Thursday, February 14, 2008


Another "oldie, but goody"! This is a lesser-known film but it stars one of my all-time favorite actresses: June Allyson.
"Good News"
Some people from my generation may only recognize her from the commercials she did in her later years for Kimberly-Clark products, such as Depends, etc. True, that's not very glamorous, but back in the day Ms. Allyson was much more than a spokesperson for senior citizen products. She played various roles, everything from Jo March in "Little Women" (in which she also starred with Peter Lawford) to Helen Miller in "The Glenn Miller Story" with Jimmy Stewart. She was the 40's all-American-girl-next-door.
What I like most about June Allyson was her smile. It seemed every movie she starred in she brought a certain happiness, wholesomeness, and optimism to her characters. They always looked at the glass half-full. * As her idol, Ginger Rogers, once wrote, "She’s the girl every man wants to marry and the girl every woman wants as a friend." She was a real go-getter. Someone who was not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work. In fact, following a serious accident as a child which injured her back, doctors feared she might be left crippled. An avid fan of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals, she viewed one of their films 18 times at the moviehouse and began to teach herself how to dance. This, along with her other love, swimming, served as major parts of her recuperation. She would practice dance steps at home by herself for hours on end. She eventually not only recovered completely, but became an expert dancer in the process. I think that is incredible! After boasting that she could dance just as well as Ginger Rogers to the kids in her neighborhood, she was dared to go audition for a Broadway show, which she did. She walked into the audition not knowing what to do, but whatever she did was good enough for her to be called back and eventually get hired.
At first June did not want to do the film "Good News" - it had a first-time director, Charles Walters, and she was always worried that her singing with her characteristic husky voice was not good enough ("I was at the same studio as Judy Garland, for heaven's sake"). With an amusing script by Comden and Green, the film proved an utter delight.
This is a link to a YouTube video tribute to June (it's a little long) but it has a couple scenes from "Good News", such as "An Easier Way", "The Best Things in Life Are Free", and "Varsity Drag"(located at 2:18 and 7:07 on the red line below the video):
Below is a wonderful description given to the movie from the June Allyson official website:
"The gone-but-not-forgotten college days of the
'20s, when students wore raccoon coats, carried ukuleles and met at the malt shop, are happily brought to life again in this adaptation of the Broadway hit musical, Good News.

Starring that winsome twosome, June Allyson and Peter Lawford, it's a happy-go-lucky frolic with great performances and a solid score. The
light-hearted plot involves two women in love with the same man, football hero Tommy Marlowe (Lawford). One, the seductive and vain Pat McClellan, loves him for the wrong reasons (she thinks he's the school gold mine,) and the other, the reliable school librarian, Connie Lane (Allyson), loves him for the right reasons (she thinks he's the cat's meow.)" As Tommy's grades begin to slip at fictitious Tait University, his football scholarship is threatened. Enter Connie who begins to tutor him in French, and soon they are more fluent in the language of love than anything else. "The plot moves along at a quick pace and includes sensational numbers."


One of my favorite lines from the movie:

Connie Lane: [as Pat McClellan is admiring herself in the mirror] "Gee, I wish someone loved me like you love you!"


I'm curious to know if anyone else has seen this movie. So far I've never met another viewer... Oh, and once again, I must mention that my birthday is coming up and I do not own this on either DVD or VHS...

I'm just sayin'...

1 comment:

Tif said...

Apparently I am WAY behind on the movie scene. The only movie you've talked about that I have seen is While You Were Sleeping. I guess I am in need of a movie-thon to catch up. Thanks for the reviews. I've got a few in mind to start with now.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson