17 June 2008 | bkoganbing
Marilyn, No One But You
Sunny was the second of three films Marilyn Miller did with First National films and the second of her Broadway hits that made it to the big screen. For that reason it should be treasured.
Unlike the good copy I saw of Sally, the print of Sunny was really bad and you could tell portions of it were chopped out. As was the Kern- Harbach-Hammerstein score which fortunately the hit song from the show, Who, was featured. No, that's not the guy who played first base.
The plot's an ancient one. Marilyn's a circus bareback rider who falls for a Long Island society playboy. The circus is touring the United Kingdom and while saying some goodbyes to some friends sailing from Southampton for America, she gets stranded on board. At first she does a Sylvia Scarlett number, but fools no one. In order to preserve proprieties and mores of the time, she marries Joe Donahue with the understanding that they'll divorce and she'll be able to marry her beloved Lawrence Gray.
That sounds real silly today, but that's what people did and thought at the time. And this was even before the Code. If you care to see who she winds up with than hope you see a better copy than I got.
If you do you will see a marvelous dancer and a decent singer. Marilyn Miller was legendary in that she wanted her audience to get the total package that included dance which was her strength. For that reason she refused to make phonograph records and even radio appearances. So her three films are our only inkling of her talent.
Sunny came out in the midst of the Depression and flopped badly. Even though she was having one major affair with Jack Warner, after her next picture, Warner gave her the studio gate. I might have given this a better review had I seen a decent copy. A star like Marilyn Miller deserves so much better.