Monday, January 31, 2011

The Housekeeper's Daughter (1939).

The Housekeeper's Daughter(1939). Comedy. Directed and produced by Hal Roach. Cast: Joan Bennett, Adolphe Menjou and John Hubbard. The screenplay was written by Rian James, Gordon Douglas, Jack Jevne and Claude Martin, based on novel by Donald Henderson Clarke.

The film begins when Hilda decides to visit her mother, who is the housekeeper for the Randalls. The Randalls go on vacation, while their son Robert stays behind to start his career as a reporter.

While, Benny is selling his flowers, he is a witness to Gladys Fontaine kidnapping and follows close behind, while she is taken to Gangster Floyd's houseboat. Benny, wanting to save Gladys, puts poison in a cup of coffee meant for Floyd, but Gladys drinks it instead.

The next morning, Robert reads about Gladys death in the papers and decides to cover the story, hooking up with reporter Deakon Maxwell and photographer Ed O'Malley.

At a police station, they find Benny confessing to Gladys' murder.

After a night on the town with Deakon and Ed, Benny suggests to the drunken Robert, that he call his editor and tell him that Gladys was thrown from a houseboat.

Robert's story makes Floyd believe that the reporter knows what happened and puts out a contract on his life.

While, Deakon and Ed are shooting fireworks from the roof, the gangsters think the fireworks are gun shots and they shoot back. Will the police get there in time?

Loved the cast of this fun movie, Joan Bennett, now a brunette, who reminded me a little of Heddy Lamar. Menjou, of course always gives a wonderful performance. The rest of the cast were wonderful character actors including: William Gargan, Marc Lawrence, Donald Meek, George E. Stone and Peggy Wood. Also.. in his debut film, Victor Mature.

Peggy Wood (February 9, 1892 – March 18, 1978), did not perform in many films. Her few film appearances include co-starring opposite Will Rogers in the film, Handy Andy, Jalna, a cameo in the film, A Star is Born(1937), playing a movie studio receptionist.

Other films: "Call It a Day" with Olivia de Havilland, "The Housekeeper's Daughter" with Joan Bennett, "The Bride Wore Boots" with Barbara Stanwyck, "Magnificent Doll" with Ginger Rogers and "Dream Girl" with Betty Hutton.

Wood's final screen appearance was as the Mother Abbess in the, The Sound Of Music (1965), for which she received an Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress.

She was thrilled to be in the movie although she knew that she could no longer sing. Mother Abbess's performance of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" is dubbed by Margery McKay.

Her co-star Marni Nixon wrote in her memoir, "I Could Have Danced All Night", that Wood especially liked McKay's singing voice because it sounded like her own.

In 1969 she joined the cast of the ABC-TV soap, One Life to Live as Dr. Kate Nolan and had a recurring role until the end of the year.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a great movie Dawn. I will have to check it out now.


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