Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Glenda Farrell Project :: Take 2 :: Frank Capra's Lady for a Day (1933) :: Missouri Martin Wants a Man!

Lady for a Day is a slightly scorched bag of instant Capra-corn where a shady gambler (Warren William) finances a Pygmalion on Apple Annie, a local destitute / good luck charm (May Robson), for reasons that would and could only make sense in the Frank Capra Universe. Not that there's anything wrong with that, 'natch, because before you even realize it you've eaten the whole bag -- and enjoyed it quite thoroughly.

Here, our gal Glenda plays Missouri Martin, the gambler's Girl Friday, who's put in charge of pulling silk from the sow's ear for Annie's make-over, and later plays the Jiminy Cricket to make sure our hero sees the con through to the inevitable happy ending.

But before we get to the end, we need an introduction. And, brother, what an introduction do we get:


Preach on, sister.

"All comedians are unique performers. It's possibly something they're not aware of themselves, until they get the part that brings it out and displays it to them, so they become aware of the fact that they play comedy and that they got laughs. Then they begin to develop this certain quality, develop it till they get bigger and bigger laughs. This is something the comedian himself can do. A writer can write divine lines, beautiful lines, and they can cut around, and the director can direct the actor, all so that she may be a great comedienne in this particular part, but they may never reach that again. Because if they don't have the lines, they can't do it. However, this may be the start of the development of a technique and flair for comedy—because I think most actors start out not knowing they're comics, and suddenly find that a unique way of reading a line gets a laugh. A simple line can be read by five different people, and only one person get a laugh, and that one person can get a big laugh on it. It's his own individual way of interpreting the line. This is the thing a comedian does, and he cannot do it unless he's experienced, unless he learns the way to get the laugh and knows what's in back of it."

-- Glenda Farrell xxxxxxxxx

One of the things I am most thankful for from 2012 is getting a crash course on the life and times and film career of Glenda Farrell. And the more I dig, the more I love. And so, to share that love, we're kicking off The Glenda Farrell Project for 2013 and beyond, as I will do everything in my power to share my Glenda love in the usual, obsessive compulsive fashion in all matters and means and ways. Stay tuned! Lots more to come.


Stacia said...

Capra-corn! Ha!

I'm not a huge fan of this film, though my love for Glenda Farrell and Warren William is vast. Super excited for the Project, I can't wait to see more!

W.B. Kelso said...

Thanks! Capra really hadn't found the formula yet, here, as the film really, really, REALLY falls apart post-makeover, IMHO. More Glenda definitely would've helped. Stay tuned.

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