The Law of Contact

Doll Face (December 31, 1945)

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Doll Face
 

Released December 31, 1945: "Doll Face" Carroll is a successful Burlesque Queen who may fall in love with the wealthy author who is helping her get culture.

Produced by Bryan Foy

Directed by Lewis Seiler

The Actors: Vivian Blaine (Mary Elizabeth 'Doll Face' Carroll), Dennis O'Keefe (Michale Francis 'Mike' Hannegan), Perry Como (Nicky Ricci), Carmen Miranda (Chita Chula), Martha Stewart (Frankie Porter), Stephen Dunne (Frederick Manly Gerard), Reed Hadley (Flo Hartman), Stanley Prager (Flo's aide who recognizes Doll Face), Charles Tannen (Flo's aide), George E. Stone (stage manager), Frank Orth (Frank), Donald MacBride (Lawyer Ferguson), Bando da Lua (themselves, Carmen Miranda's orchestra), Lex Barker (Jack, Coast Guardsman), Les Clark (Butch), Jimmy Cross (Harry), Boyd Davis (Spencer Bennett, publisher), Hal K. Dawson (hotel clerk), Marion de Sydow (chorus girl), Jack George (orchestra conductor), Alvin Hammer (Harold, the soda jerk), Ted Jordan (sailor), Red Knight (dance specialty), George Melford (stage doorman), Philip Morris (Deputy Sheriff), William Murphy (sailor), Edgar Norton (Soho, Gerard's butler), Steve Olsen (the sidewalk barker), Ciro Rimac (Chita's dancing partner), Harry Seymour (dance director), Marcia Sweet (chorus girl), Valerie Traxler (chorus girl), Charles Williams (Orville, drug store clerk)

 
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The Stripper Wanted Culture, but Got a Kick in the Butt

The word 'Burlesque' comes from the Italian 'burlesco,' which itself derives from the Italian 'burla' – a joke, ridicule or mockery. In the U.S. between the 1860's and the 1940's Burlesque Shows were variety shows composed of singers, clowns, comedians . . . and pretty girls in scanty-for-the-times clothing.

We had shows like that in the early days of television also, but we didn't call them Burlesque - they were called The Milton Berle Texaco Theater, and The Jack Benny Program, and The Frank Sinatra Timex Show, and The Ed Sullivan Show, and the Colgate Comedy Hour with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

This movie was written by one of the stars of old burlesque, Gypsy Rose Lee, famous for her 'fan' dance. She later wrote a couple of novels, this being one of them. And the movie features several famous entertainers of the day. We are treated to a song and dance number by Carmen Miranda and her orchestra, and some fine singing by crooner Perry Como.

As our movie opens we watch as Mike Hannegan (Dennis O'Keefe) is trying to get his girlfriend 'Doll Face' Carrol (Vivian Blaine) a job in legitimate theater. 'Legitimate' theater? Is there an 'illegitimate' theater? Of course not. Back in the day, burlesque theater was considered 'below' the dignity of 'real' theater. Never mind that the good burlesque theaters pulled in more cash than the high-falootin Broadway plays, burlesque was trash, and 'legitimate' theater was for proper citizens.

So the Broadway producer politely tells Mike and Doll Face that she does not have the 'class' needed to work on Broadway. After hearing this Mike decides to get his girlfriend some of this 'class' that she needs, and he hires a ghost writer to write a classy biography about Doll Face. Enter Frederick Manly Gerard, a wealthy author who is tall and good looking, with the deep voice of a Greek God.

Mike wants to hire him to ghost-write an autobiography about Doll Face to give her 'class.' At first Gerard refuses, but after one look at beautiful Doll Face Carroll, he immediately changes his mind and takes the job. So we are set up for one dandy storyline with this love triangle. Mike will get a giant case of jealousy and has a fight with Doll Face.

This leads to that and Mike’s entire burlesque troupe winds up doing a classy Broadway show starring Doll Face, while Mike is out of business and out of luck with Doll Face. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on top and cuddle next to someone you like a lot and enjoy a wonderful story about the bumpy path of true love, mixed in with a great look at entertainment in New York in 1945.

Boyd Davis
Boyd Davis
Carmen Miranda and Dennis O'Keefe
Carmen Miranda and Dennis O'Keefe
Carmen Miranda and Vivian Blaine
Carmen Miranda and Vivian Blaine
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda and Dennis O'Keefe
Carmen Miranda and Dennis O'Keefe
Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
Dennnis O'Keefe and Reed Hadley
Dennnis O'Keefe and Reed Hadley
Dennis O'Keefe and Vivian Blaine
Dennis O'Keefe and Vivian Blaine
Dennis O'Keefe and Vivian Blaine
Dennis O'Keefe and Vivian Blaine
Dennis O'Keefe
Dennis O'Keefe
Frank Orth and Dennis O'Keefe
Frank Orth and Dennis O'Keefe
Jimmy Cross and Les Clark
Jimmy Cross and Les Clark
Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart
Perry Como and Martha Stewart
Perry Como and Martha Stewart
Perry Como and Martha Stewart
Perry Como and Martha Stewart
Perry Como and Vivian Blaine
Perry Como and Vivian Blaine
Perry Como
Perry Como
Reed Hadley
Reed Hadley
Stanley Prager
Stanley Prager
Stephen Dunne
Stephen Dunne
Stephen Dunne and Carmen Miranda
Stephen Dunne and Carmen Miranda
Stephen Dunne
Stephen Dunne
Vivian BLaine and Perry Como
Vivian BLaine and Perry Como
Vivian Blaine
Vivian Blaine
Vivian Blaine
Vivian Blaine
Vivian Blaine
Vivian Blaine