and Linda’s step-sister. Their parents are dead, and Linda’s older step-sister holds the purse-strings for Linda, and she forbids Linda to get a new dress, or high-heel red shoes, or go to the big dance at all. Housekeeper Katy tells Linda that she will buy a new dress for her and help her get pretty for the big dance. On the night of the dance Linda looks like a princess, but while she is excitedly waiting for her date to pick her up she gets a call from her friend Susie. Susie tells her that her date only asked her because he was forced to by his fraternity brothers, and Linda is heartbroken. Linda realizes that she is the butt of a big fraternity joke. When her date shows up and he sees how beautiful she really is, he is excited to be taking her to the big dance . . . . But Linda is as mad as a wet hen, and she screams at him and chases him into the front yard and threatens to spray him with the garden hose if he doesn’t get into his car and disappear fast . . . . Linda sprays him with water as he runs to the car full of frat boys, and when one of the other frat boys sees how beautiful Linda looks he rushes over to ask her to go to the dance with him, but she sprays him with water also and aims the water at the convertible until the boys rush away. Linda sits quietly in the darkness of her front yard and sadly sobs uncontrollably as she realizes what a fool she has been. . . . . This isn’t the way a Cinderella story should happen . . . . It sure is a different kind of world in 1940 . . . . Where, oh where is Prince Charming when you really need him? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Edith Fellows dancing with Alan Ladd
Edith Fellows dancing with Alan Ladd
Alan Ladd
Alan Ladd
Alan Ladd and Julie Bishop
Alan Ladd and Julie Bishop
Alan Ladd and Julie Bishop
Alan Ladd and Julie Bishop
Alan Ladd and Marian Kerby
Alan Ladd and Marian Kerby
Alan Ladd proposes to Judith Linden
Alan Ladd proposes to Judith Linden
Alan Ladd
Alan Ladd
Alexandria Moreland and Roger Daniel
Alexandria Moreland and Roger Daniel
Edith Fellows
Edith Fellows
Edith Fellows dancing with Alan Ladd
Edith Fellows dancing with Alan Ladd
Edith Fellows and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows and Marian Kerby
Edith Fellows and Marian Kerby
Edith Fellows and Marlo Dwyer
Edith Fellows and Marlo Dwyer
Edith Fellows and Roger Daniel
Edith Fellows and Roger Daniel
Edith Fellows, Wilbur Evans and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows, Wilbur Evans and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows, Wilber Evans and Marlo Dwyer
Edith Fellows, Wilber Evans and Marlo Dwyer
Edith Fellows
Edith Fellows
Edith Fellows before her makeover
Edith Fellows before her makeover
Edith Fellows and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows and Judith Linden
Edith Fellows
Edith Fellows
Edwin Brian and Marlo Dwyer
Edwin Brian and Marlo Dwyer
John Adamson
John Adamson
Judith Linden and Alan Ladd
Judith Linden and Alan Ladd
Judith Linden and Alan Ladd
Judith Linden and Alan Ladd
Judith Linden and Wilbur Evans
Judith Linden and Wilbur Evans
Judith Linden
Judith Linden
Julie Bishop
Julie Bishop
Judith Bishop and Alan Ladd
Judith Bishop and Alan Ladd
Julie Bishop and Alan Ladd
Julie Bishop and Alan Ladd
Julie Bishop, Edith Fellows and Wilbur Evans
Julie Bishop, Edith Fellows and Wilbur Evans
Julie Bishop, Wilbur Evans and Edith Fellows
Julie Bishop, Wilbur Evans and Edith Fellows
Julie Bishop
Julie Bishop
Julie Bishop
Julie Bishop
Marian Kerby
Marian Kerby
Marian Kerby and Edith Fellows
Marian Kerby and Edith Fellows
Marian Kerby and Julie Bishop
Marian Kerby and Julie Bishop
Marian Kerby
Marian Kerby
Marian Kerby
Marian Kerby
Ottola Nesmith
Ottola Nesmith
Ray Hirsch
Ray Hirsch
Roger Daniel and Alexandria Moreland
Roger Daniel and Alexandria Moreland
Roger Daniel
Roger Daniel
Wilbur Evans
Wilbur Evans
Wilbur Evans and Edith Fellows
Wilbur Evans and Edith Fellows
Wilbur Evans and Julie Bishop
Wilbur Evans and Julie Bishop
Wilbur Evans and Edith Fellows
Wilbur Evans and Edith Fellows
Wilbur Evans
Wilbur Evans
Wilbur Evans
Wilbur Evans