Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Forgotten Classic: Vivacious Lady (1938)

Salut, mes amis! Today I thought I’d start a new series on here called “Forgotten Classic: insert film name here.” The name’s kind of self-explanatory—this series will be dedicated to movies that I think have been unfairly forgotten. Sometimes I’ll also pick something that I think has gotten unjust criticism, and therefore it’s been passed over by people. Hopefully these posts will help bring much-needed attention to some serious classics that aren’t nearly as well-known as they should be. And please, comment comment comment! It's getting to be a one-sided conversation, and that's just no fun.

For my first installment, I want to talk about VIVACIOUS LADY (1938), a romantic comedy directed by George Stevens, starring Ginger Rogers, Jimmy Stewart, Charles Coburn, Beulah Bondi, and James Ellison. Jimmy goes to New York to get his black sheep cousin Keith (Ellison) and take him back to their small town of Old Sharon. The film opens in a nightclub where Jimmy’s Peter has tracked down Keith. Keith tries giving Peter the slip, but the joke’s on him when Peter meets the nightclub’s singer Francie (Ginger). Peter and Francie spend all night and the next day walking around New York and, of course, fall in love. They get married before going back to Old Sharon with only one little problem—Peter’s stuffy father (Coburn) and his weak-hearted mother (Bondi). Throughout the film, Peter must work up the nerve to tell his parents about his wife while Francie has to pretend to be with Keith to help his parents warm up to her. Naturally, things don’t go so well.