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Betty Hutton: Perils of Pauline/The Stork Club [DVD]

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$7.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Menu selection
  • Bonus: "The Stork Club" - original theatrical trailer
  • Color noveltoon "Naughty But Mice"

Synopsis

The Perils of Pauline
The third of four films bearing the title of The Perils of Pauline, this musical biopic purports to tell the life story of famed silent serial queen Pearl White. Right at the beginning, however, an introductory title informs the audience that what follows is merely "suggested" by incidents in White's life and career. Translation: The film is a fabrication from beginning to end, but an enjoyable one. Played on all four cylinders by Betty Hutton, White is introduced as a frustrated factory worker who aspires to become a dramatic actress. She joins a touring theatrical troupe managed by handsome but pompous Mike (John Lund), but fame and fortune elude her because she's unable to suppress her natural rambunctiousness. In desperation, White takes a job at a movie studio, where she promptly finds herself in the middle of a slapstick pie fight. With the help of bombastic director Mac (William Demarest), top-hatted villain portrayer Timmy (Billy De Wolfe), and imperious dramatics coach Julia (Constance Collier), Pearl soon becomes world-famous as the star of such cliffhanging, tied-to-the-railroad-tracks serials as The Perils of Pauline (hence the title of this film). At the height of her fame, she arranges for her theatrical mentor Mike to get a job as her leading man, forcing him to swallow his pride and admit that he's been in love with her from the moment he met her. A series of clichéd complications contrive to separate White and Mike, but he returns to her arms when she's seriously injured during a Parisian stage performance. A few fairly credible recreations of silent moviemaking techniques aside, The Perils of Pauline is wildly anachronistic and inaccurate (for one thing, Pearl White made most of her serials in New Jersey rather than Hollywood). As a musical comedy, however, the film passes muster, especially during the performance of such Frank Loesser tunes as "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" and "The Sewing Machine." As a bonus, the film rounds up several silent-movie veterans in cameo roles, including William Farnum, Chester Conklin, Jimmy Finlayson, Creighton Hale, Hank Mann -- and Paul Panzer, who played the sneering villain in the original 1914 Perils of Pauline., Rovi

The Stork Club
The Stork Club, the famed New York nightspot immortalized by columnist Walter Winchell (in return for special favors from its owners), is the setting for this typically brash Betty Hutton musical. Hutton plays a young hat check girl who rescues an elderly tramp (Barry Fitzgerald) from drowning. The old bum turns out to be a millionaire, and expresses his gratitude by setting up Hutton in luxury--asking for nothing in return. Hutton's boyfriend Don DeFore suspects hanky panky, but all is forgiven during the obligatory floor show. There are rumors that the Stork Club itself financed The Stork Club as a feature-length commercial. Whatever the case, ownership of the film was cloudy enough to allow it to slip into the public domain in 1982, which explains why Stork Club seems to be running 24 hours a day on cable TV. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Betty Hutton
    Betty Hutton - Pearl White
  • John Lund
    John Lund - Michael Farrington
  • Constance Collier
    Constance Collier - Julia Gibbs
  • William Demarest
    William Demarest - Chuck 'Mac' McGuire
  • Billy De Wolfe
    Billy De Wolfe - Timmy Timmons
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.