Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to be Very Very Popular (1955)- . A remake of 1934's "She Loves Me Not.

How to be Very Very Popular (1955). Comedy. Director: Nunally Johnson. Cast; Betty Grable, Sheree North and Robert Cummings. A non-musical remake of 1934's "She Loves Me Not. This was Betty Grable's final film.

After burlesque dancers Stormy Tornado and Curly Flagg, finish performing their dance number, they are followed on stage by Cherry Blossom Wang, who is shot and killed while performing. After being threatened by the killer, Stormy and Curly are afraid to go to the police. Still wearing their costumes, climb out the back window. Wearing overcoats, the two girls board a bus with only enough money to reach College City, near Los Angeles. As the two girls look for shelter out of the rain, they see a woman eating a sandwich. Stormy finds her way into college fraternity house , but before she finds the woman, she smells fried chicken and finds herself in the room of Wedgwood, a student in his late thirties. Wedge tells Stormy that she is in a men's dormitory and Stormy not knowing what else to do tells him her true identity. Stormy calls Curly's father for help, but he does not understand and hangs up. Stormy needs Curly's help, but when Curly sneaks into the dorm, she finds Eddie Jones, amateur psychology major, trying to hypnotize his roommate, Toby Marshall. Eddie, fails to hypnotize Toby, but.. hypnotizes Curly instead. Eddie takes advantage of the situation and kisses Curly, Toby being a gentleman suggests that they find help. Now.. thinking he wants Curly for scientific reasons, Eddie plants a hypnotic suggestion that whenever she hears the word "Salome," Curly is to dance. Wedge and Stormy find Curly in Eddie's room and learn that she has been hypnotized. Wedge orders Eddie to break the trance, and when Eddie refuses, Wedge threatens to destroy the diploma that Eddie forged for Toby. Eddie then agrees. An earthquake shakes the college while Toby is stealing a kiss from Curly and the spell sparks the couple to fall in love. Eddie then tries to awaken Curly but fails. And their misadventure begins.

It may not be the best Betty Grable best performance. It was still fun to see Betty Grable and Sheree North as burlesque dancers.

Fun Facts:

The part of Curly was written by Nunnally Johnson for Marilyn Monroe, who was placed on suspension by Twentieth Century-Fox for refusing the assignment. During the next year, Miss Monroe would live in Manhattan, studying with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. When Marilyn and Fox came to terms, she returned to Hollywood to star as fame-obsessed Cherie in Bus Stop (1956).

This was the final feature of Betty Grable's 25-year film career. Her first screen appearance in Let's Go Places (1930) had been released less than a month after Betty had turned 13 years old.

A December 1954 item in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column indicated that the studio wanted Marilyn Monroe to appear in the film with Jane Russell, her co-star in the studio's highly successful 1953 production Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

In 1954, Sheree North signed on with 20th Century-Fox and performed in lead role in How to Be Very, Very Popular, a role that was rejected by Marilyn Monroe. Which received huge media attention. Film historians, claim North's dance performance to "Shake, Rattle and Roll", as the film's most memorable scene. After the success of How to Be Very, Very Popular, North was named by Fox as the "new Marilyn Monroe".



"How to Be Very, Very Popular"
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Sung by off-screen vocalists during the opening credits
Played occasionally in the score

"Bunny Hop"
Written by Ray Anthony and Leonard Auletti
Sung by the students

"The Bristol Bell Song"
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Ken Darby
Sung by the girls before commencement
Also sung on the bus at the end

"The Whiffenpoof Song"
Music by Tod B. Galloway
Lyrics by Meade Minnigerode and George S. Pomeroy
Sung by the girls before commencement

"Shake, Rattle and Roll"
Written by Charles F. Calhoun
Played by the band at commencement


monty said...

The first pic is definitely a eye catcher Dawn. But I've never seen this film. Sounds really good though.

Dawn said...

I just found picture of, Sheree North to add to the blog.

Tom said...

Very interesting. I never heard of this one.