A lot may prefer I leave Betty Hutton off
Greenbriar charts, but there's something about this Vesuvius of popular then, forgotten
now. Some wish she'd gone away with all her datedmovies. I know one or two who
won't abide Annie Get Your Gun simply because Betty's in it. And here comes TCM
with late-night resurrect of Incendiary Blonde,Hutton horde and maybe best of those that gave her center ring. I nearly
passed for mistaken idea it was PD and so wouldn't look good. Well, it turned
out gorgeous --- the sort of HD transfer you wish Universal had sent over forFrenchman's Creek. Technicolor sustains us whatever feelings toward BH, and
she's fine in dry run for Annie (rodeo riding, cowgirl stuff in first act).
There's singing in aggressive Hutton mode. Casting her as real-life Texas
Guinan was good salesmanship, being there was at least some of 1945 who'd
remember "Hello, Suckers" from Mom/Dad's era. Lead man is Arturo de
Cordova, OK here and staying out of diva way. Hutton was so exuberant that she
just had to crack eventually. What was left sat opposite Robert Osborne in one
of eeriest TCM interviews extant (see it if you can).
I hope Incendiary Blonde is repeated, because
there are too few Paramounts around to look this good. Seems a fortune was sunk
here, though little doubt it came back, plus gain from over 1200 theatres Para owned, and then ones they hadseason booking pledge with.
Hutton was wartime's pep-pill, as if that were needed with so many
tear-down-the-house acts. Incendiary Blonde is too restless to stay in one
backdrop long, keeping fast clip under direction of George Marshall, who knew
the period evoked and was likely pal or at least acquaintance of Guinan
herself. Latter didn't make fifty, this film suggesting she had lifelong
premonition of early exit. Guinan did a lot of silent westerns, most gone now,
and a few talkers. Incendiary Blonde recreates these as silly flickers,
ten redskins fallen off horses when Texas
fires one shot. Pre-sound movies were fair game for ridicule in the40's, and
you wonder how pioneer, and still working, directors like Marshall felt about that. Guess the paycheck
was all --- how could it be a slander on art when films were considered
anything but art?