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

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Rivals: Melvyn Douglas and Alan Curtis
GOOD GIRLS GO TO PARIS (1939). Director: Alexander Hall.

British teacher Ronald Brooke (Melvyn Douglas of A Woman's Face), is an "exchange teacher" with an American university, where he meets a vivacious waitress named Jenny (Joan Blondell). Jenny wants to get rich quick, and tries to get cash for a breach of promise suit against the scion of a wealthy family. When that fails, Jenny goes to New York, and winds up ensconced with the very family that Brooke is about to marry into. With two suitors and Brooke harboring secret feelings for the audacious Jenny, exactly which man will she wind up marrying? Good Girls Go to Paris has a promising and pleasant first quarter, and things really pick up with the introduction of Walter Connolly [So Red the Rose], who is the grandfather of the handsome hunk, Tom (Alan Curtis), that Jenny has set her cap for. Connolly is even more amusing than usual in his portrayal of the dyspeptic, hysterical and neurotic Olaf Brand, the grumpy head of the household. Unfortunately, after a very amusing middle section, the picture gets bogged down with too many suitors and sub-plots and developments that probably confused the audience as much as it does the characters. It just stops being fun, with only Connolly supplying any relief. The other performers, including Joan Perry, Isabel Jeans, Alexander D'Arcy [Vicki], and Clarence Kolb, are fine. Douglas and Blondell make a better team that one might suppose, but while Blondell is a good actress, she can't quite get across some of her lines with that certain skill of, say, a Lucille Ball.

Verdict: Half a good picture. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

This one looks fun, I always love Melvyn Douglas - he is so perfect opposite Garbo in Ninotchka or as Cary Grant's nemesis...will need to catch this one next time it's on...I love Joan Blondell too. Just saw her as Eleanor Parker's drunken aunt in the one where Parker played the schizophrenic a la Three Faces of Eve...can't remember the title...LOL

William said...

"Lizzie!" Yeah, Blondell was a good actress. Might have been interesting to see her in "Strait-Jacket" to which she was originally signed, although I thought Crawford was fine. Douglas was not especially good-looking, but a good actor, doing fine roles into old age.