Run time (approximate): 82 minutes
Directed and Produced by: Monta Bell.
Written by: Katherine Brush, Robert Presnell, and Daniel Reed.
Also Starring: Claudette Colbert (as Ann Vaughn), Norman Foster (as Toby McLean), Charles Ruggles (as Shorty Ross), Leslie Austin (as Dwight Knowles), H. Dudley Hawley (as the doctor), The Four Aalbu Sisters (as the Four Sherman Sisters).
Ginger's Character: "Puff Randolph"
Ginger 'Screen Time': approx. 10 min, 38 sec. (12.8% of the film)
Ginger Tunes: "I Got 'It', But 'It' Don't Do Me No Good", "Good N' Plenty"
Gingery Goodness Factor (1-10): (7.5) - Very cute 'freshman' effort by Ginger, playing a 'ditsy' flapper to perfection...although 'Puff' ultimately is the source of 'adversity' of the film. The piano scene (which by all accounts she actually played while singing), along with the subsequent 'kiss' scene, is the apex of the Gingery Goodness.
GingerFilm Ranking: #1 of (1) Reviewed
Film Quality (1-10): (6.0) - Video is a bit grainy, but not too bad for the age...a few 'skips', and the audio/video 'sync' is a bit off - not too distracting except for Ginger's piano scene... and the audio 'track' is on one 'side' only.
Available From: eBay, YouTube
Huey's Review for Gingerology: The story begins as Newspaper reporter Ann Vaughn (Claudette Colbert) crosses paths with Sportswriter Toby McLean (Norman Foster) at a boxing match... after the event, she is trying to gather up her story, and Toby talks her into using his typewriter in his nearby apartment (in Manhattan, where the Young Man Toby resides...hence the name of the film... yup yup yup...) ...well, dude proposes quicker than Jimmy Stewart did in Vivacious Lady (dang, they worked quick back then... guess they didn't want to get bogged down with 'wedding details'...sorry, ladies...)
So, of course they get hitched, and soon Ann realizes that dude is not bringing in that many greenbacks... so, she decides to go back to work for a newspaper outfit, while Toby is all over the place with his 'sports beat', which evidently pays peanuts. In St. Louis, he is introduced to Miss Puff Randolph (Ginger Rogers), a quintessential 'flapper' who is out for no good...she is 'loosely' attached to a dude named Shorty (which is probably a nickname...) Ross (Charles Ruggles), who happens to work the same reporter circles Toby does... well, of course, Toby and Puff are introduced one to another, and you just know they will be seeing more of each other at a later date.
Puff is headed to school in NYC (what are the chances...) Jumping ahead to NYC, Puff runs into Toby and Ann at another sporting venue... of course they all go out gallivanting around, and the seed is planted for the Toby-Puff rendezvous... Ann, meanwhile, is getting a lot of play from her new boss, Leslie Austin (Dwight Knowles)...he just KEEPS scheduling 'working dinner engagements', which Ann feels pressured to keep... this keeps Toby 'home alone' one night, which inevitably leads to his calling on Puff the Magic Flapper for a fun night out... well, she flaps her cute little flappers (?) on over to his place, and begins to wail away on the keyboard (piano, that is...) with a Toby ukulele accompaniment...pretty neat stuff. Well, they smooch, and then trek off to other realms unbeknownst to our gentle audience.
The next morning, Toby tells Ann about the night with Puff, and she seems to have no prob with it...well, ALLLLRIGHT-y, then... Could it be that Ann has a fancy to frolic as well? hmmm...her boss man has been reoccurring quite a bit, so...
All of this carefree existence has its limits, alas, as Toby finds Ann to be not as 'generous' the second time he mingles mightily with Ms. Randolph... a large fight ensues, and it's splitsville for Toby and Ann... of course, neither one is happy about it, and as Ann falls ill, Toby reconciles with her just as she has recuperated fully... all's well that ends well... they live quite a few more years in Manhattan, have a few kids, then retire down to Miami, where they sip Mai Tai's while watching Jai-Alai... Of course, Puff went on to become...well, who really knows... I'm sure it was simply spiffy, tho...
TYPICALLY, I will try to not do any 'spoiler' deals on reviews...but c'mon, the end of this one you could smell a mile away...but a pretty neat film, nevertheless.
Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): "Cigarette Me, Big Boy!" became somewhat of a 'catch phrase' of the day; but she is just slap cute throughout this one...
Ginger's first line in her first major role is at the 12:12 mark, at the baseball game - "Wanna buy a sash for the Junior League?"
Also, the entire piano scene - cute singing/playing. And just after the tunes, the 'kiss' scene...Ginger is quite 'Gingery' here... her expressions and smile in that scene really foreshadow her overall persona we all know and love... good stuff!
And a final fav moment for Huey is simply when she answers the (freaky nude dude) phone at the 36 minute mark - a very cute 'Hello' - very foreshadowing of her future 'phone salutations' - such as her 'Hello' in "The Major and the Minor" when Major Kirby rolls into Stevenson...
Other Reviews: "...Ginger Rogers, in the part of Puff, the young girl who chases Toby about with 'irritating regularity'...is attractive and bright and sings well." -New York Times
"Charles Ruggles and Ginger Rogers, a newcomer, both also do excellent work." -Screen Play
"...Ginger Rogers in her interpretation of a modern flapper who talks baby-talk will make a big hit. She is not annoying like Helen Kane, the Boop-A-Doop lady. Ginger rogers makes no effort to be cute - but gives a legitimate characterization of a predatory college girl." -The Film Mercury
"Ginger Roger's Puff Randolph out-Kaned Helen at her best. She came within an ace of purloining the picture and filching the film." -Hollywood Filmograph
From Ginger: My Story: "Monta Bell, the director, instructed me to puff furiously on a cigarette during a scene in which I was supposed to pace up and down the room nervously. This was my very first feature film and I was eager to be as obedient as possible, but I didn't know how to smoke. Monta pointed to the corner of the stage and said "Go over there and learn!" I went to the far corners of the stage and practiced, lighting one cigarette after another, puffing on each one. I soon turned green and sick as a dog. My mouth felt like a barnyard floor. Why would anyone want to puff on this weed?"
--- Ginger's reoccuring demand, "Cigarette me, big boy!" caught on as a 'catch phrse' throughout the nation.
--- The film was shot on a Paramount soundstage in Queens (NOT in Manhattan...).
--- The film's 'headliners', Norman Foster and Claudette Colbert, were at the time married in real life; this is the only film they worked on together.
--- Stock footage was used for the various sporting events shown throughout the movie; some of the 'real-life' athletes briefly shown include Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney.
Well, that's it for YMOM...please leave any feedback as to the format - it is greatly appreciated!
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