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

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Rita Oehmen and John Hubbard
HAPPILY BURIED (1939 MGM short). Director: Felix E. Feist.

In this musical comedy short, the owners of two rival waffle companies -- Evelyn Foster (Rita Oehmen) and Richard Wright (John Hubbard of Up in Mabel's Room) -- decide to form a merger and get married. Unfortunately, Evelyn wants to stick with the round "magic circle" waffle iron while Richard insists they only offer the "four corners" square waffle iron. Of course, they could decide to manufacture both waffle irons, but that would be too easy. Richard decides to perk up business for his company by putting himself in a transparent coffin for the publicity value, while Evelyn exhibits the world's largest (round) waffle iron -- which can hold an orchestra and dancers -- at the 1939 World's Fair, an exhibition which Richard sabotages. While both parties are stubborn, Richard is so obnoxious that it's staggeringly sexist that Evelyn would happily take the creep back at the end. Both Oehmen (who had a lot of heartbreak in her life) and Hubbard (who was billed as "Anthony Allan" for this and other early film appearances) have pleasing personalities and Hubbard has a smooth and attractive tenor voice. He had a very long career, especially on television in his later days. Oehmen's only starring role was in a western programmer, Gun Law, and she had only three other credits, Happily Buried being the last of them. Her daughter, Charmian Carr, appeared in The Sound of Music. Benny Rubin plays an Hindu prince who can walk on coals. Incidentally, The songs are by Wright and Forest of Kismet fame. Incidentally, does this silly short forecast the fact that round waffle irons seem no longer to exist except as antiques on ebay? What a shame!

Verdict: Pleasant short with some singing. **. 

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