Going Places (Warner Bros.) (1938)

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GOING PLACES with CURRENT PUBLICITY ‘(oind Places’ Has Opening Today ai Strand Theatre “Going Places,” the Warner Bros. picture which opens today at the Strand Theatre with Dick Powell and Anita Louise heading the cast, is a hilarious farce whose action is interspersed with some highly original and tuneful song numbers. In this production, Powell is given another fine chance to demonstrate the talents as a comedian which he revealed to such good effect in “‘Cowboy From Brooklyn,” and the supporting cast is largely made up of actors whose fame as funny-men has long been well established, notably Allen Jenkins, Walter Catlett, Harold Huber and Thurston Hall. Playing slightly more sedate roles are Ronald Reagan, Minna Gombell and Larry Wiliams, while the musical burden is shared with Powell by those two great colored stars, Louis Armstrong, the world’s premier hot trumpeter, and Maxine Sullivan— making her debut in motion pictures —who is the reigning sensation among swingy singers. Among the four new songs written for the production by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer, one is a romantic ballad, while the other three are all highly diverting novelty numbers. In the presentation of one of these numbers, “Mutiny in the Nursery,” Powell, Armstrong and Miss Sullivan all collaborate and are backed up by a colored swing band and chorus. The humor of the piece revolves about the masquerade by Powell, really a timid sporting goods salesman, as a famous steeplechase rider. He is forced to make good on his boasts by riding one of the meanest and wildest horses ever foaled in the Maryland Steeplechase. Naturally —for this is a farce—things get very complicated, but he does make good by calling sweet music to his aid. How this is done constitutes one of the most original as well as one of the funniest episodes ever filmed. The screen play was written by Maurice Leo, Jerry Wald and Sig Herzig, and the production was directed by Ray Enright, Comedy Is A Help To Film Tough Guy It takes comedy to make motion pictures safe for the tough guy, according to Allen Jenkins. Jenkins has portrayed all kinds of hard eo gs° from strong-armed cops to thickskulled gangsters and should, therefore, qualify as an author ity. 3 “Ordinary 2-15 c . cecieihr ahs heavies,” he said, ALLEN JENKINS “are a dime a dozen. The only thing that saves hard guy roles is making the character funny.” Jenkins cited as an illustration the race track tout he played in “Going Places,” the Warner Bros. picture opening at the Strand Theatre today. If he were just a crooked gambler, the part would be colorless and a thankless job for any actor. The writers, however, made him a dumb, blundering numbskull who is always stumbling into trouble. They made him ludicrous instead of menacing, and, as a result, there’s a chance to make the character stand out. It’s a lot easier to play for laughs than it is for hisses.” Mat 205—30c JUST A FAMILY PARTY—(left to right) Anita Louise, Dick Powell, Minna Gombell, Rosella Towne and Ronald Reagan gather round the piano for a quiet evening at home in "Going Places,'' comedy with music opening at the Strand Theatre today. (Review) ‘Going Places”’ Swift-Paced Comedy with Stars & Music Marking one of the brightest spots in the year’s cinematic entertainment, “Going Places,” which made its local debut yesterday at the Strand Theatre, is a highly hilarious farce with music, with Dick Powell and Anita Louise heading the cast. The name of Powell suggests that there must be some music in the picture, and that supposition is right, for there are four new Harry Warren Johnny Mercer songs in the i piece, but, with the exception of one romantic ballad, even the song’ numbers contribute to the general hilarity, for those other three are all highly diverting novelty numbers. Because of the demonstration of his comic gifts he gave in “Cowboy From Brooklyn,” it is no surprise this time to see Powell enacting a role which is pure comedy from start to finish. Again he proves that he knew what he was doing when he decided to give up straight romantic leading men roles and concentrate on comedy. In “Going Places,” he sets the pace — and a fast and furious pace it is—for as skillful an aggregation of comedians as has ever been gathered together in one production. Notable among the funny men are Allen Jenkins, Walter Catlett, Harold Huber and Thurston Hall, and fe Mat 106—15c DICK POWELL they all live up to their reputations. Miss Louise is, of course, Powell’s romantic vis-a-vis, and it is not her job to be funny but to be desirable and sympathetic. And she demonstrates that she can be just as warm and appealing as her loveliness to the eye promises. The other prominent members of the cast who serve well as the more or less serious contrasts to the comedians are Ronald Reagan, Larry Williams and Minna Gombell. Powell, of course, assumes most of the musical burden, but part of it is taken — and how! — by Louis Armstrong and Maxine Sullivan. Louis Armstrong, if you don’t already know, is the world’s foremost hot trumpet virtuoso, and Maxine Sullivan is the dulcet-voiced young colored girl who gave swing music an entirely new and somewhat less noisy direction when she began to give “sweet” though swingy interpretations to familiar folk songs. “Going Places” is a farce, and all of its complications arise from the fact that Powell, who is a rather timid salesman in a sporting goods store, has decided for business reasons to pass himself off as a famous Australian steeplechase rider, Although his only riding experience has been aback an electric hobby horse, he is forced to make good on his boasts. Much credit must be given to the writers, Maurice Leo, Jerry Wald and Sig Herzig, for a _ hilarious screen play, while the director, Ray Enright, rates commendation for having extracted the maximum of laughs from every situation. NAMES MAKE NEWS ALLEN JENKINS is currently wondering if there is anything personal in the fact that his old New York home was recently converted into a sanatorium for cats and dogs. ANITA LOUISE likes to work in her stockinged feet, or in comfortable bedroom slippers. She only wears shoes for scenes in which her feet show. MAXINE SULLIVAN played her first important singing engagement at a night club in Pittsburgh, called—of all things—the Benjamin Harrison Literary Club. Band leader LOUIS ARMSTRONG, featured in “Going Places,” got his musical start as a bugler in a New Orleans orphanage. [13] Ronald Reagan Finds ‘Goin¢ Places Tough Job Ronald Reagan has played a lot of difficult, and some dangerous, scenes during his career as a motion picture actor but the hardest thing he ever had to do was sit comfortably in a grandstand and watch a steeplechase. That was almost too much for a cavalry officer and a former sports announcer to enae. “And Reagan is both. He has a second lieutenant’s commission as a reserve officer in the U. S. Cavalry and before he entered pictures he was one of the National Broadcasting system’s ace sports announcers. The steeplechase was run for “Going Places,’ the Warner Bros. picture opening at the Strand Theatre today. Dick Powell was one of the thirteen competitors, but Reagan had to be a spectator and pretend to like it. Even the privilege of sitting next to Anita Louise, the picture’s lovely blonde heroine, wasn’t sufficient compensation to console him. Before the horses paraded to the post, Reagan begged Director Ray Enright to take liberties with the story and let him ride in the race. Enright said it couldn’t be done. Reagan then suggested he be allowed to broadcast the event. Enright said that couldn’t be done. They already had an actor for the broadcaster role and Reagan was needed in the stand. Reagan, whose stock as a coming: Warner Bros. star was boosted greatly by his sterling work in “Brother Rat,” is a featured member of the “Going Places” cast and figures prominently in the story. When, however, it came time for the steeplechase sequences, he gladly would have changed places with any one of the stunt riders who raced against Powell. Mat 103—I5c RONALD REAGAN Ear For Music Puts Horse In Pictures The Warner Bros. Studio’s quest for a horse with a musical ear to play a lead role in “Going Places,” the musical farce opening at the Strand Theatre today, ended with the selection of Zane, a movie trained veteran for the role. Not only did Zane have the highest music I.Q. of any of the twentyeight horses tested for the role but he demonstrated a talented set of jumping and kicking heels. As he plays a man-killing steeplechase runner, aptly named Jeepers Creepers, the hell and hoof skill was of prime importance. Zane is probably the first horse of movie history to have a song written especially for him. The number, by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer is called “Jeepers Creepers,” and Zane was required to recognize it and react to it when it was sung by Dick Powell and trumpeted by Louis Armstrong. Indicative of the importance of the Jeepers Creepers role was the fact that Zane had a stand-in. And only stars and top ranking featured players have stand-ins. A handsome, high strung sorrel, Zane is from the Hudkins stable of screen trained horses.