Saturday, August 25, 2012

Slightly Dangerous (1943)



Everyone has those days where they dream about getting out of their hometowns and becoming someone. Becoming someone not necessarily famous just someone besides themselves. I am sure we all have the dream of packing up and moving to Hollywood and becoming a famous actress/actor by chance. Or becoming a famous author having written a popular book or two. In the 1943 film Slightly Dangerous (which I have no clue why it is titled so there is nothing dangerous about it) the gorgeous Lana Turner plays a young girl who gets fed up with her life and becomes someone else. Along with all the consequences that come with being the new person.
            Peggy Evans (Turner) has lived in Hodgekiss Falls all her life. She has no family and has been working in the same chain store for three years. She receives an award for being on time over one thousand days. This reward puts Peggy over the edge she realizes that her life comes down to having been on time to a mindless job over one thousand days. Peggy works behind the ice cream counter with another girl. She tells the girl she knows where everything is so well she could do it blindfolded and she does! Customers begin to clamor around to see what is going on. Peggy makes a banana sundae to perfection with the blindfold on. The new store manager Bob Stuart (Robert Young) comes over to see what the commotion is about. She does not take her blindfold off asking why she should she did not harm anybody. Bob makes her come to his office. When she does come into the office Bob goes to lay into her but as soon as he sees Peggy’s beautiful face he is stunned speechless.
            In the office Peggy realizes she does not want to be herself anymore, she does no longer wants to be Peggy Evans she wants to run away and be someone else. That night Bob goes to the boarding house where Peggy has been living. The landlady is beyond upset having found a note from Peggy that sounds like a suicide note. The police question Bob asking him if he knows where Peggy could be. When he is read the letter he thinks he drove Peggy to kill herself and is wracked with guilt the whole night.
            Meanwhile Peggy is absolutely fine walking along the street of New York City. She walks in front of a store window that advertises they can completely makeover any girl. Peggy asks the doorman how much one of the makeovers costs and he says one hundred and fifty and brushes her away thinking she is a person the store would waste time on. Peggy sneaks into the store and comes out with platinum blonde hair and a beautiful new suit. As she walks down the street she thinks about a new name to go with her new name. While walking Peggy sees a sign for an advertisement company and goes to the building looking a job when she is hit in the head with a paint can and knocked out. She brought to the office of the boss Durstin. When Peggy sees what has happened to her new clothes and her hair with paint all over her she screams and panics. Durstin asks her her name but she cannot decide on which she wants. He says that she can stay with him for a while until they can identify her. They put her picture in the paper all over the country.
            Back in Hodgekiss Falls, Bob has been wracked with guilt that he caused Peggy to kill herself. He gets a call the next morning telling him to come to the office. When Bob gets to the store he sees the girls are all striking wearing blindfolds and just giving things away. The head of the chain store is in Bob’s office. He is worried that the story of Bob possibly driving one of their girl to suicide might put a blemish on the company. As the head is talking Bob looks down at the paper he sees Peggy’s picture in the paper and gets all excited. He says he can bring Peggy back and prove she is still alive that he did not make her kill herself.
            Durstin does everything he can to try to help Peggy remember who she is since she is faking amnesia. He tells her she might be an heiress which gives her a great idea. Peggy goes to the library and looks in the newspapers looking for missing persons cases. She finds the perfect one a little girl named Carol Burden whose father is a millionaire. Carol went missing when she was seven years old. The girl would be exactly Peggy’s age by that time. Back at the office she plays up Durstin and the girl’s father Cornelius Burden.
            Down in the lobby of the building is a barrage of people thinking Peggy is their long lost sister or wife or friend. Bob is the only one who knows who she truly is and tries everything he can to get to her but his efforts are thwarted.
            As soon as Peggy meets Burden she becomes afraid of what she has done and tries to back out but Burden says he is going to make sure she and Durstin who printed a story before he heard the news himself are put into jail. Peggy is taken to the Burden mansion outside town. Peggy tries to get away by climbing out the window but two guard dogs keep her from doing so. Burden and the maid Baba put her to a test to see if she really is Carol. Peggy is tortured by the idea of being found out and the pressure of having to guess what doll Carol used to carry around with her all the time. She second guess her actions to this point and actually wishes she was back in Hodgkiss Falls. Luckily she uses her powers of deduction correctly and finds the right doll.
            Bob tries to get into the mansion to see Peggy. He catches a glimpse of her in the house but that is all he gets when he is promptly kicked out of the house by the bodyguard. Bob gets another chance to see Peggy when Burden takes her to the opera. By this time Peggy is beginning to feel bad about her lie because Burden is such a nice sweet man. Her thoughts are made worse when she hears her name yelled out by Bob at the opera. Bob nearly falls into the audience below trying to get Peggy’s attention.
            After the opera Bob is at a restaurant drinking to calm his nerves. He sees Peggy and Burden walk in. He takes notice that Peggy touched a flower pot leaving her finger prints behind. Bob takes a pencil and marks the print out. A while later Burden throws Peggy a party to introduce her to people. Bob sneaks in and gets to Peggy. He speaks alone to Peggy and Burden and lies saying he has a marriage certificate saying that he and Peggy were married. Bob says she probably does not remember because her amnesia always went in and out over the years. He proposes that he and Peggy go back to Hodgekiss Falls to jog her memory. She goes and tells Burden to stay behind it will be better.
            Peggy makes the most of her current situation with Bob. They stop at a restaurant on the road where she runs to the bathroom, goes out the window, and steals a tube from the car so it will not run forcing them to be stranded. After dinner when Bob finds the car will not work the owner of restaurant says they can stay in the little motel he runs next door. The two of them in the room try to make the other feel uncomfortable but Peggy wins out.
            Burden in the meantime puts in a call to Hodgekiss Falls and finds out about Peggy. During the night having had enough of Peggy’s games, Bob calls Burden to come and get her. When Burden comes by he is mad. Baba has come along and tells Peggy that they know about her but that she cannot run away again because Burden likes having someone to take care of again and really likes Peggy.
            The ending is all nice and cute with Peggy finding a new place in the world and has Bob as her boyfriend. Not husband because the marriage certificate was fake.
            Lana Turner was adorable! So many people wind up just concentrating on her looks and not her acting which is a shame because she was a very good actress. I loved her voiceovers when she was walking down the streets of New York City trying to come up with her new name and when she was using her power of deductions. I cracked up when she was crying and freaking out when she saw the paint ruined her new dress and her hair she was so funny. I just loved Turner in this film she was so good. Robert Young I first saw when he was in The Bride Walks Out with Barbara Stanwyck but I barely remember him his part was not that big and it has been quite some time since I last time I saw the film. I do remember thinking he was handsome in that film and I thought he was quite handsome here as well. I thought Young was excellent he was silly and all over the place yet composed and not over the top. Lana Turner and Robert Young looked great together and had perfect chemistry.
            Slightly Dangerous is a cute film with a fun story. It is a mistaken identity plot which I usually hate but this was not bad because it was done right. I was proud of myself with Slightly Dangerous because sometime I get bored watching some films no matter how good they are and I get distracted and with this I was not I kept my eyes glued to the screen the whole time. Slightly Dangerous is a good film I recommend seeing especially for Lana Turner.