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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Warners On The Up-Beat


WB and Berkeley Strike Up Cinderella Jones (1946)

William Prince takes soap for cheese and eats a sandwich of it. If that's any idea of funny, then Cinderella Jones may be your dish in addition to mine, dumber than dumb Warner comedies from the 40's always a Greenbriar pleasure so long as they're brassy and reflect how others were engaged while Flynn, Bogart, and Davis were doing shows we remember better. There's indication that Cinderella Jones was shot earlier with release delayed, a likelihood given cars stamped with ration stickers and background folk in uniform. The title song is catchy, but I found no recordings of it beyond what's in the movie (Petula Clark did a "Cinderella Jones" recording in 1960, but that's a different tune). Interest might attach for Busby Berkeley directing, his last at Warners, but swooping cameras and chorus patterns aren't in evidence. Why spend when Joan Leslie and largely untried Robert Alda are your headliners? Second-tier WB people get a look in, so there's welcome Julie Bishop, nee Jacqueline Wells --- she jitterbugs --- and William Prince is auditioned for romantic work to come (reward: his lead opposite Ida Lupino in not dissimilar Pillow To Post). "Cuddles" Sakall is called Cuddles by a second half, as if cast members gave up trying to recall his character's name. WB comedies like Cinderella Jones are window to years they were made, and that makes all worth treasuring.

4 Comments:

Blogger John McElwee said...

Dan Mercer gets a William Prince-Harry Langdon connection for "Cinderella Jones":


Now, if William Prince had gotten a sandwich with soap for cheese and put it aside without taking a bite, we'd know that Harry Langdon was working in the gag department. That would have been my dish of funny. Unfortunately, Langdon, who was bouncing around between features at Monogram or Republic and shorts at Columbia, died on December 20, 1944, of a cerebral hemorrhage, and probably couldn't have made this show even if a suit at Warners had had a light bulb moment.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

Some gags never die!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IybXs55XTss (50 seconds in)

1:42 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Randy Watts notes another "Cinderella Jones" song that was covered elsewhere:


You make me curious to see CINDERELLA JONES.

I couldn't find any recordings of the title song, either. Another song from the movie, "When the One You Love (Simply Won't Love Back)," was covered at least by Tommy Tucker's orchestra on Columbia and by Charlie Barnet's on Decca.

Randy Watts




5:15 PM  
Blogger Brother Herbert said...

Since we're on the soap sandwich gag, Alfalfa ate one nine years earlier in Our Gang's HEARTS ARE THUMPS, leading to the film's culminating gag of poor Al belching out "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and soap bubbles at the same time.

5:19 PM  

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