Today is Sunday, so it’s time for this week’s second 100+ New Code Films article. Every week this year, I plan to publish two reviews of American Breen Era (1934-1954) films I have watched for the first time during the week. Many people complain about Amazon’s monopoly on supply and how it is hurting small businesses. I can’t disagree with that, although Prime shipping is very convenient! However, I forgive Amazon for any other crimes because of Prime Video. While Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services only offer occasionally old movies, Amazon Video has a huge collection of old movies, including countless Code films. Many of them are offered for free, and hundreds of others can be rented or bought. It’s a great source for classic film fans to discover new movies!
Today’s topic is Up Goes Maisie from 1946. After seeing one Maisie movie, Maisie was a Lady from 1941, we wanted to watch more of this charming MGM series. On Friday, I browsed Amazon Prime Video in search of movies with Irish themes or actors, hoping to find a new film to watch and review for our upcoming Luck o’ the Irish Blogathon. I remembered that chorus girl Maisie Ravier (Ann Sothern) was born Mary Anastasia O’Connor. When I saw that George Murphy, an obviously Irish actor, was the leading man in the ninth film, Up Goes Maisie (1946), I decided that it was the perfect film for this blogathon!
Maisie Ravier has been moving around a lot in her exciting life, so she now wants to get a steady job. She goes to secretarial school, but she soon realizes that most businessmen are more interested in monkey business than typing and dictation when they see a pretty secretary, starting with the teacher! After a few frustrating interviews, which quickly end with her giving the fresh guy a knee to the chin, she decides to camouflage her oomph in a frumpy outfit and glasses. She is hired right away by a helicopter manufacturer, but it isn’t long before he discovers her secret. Even after he knows that she is young and attractive, he behaves like a perfect gentleman. He is thrilled when he learns that she built airplanes with her riveting and welding skills during the war, so he brings her to his secret plant. He and some war friends of his are building an amazing new helicopter, and Maisie quickly becomes not only a secretary but a valuable member of the production team. Little do the builder and his friends know that the wealthy man funding the project is planning on double-crossing them, with the help of his daughter and a spy.
This movie stars Ann Sothern, George Murphy, and Hillary Brooke. Supporting actors include Ray Collins, Horace (Stephen) McNally, Jeff York, Paul Harvey, and Murray Alper.
This movie was directed by Harry Beaumont. It was produced by George Haight. The production company was MGM. The story and screenplay were written by Thelma Robinson. It was based on the character Maisie, who was originally created by Wilson Collison.
This is a good Code film. It is totally wholesome and decent. The opening minutes deal with the hazards of being a pretty secretary, but the flirtatious men’s behavior is never indecent or inappropriate. They are obviously mashers, but their attempts to date and kiss her are never improperly suggestive. Maisie is always a good girl. She quickly lets them know that she has no intention of fooling around, and she isn’t afraid to get physical to protect herself! All the dialogue is proper and Code-compliant. Maisie’s costumes are flamboyant, but they are always decent and modest. The few fights are not violent because of the way they are staged and filmed. This is a movie which can be truly enjoyed by all ages.
I highly recommend this movie. It’s a barrel of fun! Even though this is the second to last film in the ten-film Maisie series, I think it is an excellent introduction for someone who is previously unfamiliar with the series. Maisie is delightful in this movie. You can see why this series made Ann Sothern a star. She is perfect as the chorus girl from Brooklyn, who can do so much more than be a showgirl. In this film, she shows how valuable she is making and even flying helicopters! George Murphy is a perfect leading man for her. I believe that Maisie falls in love with and plans to marry a different man in each film, since she was very serious about Lew Ayres in Maisie was a Lady. I don’t know if any explanation is given to provide continuity between romances, since I have only seen the two films. However, each movie is delightful as a stand-alone piece. Hillary Brooke plays Barbara Nubolt, the scheming woman who is determined to break up Joe Morton (George Murphy) and Maisie’s romance. Surprisingly, this isn’t for personal reasons, like jealousy regarding Joe. She is working with her father (Paul Harvey) in his scheme to sabotage Joe’s helicopter project. I recognize Miss Brooke from Jane Eyre, in which she plays “the other woman.” She is even more nefarious in this ruthless role. Ray Collins plays Mr. Hendrickson, the tycoon Joe needs to convince to buy his helicopter idea. He is perfect as the busy, skeptical millionaire, who is smart enough to know a good idea when he hears and sees it! All the supporting characters are great, too. One of my favorite things about this movie is the helicopter! It looks so much more nifty and sleek than modern helicopters. It has a real Space Age look, but the design is very pleasing. My father says he wants one, and I agree!
For the Blogathon
This movie contains some charming Irish characters. Of course, Maisie herself is a darling colleen. She has a lot of spunk. She may be a bit brassy, but she has a heart of gold. She is a decent, honesty, moral young lady. George Murphy is obviously Irish in every role he plays, even though his character’s surname is not decidedly Hibernian in this film. At one point in the film, he jokingly affects a brogue. One of Joe’s friends at the workshop is the leprechaunish Mitch O’Hara, played by Murray Alper. He is the most prominent and endearing of the helicopter technicians. He delivers an often funny but surprisingly emotional performance. A recurring comical character is a motorcycle policeman, who is played by Edgar Dearing. He is the typical Irish policeman, stern if you’re doing the wrong thing but quick to become your friend. He is very much like Joe Breen, Hollywood’s personal policeman pal!
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