Where Sheridan Was Warners' Whole Show
Juke Girl (1942) Is Sizzle Plus Steak
Ads and reputation would suggest that Juke Girl is a cheapie, if not a sleazy. The title redoubles impressions, but no, it's neither. Juke Girl exposes raw deal bean pickers got in a heartland that's more wasteland as portrayed here. It may be a last sour take on US day-to-day before the war slipped a patriotic leash on movies and folks watching them. Writing was A.I. Bezzerides, who'd done a truck story (They Drive By Night) that got him a WB contract. There'd be trucks here too, but played down so as not to seem repeat of the last. There was really but one thing to sell here, and it was Ann Sheridan, coming into own as Warner's grenade with pin pulled, a sex lure for even a pic about bean pickers. Juke Girl sounded like outlaw product gone to impolite theatres that didn't worry with Code seals, that mere hoodwink, for this was better than fronts would suggest.
Social comment is at play via working folk done wrong by fat cat Gene Lockhart, him committing murder for which Sheridan and co-star Ronald Reagan are nearly lynched. The vegetable and produce market is a racketeering hotbed, and it's not just isolated bad apples. Corruption travels phone line to screw sellers at both ends of a route. I don't think Juke Girl could have got made a year later. Bezzerides said a "B" script-partner was forced on him, weakening hard-hit first proposed. That's fate of virtually all studio output, I'd guess, but Bezzerides lived ninety-eight years, so there was opportunity to tell his grievance, and often. Social comment of Juke Girl stayed under radars because of how the film was marketed, but it was there, and might have been HUAC-useful had committee and critics later noted it.
|Extended Fuzzy Knight Appearance Dropped From Final Prints|
Juke Girl was primarily to re-team Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan after shared success of King's Row, that one proof that both could "act" and were getting opportunity to do so again.
|Chicago First-Run with Live Accompany|
Sheridan had revolted, more over money (not enough) than parts. She didn't mind the Oomph tag so much, having earlier entered Panther Woman sweepstakes, after all (for