27 February 2018 | kevinolzak
Rudy Vallee and Lon Chaney
By 1941 the starring career of crooner Rudy Vallee had pretty much wound down, with mostly supporting roles ahead. Universal's "Too Many Blondes" was the studio's one shot attempt at making a buck out of the temperamental star's romantic escapades, incredible to modern eyes considering his charmless persona. Vallee's Dick Kerrigan has only been married a few weeks to pretty young Virginia (Helen Parrish), to the annoyance of her former beau Ted Bronson (Jerome Cowan). The trio have established themselves as a radio sensation called The Bluebirds, but as usual Ted continues to stir up trouble between the newlyweds by reminding poor Virginia of Dick's gambling, his many vaudeville friends and particularly blondes. Eventually she falls for the ruse and demands a divorce, the pair forced to live in poverty saving up for the $500 fee, eventually heading to Mexico to finalize the details, until an offer for the couple (minus the hotheaded Ted) for 40 weeks at $1000 per week comes through provided they're still married. It's all extremely slight, and likely a box office dud since Universal never followed up with a second Rudy Vallee vehicle. Instead, they were already building up third-billed Lon Chaney Jr., of recent releases "Man Made Monster" and "Riders of Death Valley," who would play in three more features before screen immortality beckoned as "The Wolf Man." Here cast as cabbie Marvin Gimble (behind the wheel of a pickup with the words 'Marvin's Transfer Co.'), he's the slow witted boyfriend of brassy blonde Hortense Kent (Iris Adrian), who does what she can to help Dick avoid marital disaster. Occasionally Marvin displays flashes of jealousy, sharing uninspired knockabout bits with Shemp Howard or Eddie Quillan. He and Shemp would make a far more effective comedy team in "San Antonio Rose," doing almost a poor man's Abbott and Costello, but in this minor effort they have no rapport at all. Helen Parrish would become Chaney's leading lady one year later in his final serial "Overland Mail." Easily the cutest blonde on display, though for only a single scene on the train, is the irresistible Dorothy Lee, here sadly making her final screen appearance, indispensable to the forgotten RKO comedy team Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, present in 13 of their 21 30s features.