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MGM Star Watching in ‘Weekend on the Waldorf’ 1945

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MGM Star Watching in ‘Weekend on the Waldorf’ 1945

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Van Johnson, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, and Walter Pidgeon head a forged of
MGM favorites in 1945’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”

MGM’s all-star confection, Weekend on the Waldorf, was launched the
fall of 1945, on the finish of WWII. Nevertheless it was filmed practically a 12 months earlier, when
the warfare was nonetheless raging. Weekend is
MGM in full dream manufacturing unit mode. Every storyline is a want achievement for its
characters, and by extension, the period’s movie followers.

Moviegoers ate up Weekend
on the Waldorf
like an all you possibly can eat buffet. The remake of 1932’s Grand Lodge was a smash and the largest
film of Ginger Rogers’ profession, and after Peyton
Place
, Lana Turner’s, too. Weekend was
within the high ten grossing films of 1945.

Metro’s 1945 “Weekend on the Waldorf” was a field workplace smash.


So far as Vicki Baum’s unique novel or the ’32 movie
basic is anxious, Weekend on the
Waldorf
bears little resemblance to both works. The ’45 remake is about in
a luxurious lodge and there’s some naked bones character equivalents. Greta Garbo’s
ballerina is now a movie star—drained, however not suicidal; Joan Crawford’s
stenographer remains to be one, however far softer. Probably the most notable factor is that the
movie now not takes place in Germany, and could be very Americanized for WWII
audiences.

Ginger Rogers as a overworked film star & Walter Pidgeon as a weary
warfare correspondent fall for one another in MGM’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


Ginger Rogers is Irene
Malvern, an overworked film star who has a Hepburn/Tracy-style romance with
warfare correspondent Chip Collyer (Walter Pidgeon). This made me marvel why MGM
simply didn’t forged Metro stars Kate and Spence because the bickering duo—too fluffy
for these high-quality thespians? Or why they borrowed Ginger once they might have re-teamed
their high star Greer Garson with Pidgeon. Scheduling points, I’m positive, as
movie-making was hitting its peak.

Lana Turner is the lodge stenographer with a smooth spot for soldier Van Johnson in MGM’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


Lana Turner is Bunny
Smith, the stenographer who makes injured soldier Jim Hollis’ goals come true.
Although on the lookout for a wealthy man, this Bunny appears extra cuddly than calculating.
This ’45 Weekend is sentimentally sanitized
on this method all through. Additionally, the soldier (Van Johnson) takes a lifeless soldier
buddy’s tune to Waldorf’s resident star attraction, Xavier Cugat, who immediately
decides to carry out it the following night time on his radio present.

Phyllis Thaxter is the
bride-to-be in Weekend on the Waldorf,
who wonders if physician fiancé Warner Anderson remains to be caught on his childhood
sweetheart, Ginger’s film star. After all not, movie followers! However this results in
contrived misunderstandings that drive this film—and is true of the entire
subplots in Weekend.

A younger couple desires
to honeymoon on the booked Waldorf, when a kindly millionaire who simply occurs
to be on the check-in desk lets the soldier and bride take over his suite for
the weekend. It’s that type of MGM film!

The honeymooners desire a suite in MGM’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


Weekend on the Waldorf boasts a little bit of location capturing from NYC,
the remainder was accomplished deluxe fashion at MGM. After all, Metro quickly recycled the
lavish units for Hedy Lamarr’s Her
Highness and the Bellboy
.

Ginger Rogers sports activities some elaborate ‘dos in MGM’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”
“Weekend on the Waldorf:” Leon Ames, reacting to Ginger Roger’s strains or hair ‘do?


Sydney Guilaroff and
crew will need to have labored extra time on Ginger’s locks and falls. All that hair for a
Weekend on the Waldorf! Ginger’s a
bit grand because the film star, however for Rogers, comparatively restrained. Though
Rogers’ total look is a bit a lot, it’s toned down in comparison with what would quickly
come: blinding platinum blonde and an overdrawn make-up masks. Weekend would even be certainly one of Rogers’
final mega hits. The following one got here from MGM as nicely, taking up for Judy
Garland in 1949’s The Barkleys of
Broadway
, and reuniting her with Fred Astaire.

The softer aspect of Lana Turner, as Bunny Smith in MGM’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


Lana’s very candy and
heat as Bunny; Turner’s early roles like this present what made audiences initially
fall in love along with her. Other than good hair and make-up, Lana’s merely
dressed and performs merely and believably, as nicely. There’s a genuinely
touching scene, the place Van Johnson’s soldier involves Bunny’s stenographer to
assist him write a will. Lana’s responses to Van’s subtly performed soldier, who has
few household or associates, are most affecting.

Lana Turner’s stenographer helps soldier Van Johnson write his will in a
touching scene from MGM’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


Like Ginger, Lana’s hair-do
appears to be like prefer it was constructed! The hair-don’t ages her total look, as she was
simply 24 on the time. Fortunately, the brilliant, smooth lighting tones the ‘do down a
bit.

The younger stars of “Weekend on the Waldorf” look extra interesting within the movie than this p.r. picture. Van Johnson’s freckles have all been airbrushed. Lana Turner’s
hair and make-up is so matronly right here, she was solely 24!


MGM had a historical past of
pedaling Metro’s feminine stars backstories into their personas: Joan, Lana, and
Judy on the working class aspect, and in addition their British lasses, Greer, Deborah,
and Liz. Like Joan earlier than her, Lana’s working class roots are blended into her
character’s want to maneuver upwardly in life.

Lana Turner as Bunny Smith & Van Johnson as Jimmy Hollis in “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


Van Johnson, because the
soldier with each shrapnel and Lana near his coronary heart, could be very interesting in
his boyish youth—and I am not even a Van fan. Johnson was certainly one of Metro’s many
all-round gifted gamers: Van might sing and dance decently, had a aptitude for
comedy, and could possibly be a really pure dramatic actor. Right here, as Jimmy Hollis,
Van’s fatalistic soldier is sympathetic, not maudlin.

Walter Pidgeon, Ginger Rogers, a stellar view in 1945’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


Walter Pidgeon is
livelier than standard, as a seen-it-all warfare journalist. Pidgeon has an amused
rapport with Ginger’s brittle film star. I did not acknowledge Warner Anderson’s
doc at first, however the minute I heard him converse—Matthew Swain from TV’s Peyton Place! Anderson is a strong display screen
presence, providing recommendation to childhood pal Ginger, providing a second opinion to
soldier Van, and a gentle Eddy to his insecure bride-to-be.

On the debit aspect have been
these following actors, simply my preferences, people. Edward Arnold performs the
glad-handing villain as soon as once more, however by no means appears as threatening, simply smarmy.
Keenan Wynn all the time offers me the creeps, like he’s making an attempt to cover that he’s
loopy. When Wynn performs comedy, he’s very heavy-handed, as in his “drunk” scene in
The Clock. Right here, because the cub reporter,
Wynn’s borderline obnoxious. Xavier Cugat is an acquired style as nicely—if you happen to
get pleasure from bombastic, you’ll love him. And Robert Benchley’s a kind of nice personalities
of the period whose enchantment I’ve by no means understood, very like Oscar Levant, Monty
Woolley, or Hoagy Carmichael. Their charms are misplaced on me.

MGM’s all-star forged aren’t simply phoning it in with MGM’s “Weekend on the Waldorf.”


In case you are within the temper
for excellent escapism and star watching, that is maybe MGM’s greatest and finest
instance from the WWII period. There’s additionally nostalgia for New York Metropolis, the
Waldorf Astoria, and the sense of a quickly altering period. If any of those
causes enchantment to you, Weekend on the
Waldorf
is a superb place to examine in.

Right here’s my have a look at certainly one of
4 1941 films that cemented the stardom of Lana Turner, Ziegfeld Lady:

https://ricksrealreel.blogspot.com/2021/02/ziegfeld-girl-1941.html

Right here’s my tackle a
dramatic musical that was an enormous wartime hit for Ginger Rogers, Girl within the Darkish:

https://ricksrealreel.blogspot.com/2019/05/lady-in-dark-is-over-top-style-over.html

This robe’s sash make Ginger Rogers appear to be Rapunzel in 1945’s “Weekend on the Waldorf!”

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