Monday, 25 June 2012

"I always treat men with respect - then they treat me with respect."

Some of you might remember that I challenged myself with writing at least two film reviews a month - one of them about an European film.. Well.. Little time is left for me - since next week June will be over.. So - after I did a review of a German film MENSCHEN AM SONNTAG/PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (1930) I had to choose another film.. Frankly, I had troubles to do so.. So I asked some friends to tell me what to write about - and Monty of ALL GOOD THINGS just said: "Marilyn Monroe." Simple as that! I loved that because I had enough space to do my own decissions - this just led to me thinking about which film of hers to choose and by that still having a bit of a surprise on stock for him, too.. Yesterday morning I thought - ok, why not writing about THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOWBUSINESS (USA, 1954)? But well.. It simply didn't feel right at that moment.. But: today I found the film I will write about:


written and directed by Arthur Pierson.

Have some posters first:

In a nut-shell:

After not being re-elected ex-senator Blake Washburn (Jeffrey Lynn) returns to his little home town where he will work again as an editor for the Herald - a local news paper. Blake sees his chance to become re-elected when he starts a campaign against a near-by company which is owned by John MacFarland (Donald Crisp) - who is actually a very social man but - what a coincidence! - father of Blake's rival who won the election.. When on a school excursion Blake's little sister Katie (Melinda Plowman) is trapped in an old mine Blake has to learn that big companies also can be helpful..

~ Jeffrey Lynn, Donald Crisp and Alan Hale, jr. ~

Watch out for:

Wonderful Marjorie Reynolds as Blake's longtime fiancée and Barbara Brown - a very busy actress in small parts from 1941 to 1955.. here in this film she plays Blake's mother.

~ Marjorie Reynolds ~

And of course watch out for Alan Hale, jr. who plays a reporter and Marilyn Monroe who has a small part as Iris, a secretary. She and Alan Hale, jr. have a few scenes together which are merely dealing with him trying to flirt with her and her rejecting him. I like that she in some scenes sports a little ironical smile. Her part her is quite a severe one though..

~ Jeffrey Lynn and Alan Hale, jr. ~

  • This film happens to be a promotion film for General Motors. Please, keep that in mind when you watch it!
~ saving lives with modern equipment ~
Perfectly peachy:

Like many others not-yet-stars Marilyn Monroe had to bring her costumes by herself when it was a film set in "daily life plots". Since that you can spot her wearing one of her favourite dresses in this film 

- which she also wore in 


and in 

 ALL ABOUT EVE (1950).

Claws and Paws:

Blake presents a little beagle to his little sister Katie when he returns home - and what a cute dog that is! There is a special charme about Beagles - and yes, when this little fella gets burried in the mine together with Katie I am a tiny bit more worried about him..

Let's face the music..

The score was written by Louis Forbes who was e.g.  assistant musical director for GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) and music associate for REBECCA (1940)..

A rose by any other name..:

This film is also known as HEADLINE STORY

What ever happened to... 

...Melinda Plowman

She was born in Abilene, Texas on May 13, 1941 and until 1968 she would act in several TV shows - mostly in small parts though. Her first appearance she had in LITTLE WOMEN (1949) as one of the children of the Hummel family.. She would also play in another of Marilyn Monroe's early films:  MONKEY BUSINESS (1952).
The last film she did was BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA (1966) - and I confess I would love to watch that film - just because of that title!
Since Melinda Plowman was a young woman when she quitted acting in front of cameras I would guess that she married and lived happily ever after - or maybe she found something else that filled her life. Anyway: I hope she is happy.

My favourite scenes of hers is when she brings a list of names of her classmates (of whom she collected 10 cents each) to have their names printed in the news paper.. (after she is questioned about she tells she is going to give it to the Red Cross..)

~ Melinda Plowman in an episode of PERRY MASON in 1962 ~

Quotes corner:

"People really believe what they read." 

This is what Blake's uncle Cliff (Griff Barnett) tells him when Blake takes over the news paper. Cliff tells Blake also that this old joke of "All I know is what I read in the papers." is actually the truth. It means nothing less but that the written word has to be used carefully - and in my opinion at least as much has the spoken word.

When it comes to the dialogues I think Alan Hale, jr. has the best lines - he is kind of a comic relief here and I happen to like the little scenes between him and Marilyn Monroe very much - besides she does a great example of how to turn a man down like a lady.. The quote which became the title of this post is actually spoken by Miss Monroe in this film - towards Mr. Hale.

Have a look:

Here is the whole film.. there are several versions on youtube - but I think this one has the best quality..

When I first watched this film I have to confess, I was very disappointed. Mainly because I was not aware that it was a promotion film - and I also expected much more scenes and maybe a more "giggling" part of Marilyn Monroe. I learned to like that film which is not as bad as one might think. Well.. on the other hand: Why believe me when you know that I love Alan Hale jr.'s laughter as much as I love the one of his father, that I adore Donald Crisp and that Marilyn Monroe is one of my heroines.. Yes, I am biased. I do want to like it. And though it might be none of my favourite films ever nor one of my favourite Marilyn Monroe films - I will never trash my DVD of it. (even though its quality is poor - which is apparently based in the fact the copyrights were not renewed - so this film is by now public domain..).

This are 61 minutes of film which at least could teach two things: never be biased - no matter if you try to be the editor of a news paper nor when you watch a film just because of a person who just was in the start of her/his career.. and: be careful with things you write or say - there might be people out there who believe it..

Thank you very much for listening!



  1. Never even heard of this one..always great to learn about a new film. Wonderful post Irene and thanks for the mention of me in choosing a film to write about.

    1. Thank you very much, Monty! And: you're welcome..


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