Gentlemen Marry Brunettes

The talentless Jones sisters blew through Paris in the Twenties the toast of the town, because they wore practically nothing on stage.

The two daughters of one of the two have talent and modesty and are not a success, until they play the Casino at Monte Carlo in a performance actually subsidized by a wealthy friend and admirer (this is “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, an homage to Sternberg’s Blonde Venus).

Impecunious impresario, starving artiste (the secret millionaire), and the Jones sisters nevertheless pack it all in for marriage and the States.

Sale begins at the Musée Rodin and takes a grand tour of Paris, with a bit of the coast road and a view across the bay on the Côte d’Azur.

A.H. Weiler didn’t exert himself to understand this in his New York Times review, which is a great pity, to be sure.

Donen & Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain is an important consideration.


Abandon Ship

A mine from the war drifts under the keel of a liner, splitting and sinking it within minutes, a thousand lives are lost and more, two dozen survivors cram the captain’s shore boat, a storm is brewing, the mate in command orders the weakest into the ocean.

Hitchcock’s Lifeboat from the German’s side, inveigling the audience (like Rossen’s All the King’s Men) into complicity and understanding by showing how it can happen here.

In the sum of human misery collected by Sale, excessively logical and quite irrational as it may be, the passengers go off cursing or forgiving, the terrible weight of circumstances dictates the outcome, it would seem.

Seven Waves Away is the British title.

“Initially gripping but finally depressing” (Halliwell’s Film Guide).