Friday, December 10, 2010
Happy Birthday: Dorothy Lamour!
Dorothy Lamour (December 10, 1914 – September 22, 1996). The role that made her a star was Ulah, in The Jungle Princess (1936). She wore a sarong, which would become her trade mark.
The film is about Christopher Powell is in Malaysia with his fiancee and her father, capturing wild animals. While out hunting, he is attacked by a tiger. But the tiger is the pet of Ulah,who grew up by herself in the jungle.
She rescues Chris and takes him back to her cave, where she brings him back to health and falls in love with him. When he returns to camp, she follows. The fiancee is jealous, and the natives don't like Ulah or her pet tiger, all of which leads to trouble.
While she first achieved stardom as a sex symbol, Lamour also showed talent as both a comic and dramatic actress. She was among the most popular actresses in motion pictures from 1936 to 1952.
She starred in the "Road to..." movie series with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the 1940s and 1950s. Her contribution to the films was considered by the public and theater owners of equal to that of Crosby and Hope. Road to Bali (1952),the sixth film of the seven is about, George and Harold, American song-and dance-men performing in Melbourne, Australia, leave in a hurry to avoid many marriage proposals. They end up in Darwin, where they take jobs as pearl divers for a prince. They are taken by boat to an island on the way to Bali. They try to out do each other for the love of Princess Lalah, a cousin of the Prince. The hazardous dive produces a chest of jewels, which the prince wants as his own.
After escaping from the prince and his henchmen, the three are shipwrecked and washed up an another island. Lalah is in love with both boys and can't decide which to chose. After one thing leads to another, the boys find themselves in a marriage ceremony, both thinking they're marrying Lalah. Unfortunately, she's being unwillingly married to the much-married King.
Harold plays Jane Russell up from a basket by playing a flute. But she chooses George who walks off with both Jane and Lala. The not so happy Harold, is left alone on the beach.
Fun Facts: The giant squid that threatens Bob Hope in an underwater scene was previously seen attacking Ray Milland in the film, Reap the Wild Wind and the erupting volcano was taken directly from the film, Aloma of the South Seas (1941) also starring Lamour. Among the celebrities who made "cameo" appearances in this film are bandleader Bob Crosby (Bing's brother), Humphrey Bogart, by way of a clip from The African Queen, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, and Jane Russell, as her character from the 1952 film Son of Paleface.
During the World War II years, Lamour was among the most popular pinup girls among American servicemen, along with Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner and Veronica Lake. Lamour was also largely responsible for starting up the war bond tours in which movie stars would travel the country selling U.S. government bonds to the public.
Some of Dorothy Lamour's other well known films include: John Ford's The Hurricane (1937), Spawn of the North (1938), Disputed Passage (1939), Johnny Apollo (1940), Aloma of the South Seas (1941), Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942), Dixie (1943), A Medal for Benny (1945), My Favorite Brunette (1947), On Our Merry Way (1948) and the best picture Oscar-winner The Greatest Show on Earth (1952).
Dorothy Lamour starred in a number of movie musicals and sang in many of her comedies and dramatic films as well. She introduced a number of standards, including "The Moon of Manakoora", "I Remember You", "It Could Happen to You", "Personality", and "But Beautiful".
Lamour's film career began to fade by the early 1950s, and she began a new career as a nightclub entertainer and occasional stage actress. In the 1960s, she returned to the screen for roles in three films and became more active in the theater, headlining a road company of Hello Dolly! for over a year near the end of the decade.
Dorothy Lamour movies I have seen:
Footlight Parade (1933)
Road to Singapore (1940)
Road to Zanzibar (1941)
The Fleet's In (1942)
Road to Morocco (1942)
Road to Utopia (1946)
My Favorite Brunette (1947)
Road to Rio (1947)
On Our Merry Way (1948)
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Road to Bali (1952)
Donovan's Reef (1963)
Pajama Party (1964)