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

Saturday, January 12, 2008


HENRY ALDRICH GETS GLAMOR (1943). Director: Hugh Bennett.

The Henry Aldrich series, about a bumbling, girl-crazy teen, was made to cash in on the popularity of the Andy Hardy series. This entry is a charming if mildly amusing time-waster that has Henry winning a date with a glamorous movie star, Hilary Dane, played by Frances Gifford. Hoping to convince her studio that she's innocent enough to play Juliet in a new production of Romeo and Juliet, Gifford decides to string Henry along for a romance and goes to the dance with him. When a photo of him supposedly kissing the star winds up in the paper in Centerville, everyone improbably assumes that Henry has become a big lover boy. Soon he's gotten the reputation of a wolf, and his father's plans to run for office are derailed. His reputation as an unlikely Casanova is cemented when he takes Gifford out to the secluded patio at the dance and walks back in sporting the huge lipstick imprint of a kiss on his face. Jimmy Lydon offers a splendid comic portrayal as Henry Aldrich, and he gets able support from Charles Smith as his loyal buddy “Dizzy” and Diana Lynn as Phyllis, the shy girl who has an unrequited crush on him. John Litel is Aldrich's father; while competent, he's not in the league of Lewis Stone, the “father” of the Hardy series.

Verdict: Mildly amusing and easy to take. **1/2.

No comments: