Ship Ahoy (1942) – Red Skelton, Bert Lahr, Eleanor Powell, Virginia Mayo
Ship Ahoy is a very funny musical-comedy-romance from MGM that begins with Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz) in one of his rare film appearances playing Skip Owens. Skip has fallen hopelessly in love with stage dancer Fran Evans (Virginia O’Brien). She’s about to leave for Manila along with the Tommy Dorsey band and the rest of her troupe, headlined by Tallulah Winters (Eleanor Powell). Tallulah is a talented dancer who is taken to see a government agent. The agent wants her to smuggle a magnetic mine to their people in Manila.
The patriotic dancer agrees, and after she departs the audience learns that these government agents aren’t working for the United States government, but for the Axis powers (the film is set during World War II). The idea of having the beautiful dancer unwittingly smuggle the item was taken from a pulp magazine.
It was written by Merton Kibble (Red Skelton), a hypochondriac who is writing four different pulp novels simultaneously. He s also the employer of Skip Owens, who takes an opportunity to make Red Skelton think that his doctor has ordered an ocean voyage for his health (more…)
Maisie Gets Her Man (1942) starring Ann Sothern, Red Skelton
In Maisie Gets Her Man, Ann Sothern stars as Maisie Ravier in this seventh entry in the “Maisie” series — here, vaudeville performer Maisie has to leave the knife-throwing act when her partner, “Professor Orco” is jilted by his girlfriend, and decides to take his revenge out on all women … starting with Maisie, the target of his knives! Orco throwing knives at her is a very funny scene, that ends Maisie running away from the mad Orco, only end up to knocking him silly … and leaving herself unemployed once again. (more…)
I Dood It! (1943) starring Red Skelton, Eleanor Powell, directed by Vincente Minelli
The movie I Dood It! is a musical comedy, dealing with a romance between two unlikely people – stage star Constance “Connie Show (played by Eleanor Powell), and pants presser at a hotel Joe Renolds (played by Red Skelton), with lots of comedy and musical numbers in-between.
smovie review of Lovely to Look At (1952) starring Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Red Skelton, Ann Miller
Lovely to Look At is a combination romance, musical, comedy, and fashion show – no, really. It’s the story of three Americans (Al Marsh played by Red Skelton, Tony Naylor played by Howard Keel, Jerry Ralby played by Gower Champion) who are looking for financial backers for the Broadway show they want to put on … unsuccessfully. They are out of options, when Al’s Aunt Roberta dies. She has left him partial ownership of a fashionable Paris dress shop.
With financial backing from Tony’s friend – Bubbles Cassidy (played by Ann Miller), the three of them are soon flying to Paris, to try and sell Al’s share in the dress shop but Al’s French cousins Stephanie (played by Kathryn Grayson) and Clarisse (played by Marge Champion) can’t afford to sell, since the dress shop is on the verge of bankruptcy (more…)
Half a Hero (1953), starring Red Skelton, Jean Hagen
Synopsis of Half a Hero, starring Red Skelton, Jean Hagen
In Half a Hero, Red Skelton stars as Ben Dobson, a freelance writer who no sooner starts working full-time as a rewrite man at a magazine than his wife (Jean Hagen) decides that they should have their first child. Afterward, she pushes him into moving from New York City to the suburbs. Here he is nickel and dimed to the verge of bankruptcy. Until his boss gives him his first chance at writing his own article for this national magazine. An article talking about the “slums of tomorrow” — the suburbs (more…)
The Great Diamond Robbery (1953) starring Red Skelton and Cara Williams
In The Great Diamond Robbery, Red Skelton plays Ambrose C. Park, a jewel cutter who was abandoned on a park bench as an infant (hence his name Ambrose Central Park). He is looking for his family, thinking that finding them will fill the void in his life. He eats his lunch in Central Park every day across from the bench where he was left as an infant, in hopes that his parents will come by to no avail.
In his work life he is a jewel cutter, working for a rich man who has sunk his entire fortune of $2 million dollars (in 1953, a large fortune) into the purchase of a single gem – the blue goddess (similar to the Hope diamond) – which is too expensive to sell, so he plans to have a great jewel cutter cut it in two, so that each half is more easily sold. But despite Ambrose having worked for him for twenty years, he doesn’t trust Ambrose to do the job.
Excuse My Dust (1951) starring Red Skelton, Sally Forest, MacDonald Carey, William Demarest
Excuse My Dust is a musical vehicle for Red Skelton, set in 1895, that deals with the issues of progress and the resistance to it. It stars Red Skelton as Joe Belden, a young inventor who s determined to build a horseless carriage – this complicates things, since he s in love with Liz Bullitt (Sally Forest), whose father (played by William Demarest, best remembered for his role of Uncle Charlie on My Three Sons) runs the local livery stable, and sees the horseless carriage as a threat to his livelihood.
Movie review of The Clown (1953) starring Red Skelton, Tim Consadine, Jane Greer
Having just watched Red Skelton in the serious drama, The Clown, my first reaction is simply, “wow”. Although it stars Red Skelton, and deals with a clown/comedian as the central character, The Clown is not a comedy. It is a very serious drama, which left me with a new respect for Red Skelton’s acting ability. (more…)
Movie review of Bathing Beauty (1944) starring Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Basil Rathbone
Synopsis of Bathing Beauty
In Bathing Beauty, Swim instructor Caroline Brooks (Esther Williams) angrily returns to her teaching job at a New Jersey girls school when her brand new marriage to songwriter Steve Elliott (Red Skelton) is disrupted by scheming show producer George Adams (Basil Rathbone). In order to speak with his estranged bride, Steve forces admission to the college, which has never been legally declared “all female”. To rid the campus of him, Dean Clinton places Steve on two weeks’ probation, during which time she plans to hit him with 100 demerits and mandatory expulsion. Steve also encounters heavy resistance from faculty, students and a distant Caroline, who wants their marriage annulled. (more…)
Red Skelton – America’s Clown Prince 6 – DVD Set
I am a huge fan of Red Skelton, and one of my pet peeves is that even though he had thirty years of prime time television series, it’s not rerun anywhere. Therefore, I’m truly grateful for Red Skelton – America’s Clown Prince. In short, it simply is a 6-DVD collection of The Red Skelton Show (technically, a 5-DVD collection of the TV series, with the 6th containing some odds and ends, such as appearances in Sparks, Nevada, movie trailers, Red Skelton’s presentation of the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.). (more…)