Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vivacious Lady (1938)



FOR THE LOVE OF THE GOOD LORD WHY IS VIVACIOUS LADY NOT OUT ON DVD!!!! This has been a mystery that has plagued me since the first time I sat through Vivacious Lady a while ago. I was dying laughing from the performances especially one scene with Ginger Rogers that I will be talking plenty about soon. The story is adorable. The acting by Ginger and James Stewart could not have been any better. Needless to say to me this film is pure Classic Hollywood perfection.
            Peter Morgan (Stewart) has been sent to New York City to bring his cousin Keith (James Ellison) home to their small town of Old Sharon. Keith has been on a bender in the city for some time and the family is worried about their reputation. Peter finds his cousin in a nightclub and tells him that they are to get the four o’clock train home. Keith does not want to go he wants to wait for his girlfriend to be finished with her number. He tells one of the nightclub’s employees to tell Peter that he has left and he will be on the train at four. Keith’s girl Francey (Rogers) comes over after her performance. Peter gets really nervous around her but the two get along really well. She suggests going out for food instead of staying at the nightclub and they wind up staying out until the early hours of the morning. They had a great time just walking around the city and talking. Before Francey can get into her apartment Peter goes to a drug store down the street and calls her to come by to have breakfast.
            Peter makes the train and so has a drunken Keith. Peter has a surprise for his cousin when he gets on the train- he and Francey got married that morning. Keith is upset because he liked Francey but he is so drunk he does not really do or say too much about it. The train ride to Old Sharon does not go too well; they were given a room that was already occupied so they had to sleep in the sitting room together. The next morning when they arrive at the Old Sharon station Peter’s father (Charles Coburn) is there with Peter’s fiancée Helen! Peter never called his father to tell him what happened and Francey is not very happy. To keep things a little calm Keith walks with Francey off the train and takes her to his place. Mr. Morgan and Helen think Francey is Keith’s girl and are not thrilled to have her there especially because she is a beautiful leggy blonde. Before they go their separate ways Francey give her husband a big kiss on the lips and makes Helen very jealous and angry.
            That night there is a prom at the college that only students and faculty can attend. Keith gets Francey in by saying she is a new student in Botany. When Francey arrives Helen comes by to dance with Peter and she makes a nasty aside about Francey. Francey gets up making like she is going to hit the woman with an ashtray when Peter’s parents walk by. Keith cuts in between Peter and Helen so Peter can dance with his wife. Francey and Peter start to argue about Helen and how he has not told his father about her. They walk outside and he tells her to wait for him while he gets his father. Unfortunately Helen gets to her first and tells Francey how she does not like her. Francey gives Helen plenty of warning to go away. By the time Peter gets to his wife and former fiancée they are locked in a head lock and the best bitch fight of all time in a film breaks out! (more on that in little bit).
            Eventually Peter does tell his father about Francey and his father is not happy at all he thinks his son is throwing his life away for some girl he barely knows. His mother comes in and she collapses with a weak heart which is does quite frequently. Francey feels Mrs. Morgan collapsing was her fault and wants to leave. She has been staying in a women’s hotel where men are not allowed so he climbs up the fire escape to get to her. They talk and he convinces her to stay. When Peter leaves Helen is in her car having followed him. Helen winds up telling Mrs. Morgan about Peter seeing Francey. Mrs. Morgan goes to talk to Francey about her son and starts off by saying she knows about her and Peter. Francey thinking Mrs. Morgan meant she knew about their marriage blurts it out. She becomes afraid Mrs. Morgan will have an attack but the mother just says that her attacks are just her faking so that no argument will escalate. Mrs. Morgan likes Francey and is happy she is part of the family. Keith comes in to pick Francey up. He instigates a little dance party where he manages to get his aunt involved. While they are dancing Mr. Morgan comes in. The dancing stops and Mr. Morgan tells Francey that is she does not leave he will ask his son for a resignation from the college she has to leave. Mrs. Morgan has had enough of his bossing around and she decides to leave him and go to New York.
            Keith gets back to his cousin who is teaching a class that his wife is leaving because of his father. Peter comes up with the idea to get drunk to make his father see that he is too good for Francey. He teaches the class drunk for a bit when his father comes in with a group of board members. One member thinks Peter is hysterical and does not mind at all.
            Francey waits on the train station for Peter who had told her that he would be there before four when the train is supposed to leave but he is so drunk he misses it. On the train Francey sobs by herself in her room. Mrs. Morgan meanwhile is in the room next to hers. When they find out they are next to each other they talk happily for a minutes and then break down together over their husbands. The train jerks to a halt it has just hit a car but there were no passengers in it. In the back of the train Peter and his father climb aboard it was their car the train hit.
            So it ends with Francey and Peter getting back together and finally being on their honeymoon.
            Ginger Rogers is hysterical, lovely, adorable, and perfect. Besides Swing Time and Roxie Heart, Vivacious Lady is my favorite of her films. I just adore her in this film it just proves how good of an actress she was outside of her musicals. James Stewart I have never enjoyed so much. He was not ridiculously shy and nervous which for me was fantastic I cannot stand when he is like that. Rogers’s and Stewart’s chemistry is amazing. They are both always cute and adorable in their films but here you can see their sexual chemistry and it makes them both so hot. I love their pairing in this film I wish they had been paired in more. I have to give a mention to Jams Ellison as Keith because I am so used to seeing him in I Walked with a Zombie where he is so serious I barely recognized him as this happy go lucky drunk guy. I liked him a lot he was so funny and so good.
            Alright now onto the fight scene… well better yet, let me just show you I could never explain it right…

            Vivacious Lady is comedy perfection. The story is cute and funny and not over done and the acting is top notch all around. There are so many funny scenes to the film I dare not even explain my favorite ones besides the fight scene. Hopefully one day Vivacious Lady will be available on DVD for everyone to enjoy. I know that when it eventually does I will be buying it the first day. Vivacious Lady is currently available to view through Youtube. I highly recommend going there NOW to watch it! before it gets taken down.