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

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Michael O'Shea and Sonja Henie
IT'S A PLEASURE (1945). Director: William A. Seiter.

Figure skater Chris Linden (Sonja Henie) has a hopeless crush on hockey player Don Martin (Michael O'Shea). When Martin gets fired off the team due to bad behavior, he is importuned by Chris and boss "Buzz" Fletcher (Bill Johnson) to join their ice show. Chris and Don get married but his drinking -- and Buzz' predatory wife, Gale (Marie McDonald of Guest in the House) -- cause problems for their marriage. Poor Henie [Thin Ice] can't really act to save her life, but the other cast members are swell. After a painful break-up, Henie displays all the emotion of someone who's been told by a waiter that they're all out of roast beef. Bill Johnson was really a stage actor and singer who made few film appearances, and played Doc in the original Broadway cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Pipe Dream" -- he had a wonderful voice and died much too soon. Johnson has a particularly good moment in this when he pantomimes his sad reaction to the realization that his wife is not in love with him. It's a Pleasure is the kind of movie in which characters make supposed sacrifices for love that only leave the one they love worse off than they were before. Iris Adrian adds a little spice as the oldest figure skater in the world. This was associate-produced by Don Loper, the fashion designer who appeared on I Love Lucy. O'Shea and Adrian also appeared in Lady of Burlesque.

Verdict: This actually isn't much of a pleasure. **.

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