16 January 2006 | bkoganbing
"I'm A Tough Big Girl Now"
When Ada was shown on TCM this past weekend Robert Osborne remarked that Susan Hayward requested to see this film during her final bout with brain cancer. I remembered reading some years ago that she said in an article her three favorite leading men were Clark Gable, John Wayne, and Dean Martin. She must have liked those guys a lot because she sure didn't do her best work with them.
But Ada is vintage Susan Hayward and again the kind of stuff that should have been done as a prime time TV soap opera. That's what these characters are more suited for.
In fact Dean Martin as Bo Gillis and Hayward as Ada are based on a couple of real life southern politicians. Jimmie Davis was a country singer/songwriter whose writing of You Are My Sunshine got him elected Governor of Louisiana. As it turned out when Ada was in theaters, Davis was being re-elected Governor of Louisiana again.
Miriam "Ma" Ferguson pinch hit for her husband James E. Ferguson twice as Governor of Texas. Of course Ma Ferguson didn't quite have the trollop background of Ada.
Susan is working in a high class bordello when gubernatorial candidate Martin comes in for a little entertainment. Wouldn't you know it, they fall in love and marry.
By a wild set of circumstances, Hayward is also made Lieutenant Governor as well as First Lady. I'll bet Bill Clinton is cursing the day he didn't think of that instead of being stuck with that stiff he had for a Vice president.
Fans of Susan Hayward and I'm one of them will love Ada. But it really is a bit much to expect the audience to swallow the incredible plot this film has.