The “suffering” of the film career of James Stewart as of may 1938, definitely can be called a romantic Comedy , George Stevens’s “Lively lady” (why “long-suffering”, I wrote earlier), in which the actor began acting at the Studio RKO still in April, 1937. His partner in this film was the then “star” of the Studio ginger Rogers.
Plot: a biology Professor from old Saranskogo University Peter Morgan (James Stewart) is sent to new York to bring his cousin Keith (James Ellison) home. Having met him in a nightclub, then he accidentally releases a cousin of mind. This, however, Peter forgets immediately after he met with the acting club singer/dancer Francey (ginger Rogers).
Peter is sent with the girl “watch new York”, falls in love with her, well, only a day after meeting they were married and the departure of old Sharon. However, there is a problem: Peter doesn’t know how to report about the sudden marriage of his parents a domineering father-the Professor (Charles Coburn) and mother (Beulah Bondi), whose “heart condition”. Therefore, Francie resides at China for a while, until the husband could not find a proper way out…
“Lively lady” is, in General, quite typical for the genre romantic Comedy, which in 30-e and 40-e years in Hollywood filming a lot. However, the film seems worthy of viewers ‘ attention in our days. The authors of the screenplay for “lady” were made by P. J. Wolfson, Ernest Pagano, Anne Morrison Chapin and I. E. R. Uili.
And I must say that the work of this Quartet deserves praise in spite of some of the naivety and predictability, as well as minor flaws in characterization (though traditional for the genre), the plot of “lady” very successfully combines both romance and good (and most importantly devoid of outright stupidity) humor.
Especially the last few episodes stand out: “a kind of” fight in the garden between the characters of ginger Rogers and Frances Mercer; “explanation of the themes of lectures” the character of James Stewart the student (and, concurrently, to the wife!), and dance time with the participation of Rogers, James Ellison and of Beulah Bondi.
Also, the writers deserve credit for their work in terms of funny dialogue, for example:
– Don’t tell me, let me guess: You’re in love!
– No! I’m married!
– Even if you have a piece of my mind you would have realized what was happening!
Well, I can’t get the last part…
The Director George Stevens does not give rise to unbridled enthusiasm, but the Director quite professionally doing its job, giving for “… the lady” is quite watchable duration (a little less than 1.5 hours) and depriving the film of any lengthy, allowing you to keep interest in what is happening in the frame until the very end.
But with a nomination for “Oscar” in the category of the operator by Robert De Grasse remains unclear, since the best in the film looked exceptionally big plans. But the overall picture… I don’t know, maybe I just got a record not of the quality (in the Internet anything can happen!), but the preview was a strong feeling that De Grasse constantly not to turn the camera with the command “Camera! Motor! Started!”, what many of the episodes were removed too blurred and dark.
Be sure to say who is to blame, I will not just mention the fact. Well, finally, it is worth saying a little about the cast. Claimed as the”main star” performances, ginger Rogers fully justified all expectations, easily proving that she was a professional not only in the field of singing or dancing.
Positive impression and James Stewart in the role of the husband of her character, forming with Rogers, perhaps the most seamless duet in his career as of 1938. Other members of the cast, you can highlight several names. First, remember Charles Coburn as the father of the hero of James Stewart.
Secondly, it is interesting to see the Beulah Bondi, who plays for the second time the main character’s mother, even if her role here was not so bright as in the first collaboration of the actress with Stewart (“of human hearts”, 1938). Thirdly, the fun was James Ellison as his cousin.
Well, and, fourthly, for a moment or two appear in the frame Jack Carson and Hattie McDaniel, where connoisseurs can remember, for example, the films “a Star is born” (1954) and musicals with Doris day (if we talk about Carson) and the legendary Gone with the wind (1939) (if recall McDaniel). However, these details are likely to be interesting only the most “savvy” fans.
In conclusion, it can be noted that George Stevens and company turned the film, which might or might not among the best in its genre, but, nevertheless, able to give pleasure to the viewer even today. To recommend to the “Lively lady” to view safely possible to the fans of the actorsinvolved in the film, the fans of these kind of comedies, as well as those who are interested in Hollywood cinema, 1930-40-ies of the last century.
7 out of 10