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

Thursday, August 27, 2009


BLONDE FEVER (1944). Director: Richard Whorf.

"I've learned the difference between loving someone and wanting someone."

Peter Donay (Philip Dorn) is a successful restaurateur with an attractive wife, Delilah (Mary Astor) who finds himself becoming infatuated with a pretty blond waitress, Sally (Gloria Grahame), who already has a young boyfriend (Marshall Thompson). This is based on a farce by Ferenc Molnar, but Hollywood screenwriter Patricia Coleman has stripped it of all fun and humor -- there is not a single laugh in the picture [and make no mistake, this is supposed to be a comedy, not a drama or even comedy-drama]. Although each had appeared in small, sometimes uncredited roles in previous pictures, Grahame and Thompson were "introduced" in this picture, and both give good performances. Dorn does his best, but the material defeats him, and even the great Mary Astor has a struggle to breath life into a lifeless movie. The actors are all superior to the material, and Astor should never have been put in such junk in the first place. Felix Bressart, as Johnny the bartender, and Elisabeth Risdon as a friend and customer, are also wasted in this picture.

Verdict: Virtually worthless but for some fine actors who all deserve better. *.

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