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

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Not a man in drag: Sarah Churchill
HE FOUND A STAR (1941). Director: John Paddy Carstairs.

With the help of his secretary, Ruth (Sarah Churchill),  Lucky Lyndon (Vic Oliver) opens his own talent agency and hopes for the best. He decides to take clients who are going nowhere fast, exploit their often minimal assets, and turn them into winners, such as an old baritone who is turned into a novelty act called the One-Man Band. Meanwhile Ruth is carrying an inexplicable torch for Lucky, who seems to have a thing for an utterly mediocre singer named Suzanne (Evelyn Dall), supposedly a big star. Sarah Churchill (the daughter of Winston Churchill) is a very adept and charming performer, but she's photographed so badly in this that her somewhat masculine features may make you think at first that she's Rex Harrison with heavy make up and dressed as a woman! Oliver is quite good as Lucky, and there are good turns from Robert Sansom as Hargreaves, Robert Atkins as Frank Forrester, and especially Jamaican singer-actor Uriel Porter, as George Washington Brown, who does a wonderful rendition of "I'm Gonna Walk All Over God's Heaven."

Verdict: British version of a Republic musical with somewhat higher production values. ***.

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