Jane Wyman falls for... Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
While OHB knocked me to the floor, TGNM charmed me to pieces. Its story about a young woman leaving Indiana (!) to become a stewardess and explore the world tickled me, and watching her navigate her journey with wit and grace while juggling the attentions of three suitors was oddly inspiring. Here was Jane Wyman, doing what she wanted and having fun doing it -- she had good friendships with other women, she excelled at work after an embarrassing beginning that anyone could relate to, and she wasn't out searching for a husband. Dating three men at the same time bothers the guys more than it does her! Let's begin the review and you'll understand better.
The next morning, Marcy is having breakfast with her housemates when Mike T. calls and tells her to come to his office immediately. It seems that Marcy wrote to Mr. Bellamy about an advertising idea that would have airline stewardesses selling his soap around the world. Bellamy is crazy about it, and Marcy becomes their first model.
here on YouTube.]
Marcy is over it, though. She decides to transfer out of L.A., but as she's boarding her plane, the three Mikes rush up to her. Each one pulls her aside to propose to her, appealing to their common interests and ideas. Except for Mike L. "There's not much more I can say. All of this sounds pretty wonderful," he admits. "Then why are you here, Mike?" Marcy asks. "Because I love you." That's enough for her. She chooses him and they board her flight together.
One of the film's two technical advisors was Ethel "Pug" Wells, a flight attendant who actually has a bit part essentially playing herself. She remembered when she arrived on the set for her scene, she found out that she had been given a dressing room. "There were flowers in it, with a card from Chuck Walters," she recalled. "The card read: 'All stars get flowers on opening day. Happy new star to you!' Well, I burst into tears." American Airlines, Wells's employer, helped TGNM immensely by providing advertising and letting the filmmakers use their aircraft free of charge, which saved the production a good deal of money. The scenes that show Marcy's training were also a replication of American Airlines' school for stewardesses.
Thanks to its entry in the public domain, you can catch the full film on YouTube here. Beware the terrible prints out there! As far as I can tell, there hasn't been a proper DVD release for it. I bought this copy and hated the quality, as well as the fact that the description on the back credits Sheldon Leonard with the screenplay instead of Sidney Sheldon! I did a little more research and got this copy instead. The quality still isn't great, and the DVD intro is definitely amateur, but at least the packaging got everything right.
This is my entry to the Darlin' Dallasers Blogathon, which looks at the stars and characters of the TV show, Dallas, which included Howard Keel as oil baron Clayton Farlow from 1981 to the show's end in 1991. You can check out the other contributions here.