Thursday, May 12, 2016


This cute WWII comedy is told in flashback by Ralph Edwards, head of the Bamboo Blonde cosmetic company, as he explains his rise in the business world to a reporter. A couple years earlier, Edwards ran the Club 50 which, for some reason, was temporarily "out of bounds" to military personnel. Russell Wade, the new leader of a seasoned bomber crew, is sent by his men, as a prank, to the Club supposedly to meet them for dinner. When he gets there, the club's lovely singer (Frances Langford) hides him from the military police. After hours, the two go out on the town and the next morning, as the crew meets to ship off to the Pacific, they see Wade kissing Langford and assume the two are a hot and heavy item, though he doesn't even know her name. Overseas, the crew adopts Langford as their mascot, painting her picture on their plane and calling her the Bamboo Blonde, and soon she's a sensation in the press—with Edwards happy to fan the flames of publicity for the sake of his club. Eventually the crew is sent home for a cross-country war bond tour. Wade is excited for the chance to meet back up with Langford, but his bitchy fiancĂ©e (Jane Greer), who ignored Wade for the duration of the war, and was in fact stepping out on him even before he went overseas, puts a kink in his plans. Another possible complication: Langford thinks Wade is a corn-fed farm boy but he's actually from a rich family. Ralph Edwards, known mostly as a TV host (This is Your Life, Truth or Consequences), is top-billed here, but despite narrating, he's really a minor character. Langford—best known for appearing in Bob Hope's USO shows—and Wade are the whole show and they're perfectly fine; both are a little on the colorless side but I enjoyed being in their company for 70 minutes. Directed by Anthony Mann who went on to specialize in film noirs and westerns. [TCM]

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