Girl Crazy Film Details
Overview: New York playboy Danny Churchill is sent to a small town in Arizona, where being sheriff is very dangerous, to keep away from girls, but he decides to open a dude ranch there. He asks his …
Tagline: Fun, Rythm, Beauty, Rolled Into One Big Laugh Show!
Review: GIRL CRAZY (RKO Radio, 1932), directed by William A. Seiter, is the first of three screen adaptations to the popular 1930 musical-comedy by John McGowan and Guy Bolton that starred Allen Kearns (Danny Churchill), Ginger Rogers (Molly) and Ethel Merman (Kate) in the cast. Most notable for the songs by George and Ira Gershwin, and the 1943 remake for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in name only starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, this edition is mostly centered upon the antics of the studios’ own comedy team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, with the central characters of Danny Churchill and Molly Gray placed mostly as background material. The story opens at a cemetery of tombstones belonging to murdered sheriffs, all killed off by “Arizona Heavy” outlaw Lank Saunders (Stanley Fields), whose sole purpose is to take control over the sleepy western town of Custerville, Arizona. Playboy Danny Churchill (Eddie Quillan) enters the scene as a girl crazy individual whose millionaire father has sent him to the Molly O Ranch for two years to forget about the opposite sex. Easier said than done as Danny meets and falls in love with the post girl, Molly Gray (Arline Judge). Wanting to add some good entertainment to his relatively dull surroundings, Danny telegrams his friend, Slick Foster (Robert Woolsey), in Chicago, formerly a medicine man, auctioneer and hypnotist, now a compulsive gambler and husband to Kate (Kitty Kelly), to come over and convert the dude ranch into a place of jazz music, show girls and gambling. The Fosters soon acquire the taxi service of Jimmy Aloysius Deegan (Bert Wheeler), nine-year employee of the Checker Cab Company, to drive them all the way to Arizona, thus leaving his annoying kid sister, Tessie (Mitzi Green) behind. Following a long distance drive to Custerville, with the fare total of $465.30, Jimmy is accused of being the sheriff killer. After being saved from a lynch mob by Patsy (Dorothy Lee), the “girl of the golden west,” she soon becomes Jimmy’s love interest. Other than finding Tessie, who has stowed away by bus, awaiting for him at the ranch, Jimmy is then selected to become the town’s next sheriff, with Slick acting as his campaign manager. As Jimmy unwittingly wins 800 to 1 vote (Slick demanded a recount), his biggest problem now is avoiding getting killed off by the habitual sheriff killer, Saunders. As for Danny, his biggest problem is the arrival of his New York City George Mason (Brooks Benedict) coming between he and Molly’s romance. Other supporting players include Monty Collins (The Bartender); Lita Chevret (Maria); Chris-Pin Martin (Pete) and Nat Pendleton (The Motorcycle Cop). Songs presented in this production include: “Bidin’ My Time” (sung by cowboys); “I Got Rhythm” (sung by Kitty Kelly/cast); “You Got What Gets Me” (sung by Bert Wheeler and Dorothy Lee, danced by Wheeler, Lee and Mitzi Green); “But Not For Me” (sung by Eddie Quillan and Arline Judge/reprized by Mitzi Green); and “I Got Rhythm” (sung by chorus during closing credits). The “I Got Rhythm,”the film’s signature number, might have benefited better from the singing style of Ethel Merman from the stage version, yet Kitty Kelly holds her own in her deep throaty rendition, with camera cutaways to a rhythm dancing owl and cactus trees. Aside from Mitzi Green singing “But Not for Me,” she does this in her own imitating style of current celebrities of the day as Bing Crosby, the stuttering Roscoe Ates, George Arliss and Edna May Oliver. Of the four personalities, her best imitation goes to good ole Edna May. For anyone who’s seen the better known GIRL CRAZY (1943) will notice how much the original has no bearing with the remake except for the character names and a few good songs carried over from the Broadway show. With this being the ninth screen teaming of Wheeler and Woolsey, unlike their previous comedies starting with RIO RITA (1929), they don’t start off as friends or partners. The first half finds Wheeler and Woolsey more as individual characters than an item, with Woolsey (the cigar smoker with horn-rim glasses) dealing mostly with his on-screen wife (Kelly) and Wheeler coping with his younger sister’s (Green) annoyance. The second half reverts to traditional Wheeler and Woolsey material following their campaigning Wheeler’s character for sheriff. As with many of their comedies for RKO, their gags and verbal exchanges are either hit or miss. Fine amusements include confuse dialogue mix between Mitzi Green and Bert Wheeler to Dorothy Lee (in similar fashion of Amos and Andy in CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK (1930)); Wheeler and Woolsey disguised as Indians, Sitting Bull and Sitting Pretty, among others. With Wheeler and Woolsey carrying on much of the comedy, the romantic girl crazy subplot between Eddie Quillan and Arline Judge offers little significance to the story. Due to the latter MGM remakes, including the updated edition retitled WHEN THE BOYS MEET THE GIRLS (MGM, 1965) with Connie Francis and Harve Presnell, this GIRL CRAZY has been out of circulation for decades. It wasn’t until July 14, 1995, when cable television’s Turner Classic Movies brought this long unseen 76 minute movie back in circulation again. Available on DVD with another Wheeler and Woolsey comedy, PEACH O’RENO (1931) on the flip side, regardless of its current availability, it’s the 1943 edition of GIRL CRAZY that remains the best of the three screen editions thus far. (**1/2)
Duration: 74 min
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Also known as: Girl Crazy,頓珍漢嫁探し