27 May 2011 | kidboots
Benny Goodman's Orchestra is the Only Reason to Watch!!
John Robert Powers founded a New York model agency in 1923 and many Powers models went on to have Hollywood careers. By the 1940s many young women aspired to be "Powers Girls" - just like Kay, although the only real Powers Girl mentioned in the movie who went on to have a reasonable movie career was Linda Stirling, who became a 1940s serial queen.
The opening sequence is worth the whole film, the fabulous Benny Goodman Orchestra swinging it up "rain or shine" as a crowd of dancers jitterbug, lindy hop and jive during a shower of rain. The rest of the movie is the conventional story of two girls in love with the same guy - the very unprepossessing George Murphy. He doesn't even play a particularly nice person - lying to one girl so she will like him and instantly dropping her when he meets her more appealing sister!!!
Kay (Carole Landis) dreams of becoming a Powers girl so when her sister Ellen (Anne Shirley) is sacked from her teaching job for being photographed in an unflattering pose, Kay takes up her cause. Of course it is only to suit her own ends - Kay thinks the photographer Jerry (George Murphy) is really a Vice President and that he is best buddies with John Robert Powers (Alan Mowbray gives the film a touch of finesse).
For all Anne Shirley's top billing, she owed her agent no favours. She appeared at the beginning to establish the story then towards the end she reappears as she fights for her man. This movie came toward the end of a mostly unfulfilling career, although she did have one last swan song in the surprise hit "Murder, My Sweet" - she loved doing it and her career ended on a professional high.
The musical moments were the highlights - you had Benny Goodman, a singer, Dennis Day, who according to the credits was a singing discovery from Jack Benny's radio program - he lent his soaring vocals to "Out of This World" and "Three Dreams". A very young Peggy Lee was a knockout singer, even though she only pops up for a chorus of "The Lady Who Didn't Believe in Love's in Love". As a reviewer says you will remember her.
For all the publicity Carole got, it was not exactly a star making part - selfish, snooty sisters usually aren't - even though they may be dressed by Adrian. As well as that, she was not a newcomer, having come to Hollywood to break into the movies in 1936.