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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It Should Happen To You (1954)

An unemployed model (Judy Holliday) spends her life savings and rents a billboard, with her name in giant letters, in New York's Columbus Circle for three months. Before long, she's a "celebrity". The first hour of this Garson Kanin (BORN YESTERDAY) penned satire is quite amusing. This is one of the earliest films to examine the (all too current) phenomenon of being famous for being famous, a media celebrity with no talents or credentials yet famous because their picture is plastered all over magazines and they appear on TV. This was the film debut of a young quietly assured Jack Lemmon, who's eminently likable here and he and Holliday have a marvelous chemistry together. The pointed barbs regarding media aren't shoved in our faces and the film doesn't pretend to be more than it is which makes far more enjoyable than the self importance of a NETWORK which touched on similar ideas. Directed by George Cukor, who's unable to sustain the momentum and the last half hour is rather sappy. Jean Louis' costumes for Holliday received an Oscar nomination. With Peter Lawford as a wolf, Michael O'Shea, Constance Bennett, Wendy Barrie, Connie Gilchrist, Melville Cooper, Ilka Chase, Vaughn Taylor and Whit Bissell.

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