Honolulu [DVD] [1939]

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George Burns and Gracie Allen made their last screen appearance together in the 1939 MGM musical Honolulu; indeed, it would be Burns' last film until his 1976 "comeback" in The Sunshine Boys. The nonsensical plotline is carried by Robert Young as famous movie star Brooks Mason, who wants to go to Honolulu for a long rest but can't shake off his throngs of adoring female fans. As luck would have, Mason has an exact double, a Hawaiian plantation owner named George Smith. Mason convinces Smith to switch identities, with the expected comedy-of-error complications as a result. Things get really complicated when Smith, posing as Mason, proposes marriage to lovely Dorothy March (Eleanor Powell), who then can't understand why the real Mason seems to be so fickle. Clearly in support, Burns and Allen are cast respectively as Mason's personal manager Joe Duffy and Dorothy's scatterbrained friend Millie de Grasse. The film contrives to separate George and Gracie for most of the footage, bringing them together in the last reel for a characteristic comedy routine about Gracie's dizzy relatives. Also on hand in a minor role is another comedy giant, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. Highlights include a masquerade-party production number in which Gracie Allen is serenaded by the King's Men Quartet (disguised as the Marx Brothers), and Eleanor Powell's blackface stair-tap tribute to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (Powell also performs a tap-dance hula, which scores on its novelty value alone!) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Eleanor Powell
    Eleanor Powell - Dorothy March
  • Robert Young
    Robert Young - George Smith
  • George Burns
    George Burns - Joe Duffy
  • Gracie Allen
    Gracie Allen - Millie de Grasse
  • Rita Johnson
    Rita Johnson - Cecelia Grayson

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