Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Best Foot Forward (1943) The Boogie-Woogie and the Blues

Best Foot Forward (1943) / MGM Pictures
Directed By: Edward Buzzell 
Starring: Lucille Ball, June Allyson, Nancy Walker, Gloria DeHaven, William Gaxton, & Virginia Weidler

Costumes: Irene (Supervisor)


It is WWII and one of the biggest stars that Bud Hooper (Tommy Dix) pines after is no other than Lucille Ball. At Bud's millitary academy he is a cadet and sorely wants the screen actress to be his date at the acadmey's prom. To get the message out there Bud writes a letter pleading that the actress comes and becomes his date. With Bud's fingers crossed the letter is sent and arrives to Lucy and her publicity man Jack O'Reily (Gaxton).

Jack thinks that the surprise visit from the screen goddess (his client) would be just perfect for the public relations side of her flat lining career. Lucy is talked into what a great stunt it would be for her and how great it would be to accompany a cadet who is getting ready to fight so the travel to the acaademy becomes reality. Lucy arrives looking devine and meets Bud who she is going to accompany who is simply stunned of her arrival and that everything that he dreamt is not reality. This is where the problems start to ensue from here on in. Bud not thinking that Lucy would ever take his invitation seriously nor even see it already invited his current girlfriend Helen (Weidler). Helen is already supremely excited and ready to go arm in arm with her bow but now is told she is dropped due to the big time actress showing-up and now needs to be his date.

Bud asks the leading lady to play the part of Helen for his date since the screening committee may due to time and other reasons may not accept her attending. Helen is angry of being replaced at the last moment and on top of that the actress is going to take her identity for the evening not allowing her to truly attend with anyone else. While this craziness is happening Bud is trying to keep the others cadets hands off his new big time date and hide his date so no one finds out which is not working that well. The great Harry James and his Orchestra appears and play great music during the dance. During the dance where we see Ethel (Allyson), Minerva (DeHaven), & Nancy (Walker) young ladies who have cadte dates and perform a standout performance musical number: "The Barrelhouse, The Boogie-Woogie and the Blues."

What ends up is more slapstick fun where we find Lucy's dress being torn at the dance to shreds and more laugh out loud moments. Lucy finds out that from all these games being done that Bud is in deep trouble and is not going to graduate.....can Lucy come to the rescue and help Bud graduate and will Helen and Bud get back together, watch the 1940's MGM comedy/musical!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a nice synopsis of the film. It's one I watched as a youth, but now find hard to look at because I know it is the final film of my favorite actress, Virginia Weidler. MGM struggled with how to use Weidler as she grew up and seemed to want her to remain a "braided brat" until she was as old as Fanny Brice. This film andThe Youngest Profession were the only ones where she got to be her real age.

    If anyone reads this and wants to see more of Virginia, please look up the Virginia Weidler Remembrance Society on Facebook or at TCM.com's Classic Film Union.