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"A Lady Takes a Chance" (1943)

Posted: April 14th, 2007, 1:48 pm
by feaito
I bought the DVD edition of this delightful little film featuring the ever-youthful looking Jean Arthur (she's 43 here and you wouldn't ever tell) and John Wayne (who's around 36 in this one and looks older than Jean, IMO) and watched it yesterday. A cute film, but the print is really lousy.

The DVD was released by Republic /Artisan pictures and it's the only one available in the USA.

The film was produced by Frank Ross and released through RKO Radio.

Does anyone know, being a RKO release, if TCM has a better print of this film? Has it ever aired on TCM?

Thanks for any feedback

The Lady Takes a Chance (1943)

Posted: April 14th, 2007, 2:05 pm
by moira finnie
I saw this movie on AMC recently and thought that it was an endearing little story, and well acted by Jean Arthur and John Wayne, who made a cute, contrasting couple, despite the age difference.

It reminded me a bit of the service comedy Without Reservations (1946) with Claudette Colbert, (who really did seem older than Wayne). The print that AMC showed wasn't very good either, so maybe this is one of those films that's in need of restoration, (though I suppose is unlikely to get one).

Posted: April 14th, 2007, 2:43 pm
by feaito
You are right Moira. I don't think anybody will bother to restore this cute comedy.

And yes, you took the words out of my mouth! This film made me think too of "Without Reservations" which has been released on DVD by Warner and I haven't seen for more than 10 years.

A charming comedy. Claudette plays the author of a best seller and Cary Grant has a cameo in it. I'd like to have this one too. Anne Triola plays such an annoying character!

Talking about Claudette I wish Warner would release "It's a Wonderful World!" on DVD. What a film!

Posted: April 14th, 2007, 2:57 pm
by moira finnie
Claudette Colbert is one of those actresses who's only recently begun to grow on me. I think that part of the reason that I like her more now is my exposure to such early films of hers as Imitation of Life and The Smiling Lieutenant and later ones such as Arise My Love, The Egg and I, So Proudly We Hail, and Three Came Back. The latter two in particular are pretty serious, (if glamourized at points), stories about WWII. Three Came Back features a wonderfully touching performance by Sessue Hayakawa too. He is heartbreaking in a relatively few scenes. The film is also notable for the fair picture it paints of captivity and the harsh treatment as well as kindness of the Japanese very soon after the end of the war. One other thing about Three Came Back: during production, Colbert broke her back and had to bow out of the production of All About Eve--poor kid, lucky Bette.

But, Fernando, what's up with Claudette's hair? She never changed it. I don't think it ever blew in the wind either...just wondering.

Also: I must see Torch Singer (1933) a pre-code doozie, from what I hear, sometime. Has anyone seen it?

Posted: April 14th, 2007, 3:08 pm
by feaito
Well, I have always loved Claudette Colbert and after seeing more of her films, she has grown more & more in me. She's one of my eternal all-time favorites like Carole, Kate, Greta and Myrna.

From the late 30s onwards her hair-style seems to have remained "untouched"....and just like in Lana's case, no wind would dare to touch that hairdo!

I have seen "Torch Singer" since I taped from TCM, years ago and I had it transferred to DVD. A wonderful Pre-Code in which she appears with Lyda Roberti, Ricardo Cortez and David Manners.

I wrote this review at almost 3 years ago:

This 1933 Paramount film, is a sophisticated and greatly acted drama, with the Depression as background and a powerful performance by the great comedienne and actress, Claudette Colbert, as a chic "fallen" woman. I'd even dare to say that this one pleased me even more than that other favorite 1934 tearjerker, "Imitation Of Life".

Awesome Miss Colbert's costumes, designed by the best Hollywood costume designer of all time, Travis Banton, to "showcase" her "conversion", when she turns into the successful "Torch" Singer-Mimi Benton-of the Title.

Great performance by latin-named, but European born, Ricardo Cortez, as Miss Colbert's lover and mentor and a good one too by David Manners, as the rich guy, who "unwantedly" & "unknowingly" disgraced Miss Colbert's life.

Nice acting by beautiful Mildred Washington, who plays Miss Colbert's maid, and "punchy" Lyda Roberti, who plays an earthy woman who befriends Colbert in the beginning of the film. Ethel Griffies, gives a good "nasty" performance, as Manners' stiff-upper-lip, aristocratic, embittered aunt.

Mention apart deserves Charley Grapewin as the mischievous sponsor of Miss Colbert's Radio Show. He delivers some great lines!

I won't add anything more about the plot of the movie, 'cos you oughta watch it for yourselves! A must see for Pre-Code and 1930's film lovers!

Posted: April 15th, 2007, 12:50 am
by feaito
Talking about Miss Colbert, I've just finished watching "Family Honeymoon" with her and Fred MacMurray. It kind of disappointed me.

The stars tried hard but it had few funny moments. They fared better in "The Egg and I" and certainly I like much more miss Colbert's comedies of the 1930s.

I have to check this couple in "No Time For Love", which I taped more than a year ago and haven't seen yet! What a shame!

CC in Torch Singer

Posted: April 15th, 2007, 7:09 pm
by Sue Sue Applegate
I recommend Torch Singer for many reasons. :lol:

Posted: April 16th, 2007, 7:05 am
by movieman1957
I have to check this couple in "No Time For Love", which I taped more than a year ago and haven't seen yet! What a shame!

Another fine Colbert/MacMurray film is "The Gilded Lilly" from 1935. Also to note "Without Reservations" comes up on TCM from time to time.

Posted: April 16th, 2007, 10:30 pm
by feaito
Where did you see "The Gilded Lily" Movieman? I've wanted to see that one for years!

Posted: April 17th, 2007, 12:25 am
by mrsl
I mentioned a fact on TCM the other day about 'Without Reservations'. Did you realize that Cary Grant and Claudette Colbert never made a movie together? That cameo that Grant does where they are dancing is the only time the two were ever on film together.

I too, have loved Claudette forever. She was the best thing about 'Parrish', one of my Troy Donahue teen movies, but she completely took over the screen whenever she was on.

Parrish was made some time in the 60's and I think it was moira who mentioned her hair, you're right, even in Parrish, the style was the same. but I love her anyway.


Posted: April 17th, 2007, 7:42 am
by movieman1957
feaito wrote:Where did you see "The Gilded Lily" Movieman? I've wanted to see that one for years!
It's been years for me too. I probably saw it on AMC. I remember it fondly though.

Posted: April 17th, 2007, 10:24 am
by MissGoddess
I understand that A Lady Takes A Chance is going to be re-issued on dvd, May 28th I think---let's hope with a good print because I want to add it to my collection. Just a charming movie! And, Moira, it does remind me of Without Reservations as well as The Cowboy and The Lady.

RE: No Time for Love---how wonderful you have this on DVD! It's one of my tippy top faves of the era. It's also the one movie in which I think Fred MacMurray was downright sexy as a "sand hog". Whew!

Miss G

Posted: April 17th, 2007, 2:37 pm
by sugarpuss
I really hope that the reissue of this movie is a good print. I've heard of so many classics being reissued, and they just reuse the same print that was used in the first run. I was very disappointed that TCM didn't show this one during Jean Arthur's SotM tribute in January, since this is the first movie that really made me pay attention to her. She was perfect in the role and she looked fantastic as well. She aged terrifically throughout her life.

It's also the only movie that I found John Wayne truly sexy and attractive (at least to my eyes). The scene where he and Jean are lying in the hay together? Rawr! I don't know how she could have resisted him! I read somewhere they they got along fine on set, although if she knew about his political views, she would have "shot him dead on the spot!" Ouch.

Posted: April 17th, 2007, 2:54 pm
by MissGoddess

I hope the print is good too.

Re: Wayne & Arthur; Amazingly, women whose political views were polar opposite to his adored him: Kate Hepburn and Lauren Bacall.

P.S. What movie is your avatar from? I'm straining my brain to remember what movie Barbara starred with Joseph Cotten...

Posted: April 17th, 2007, 3:09 pm
by sugarpuss
My avatar is from The Man With a Cloak (1951). It's a decent, little mystery movie that pops up on TCM every now and then. Leslie Caron is in it as well.

I just love the picture of them. Two of my favorites in one photo and Joseph Cotten with a mustache to boot. You can't beat that!