8 January 2015 | utgard14
"Those pictures were designed to capitalize on the vicarious cravings of middle-aged glandular cases."
Former silent film star Gloria Marlowe (Ginger Rogers) is hosting a show on TV that features her old movies. This causes problems for her former costar, Thornton Sayre (Clifton Webb), now a respected college professor. Sayre, who was known as Bruce Blair during his acting days, sets out with his bookish daughter (Anne Francis) to stop the movies from being shown.
What a treat this is. One of those movies you never hear about but is just great fun. Clifton Webb is terrific, throwing out one pithy line after another. I'm kind of surprised Ginger did this part, given that it dates her in a way most actresses of the time wouldn't want any part of. Actually, it makes her seem older than her real age. Props to her for not caring. You sure as heck wouldn't have caught Joan Crawford admitting to being 40 -- even when she was 60! She looks amazing, though, and is very funny. It's one of her best post-1940s comedic roles. Anne Francis is cute as a button and holds her own quite well. Supporting cast includes a wonderful Elsa Lanchester and an early role for Jeffrey Hunter. The fake silent movies are hilarious. It's especially funny seeing Webb channel Douglas Fairbanks in one of his action scenes. It's an underrated gem of a comedy that provides some smart commentary on celebrity and satire on television ("The phenomenon of television -- it encourages people who dwell under the same roof to ignore each other completely"). Definitely a movie you should check out if you get the chance, especially if you're a fan of Clifton Webb or Ginger Rogers.