25 December 2014 | blanche-2
doesn't cut it
"The Lady Takes a Sailor" from 1949 is a pleasant comedy, but given the cast of Jane Wyman, Dennis Morgan, Eve Arden, and Allyn Joslyn, directed by Michael Curtiz, no less, one expects more.
Jane Wyman as a blonde was vivacious and really popped in the '30s, often as the best friend; once her hair was brunette, she scored as a dramatic actress. She had a terrific singing voice and often chose to do musicals. And like all stars, some of her films were ordinary. This is one of them.
Here Wyman is about 32 (her birth year is given as 1914 or 1917 but actresses often shaved a few years off when they started as a chorus girl, as she did, in which case they were often underage and gave an earlier birth year. It seems that 1917 is correct. Glamorous and attractive, she plays a consumer protection expert, kind of like a walking Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
During a restful day on her boat, it capsizes and she is picked up by Dennis Morgan, who is on a submarine working on a secret scientific mission for the government. Since the info is secret, when she tells her story, no one believes her and her reputation quickly starts going down the drain. In fact, William Frawley of Fred Mertz fame has a funny scene as the rep of The Liar's Club, who wants to give her an award.
The one thing that will prove her story is some photos she took, but the film has been taken from her camera. She launches a mission to steal the film.
The photography in this film is wonderful, but the script falls flat. It's not an ordinary type of film for Curtiz, and he didn't have a strong enough script. Everyone is good, but Dennis Morgan seems like a big jerk most of the time - again, poor writing.
Pretty ordinary fare.