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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

MY DEAR SECRETARY

Mowbray and Douglas confer in interesting restaurant















MY DEAR SECRETARY (1948). Writer/director: Charles Martin.

Just before giving a lecture, author Owen Waterbury (Kirk Douglas) bumps into aspiring writer Stephanie Gaylord (Laraine Day). She applies for the job of his secretary after his old one, Elsie (Helen Walker), quits in a huff. Initially delighted to be hired, Stephanie realizes that what she hoped would be an interesting and intellectual position actually just calls for her to be playmate for her infantile employer, whom she nevertheless develops romantic feelings for. Throughout the movie the two make up and break up several times, but never convincingly. My Dear Secretary probably looked good on paper, and it has many amusing lines and a few genuinely funny sequences, but not enough to make it memorable. Douglas and Day are fine, but not as good as the supporting cast, which includes Wallker, Keenan Wynn as Owen's agent, Irene Ryan [of The Beverly Hillbillies] as his feisty housekeeper, Alan Mowbray as a private detective, Grady Sutton as another writer, and especially Florence Bates as the delightful landlady. While not quite on their level Rudy Vallee is also good as Stephanie's original boss and suitor. Virginia Hewitt makes an impression as the sexy Felicia, who dates Owen for a time. When asked which famous actress the slinky and beautiful Felicia resembles, Wynn says "Zazu Pitts!" The movie is basically good-natured, but there are some mean-spirited bits and Douglas' character seems to be too stupid to be capable of producing a novel, however bad. [He is definitely a "movie" writer and not a real one.] A highlight of the film is when the characters convene in a restaurant [see photo] in which some of the booths are surrounded by "frames," making them resemble paintings. In his sixth film, Douglas doesn't grit his teeth quite so much, but then this is not exactly intense material.

Verdict: There are quite a few laughs but the film doesn't quite cut it.**1/2.

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