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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)

An incompetent secretary (Lucille Ball) is purposely hired for her lack of skills by a con artist (William Holden)  who is using a real estate business as a front for his bookmaking syndicate. The idea being that she's too dumb to know what's really going on. It's a decision that he will soon regret. Hard to believe now that Lucille Ball was at one time a bigger movie star than William Holden was. The next year's SUNSET BOULEVARD would soon change that. But at this stage of the game, while Holden hadn't yet reached his full potential, Ball's career was on the down swing. Curiously, this film shows the seeds of the comic persona that would soon become iconic in I LOVE LUCY. Her first scene shows her gift for physical comedy as she struggles with a typewriter ribbon, her character gets into hot water a lot and she ends the film impersonating a tough gun moll (her bitch slapping Holden is the funniest thing in the film). But the film itself is a throwaway. Something you can moderately enjoy while you're watching it and barely remember the month after. Directed by Lloyd Bacon. With James Gleason, Janis Carter, Frank McHugh and Roy Roberts.

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