Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Gross: The Fat Twins --  Zoe and Chloe Borden
WHY MEN LEAVE HOME (aka Secrets of Beauty/1951). Director: Erle C. Kenton.

In this oddball theatrical film from Hallmark, Dr. John Waldron (Richard Denning) is put out because his wife, Ruth (Julie Bishop of Lady Gangster) won't, well, put out. He thinks she puts too much effort into her housekeeping and not enough into keeping herself lovely and satisfying his needs. [In one scene it is very obvious that John is hoping for and expecting some bedroom action until Ruth puts curlers in her hair and smears cold cream on her face.] The couple have a little daughter, Ginger (Ginger Prince), who is sent out to Hollywood for a screen test along with other youngsters, such as the Fat Twins. [Not only are these gals corpulent and plain, they have absolutely no talent and should not be seen on an empty stomach -- or a full one! Four years later, blond but still disgusting, they appeared on one of the least memorable I Love Lucy episodes with Tennessee Ernie Ford]. Then the movie turns into an ad for Ern Westmore of the famous make-up family, who demonstrates beauty tricks on different ladies as his wife, Betty (actually actress Virginia Merrick) stands by and urges him to lose weight. [Betty Westmore was a sometime actress herself, but for some reason doesn't play herself in this movie.] Meanwhile Ruth mistakenly believes that John is carrying on with his sexy nurse, Kay (Myrna Dell), who is in love with him, while she's in Hollywood with Ginger and the Westmores. (At one point John actually spies on Kay as she's changing her clothing  -- talk about unprofessional, even sleazy, behavior!) Should this couple divorce, or will tubby Ern Westmore pull some tricks out of his hat and turn Ruth once again into a ravishing beauty? The movie stops dead now and then while Ern and other "experts" deliver lectures. Poor Albert Glasser [Monster from Green Hell] wrote the score for this. Erle C. Kenton also directed many Universal horror flicks, a few Abbott and Costello comedies, and Search for Beauty in 1934. It's unlikely he ever made a worse movie than this, however.

Verdict: Why people leave the theater. Atrocious! *.

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