Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red Hot and Blue

TCM is marking the 100th birth anniversary of songwriter Frank Loesser tonight by showinb several of the movies for which he wrote songs, as well as a documentary at 10:15 PM. Among the movies is Red, Hot, and Blue at 1:45 AM Wednesday.

Betty Hutton stars, as Eleanor Collier an aspiring actress who starts the movie being kidnapped and interrogated by gangsters who want information on the murder of one of their own. Flashback to Hutton's apartment, which she's sharing with the recently deceased June Havoc and one other woman (anybody remember Jane Nigh? She apparently retired from movies in the early 1950s, did episodic TV work, and then retired from that in the early 1960s.) while she tries to break into showbusiness. Currently she's with the stock production company run by Danny James (Victore Mature), but her agent, Charlie Baxter (William Demarest), tries to get her in the news, and eventually gets her involved with producer Bunny Harris (William Talman) who is, in fact, the gangster who gets murdered. It's up to Mature to find where the gangsters have taken her, and rescue her

Red Hot and Blue is Hutton at her usual wacky self (watch her do a swing version of Hamlet), playing a character who makes Lucille Ball look like she's on valium; if you're not a fan of Hutton you might not like it. Also, Victore Mature wasn't well suited for this sort of comedy, and looks about as stiff as John Lund. It was right up Demarest's alley, of course. As for Loesser, in addition to writing songs, he shows up as "Hair Do", one of the gangsters.

Red Hot and Blue isn't for everybody, but isn't a terrible movie. If you want to watch it, however, you'll have to watch one of the TCM showings, as it's not available on DVD.

1 comment:

Edward Copeland said...

You should check out this tribute written by Bill Russell, the Tony-nominated book-writer and lyricist of Side Show here