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

Friday, September 12, 2008


BEAUTY FOR THE ASKING (1939). Director: Glenn Tryon.
Beautician Jean Russell (Lucille Ball) is excitedly hoping to market her new astringent face cream and make oodles of money when her fiance Denny (Patric Knowles) comes to tell her that he's going to marry another woman, Flora (Freida Inescort) -- who happens to be worth ten million. Trying to get over her heartbreak, Jean gets an entrepreneur named Jeff (Donald Woods) to help her find backing for her product and she winds up going into business with -- Flora! Naturally there are complications when Denny is installed in the executive wing of her business. Lucy gives a lovely performance in one of her nicest and most sympathetic roles, and she's ably backed up by the rest of the cast, including Inez Courtney as Jean's friend Gwen, and Leona Maricle as a predatory friend of Flora's named Eve Harrington -- years before All About Eve. Good dialogue and a light touch help enormously.
Verdict: Very pleasant indeed. ***.

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