Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Brooks Mason (Robert Young) is a beloved movie star who is so pawed at by his fans that he winds up in the hospital every time he makes a public appearance. George Smith (also Young) is a visiting Hawaiian pineapple plantation owner who looks exactly like Mason, enough so that Smith gets mobbed at the premiere of Mason's newest movie. Mason asks Smith to swap places with him so he can go to Hawaii and enjoy a peaceful vacation; meanwhile, Smith gets to hobnob with Hollywood movie stars. So they do, leading to some predictable shenanigans. In Hawaii, George’s fiancée Cecilia (Rita Johnson) finds him to have become a much more interesting kisser, but Mason-as-George also gets tangled up with Dorothy (Eleanor Powell), a dancer who Mason flirted with on the ship to Hawaii. Back in the States, George-as-Mason bonds with Mason’s agent (George Burns) and is reluctant to end his little "vacation" as a movie star.

Though no timeless classic, this is a small-scale delight. Young does a very nice job in both roles (pictured above), even if the characters of Mason and Smith aren't really all that different. Powell is perfectly charming, as is Gracie Allen as her sidekick. Normally when Gracie was in a movie with her real-life husband George Burns, the two were paired in their patented "dumb bunny" comic routines, but here they don't meet until the end and their brief bit is not nearly as funny as Allen's earlier shtick—and Burns himself has little to do as the agent. Rita Johnson is amusing, especially since she sounds a bit like Madeline Kahn. Also with Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson as a butler and Ruth Hussey as an actress in Mason's latest movie (she’s in the first 2 minutes and then vanishes). There's a cute production number at a costume party where guests come as their favorite movie star—Gracie Allen appears as Mae West with Marx Brothers imitators, including two Grouchos. My favorite comedic moment comes from Rochester who tries to multiply 6 times 8; after some thought, he says drily, "Let’s call it 30." There’s a silly plotline involving Smith owing money to his fiancée's father (Clarence Kolb) but you can ignore that. The rest is fun. [Warner Archive streaming]

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