Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Too Many Girls - Authentic Region 1 from Warner Brothers with Lucille Ball|
When Connie Carlson heads for college far from home, her overprotective and cautious father hires four beefy bodyguards to watch over her. But soon the big guys get drafted to play varsity football -- leaving Connie free t... more »
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A college musical with a Rodgers & Hart score, when the co-e
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 08/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Too Many Girls is a charming, light-weight and vapid college musical based on the Broadway show by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. What it has going for it is a fine Rodgers & Hart score, enthusiastic and talented actors (several of whom, such as Eddie Bracken, Desi Arnaz, Hal LeRoy and Van Johnson, were re-creating their Broadway roles), a couple of first-rate production numbers and a nostalgic look at a long-ago time when co-eds wore beanies and college football was played just for the fun of it.
Connie Casey (Lucille Ball), the head-strong daughter of a rich industrialist who has been trying to keep her out of trouble, decides she wants to go to Pottawatomie University, her father's alma mater, in Stop Gap, New Mexico. Dad agrees, but secretly hires four college football stars as bodyguards. "Kelly," he says to one of them, "would you like a job? Good pay, long hours, hard work. You're not afraid of that, I suppose?" "Oh, no, sir," Clint says. "Good pay never frightened me any."
Connie, unknown to her Dad, has fallen for a famous British author who has a ranch near Stop Gap. The four new bodyguards are Clint Kelly (Richard Carlson), Jojo Jordan (Eddie Bracken), Al Terwilliger (Hal LeRoy) and Manuelito Lynch (Desi Arnaz). Once everyone is enrolled, things do not go smoothly. There are lovely co-eds to distract our bodyguards (the ratio of male to female at Pottawatomie is 1 to 10). There is the football team that desperately needs help if it is ever to win a game. There are all those creaking jokes. When Jojo is surrounded by cute and adoring Pottawatomie co-eds one day, he's asked if he'd ever dated any of those eastern girls. "Oh, I went with a senior at Wellesley," Jojo tells them. "They're all air-conditioned." "What do you mean, air-conditioned?" "Forty degrees cooler in the house than on the street."
Mainly, there is Connie to be kept from her paramour, which is both made easier and more difficult when Clint falls for her, Connie reciprocates and then finds out he was sent to keep an eye on her. Well, Connie is hurt and angry. She decides to leave Pottawatomie on the night train going back east...and her football-playing bodyguards must go with her. But wait. There's a crucial game the next day. Without Clint, Jojo, Al and Manuelito there's no hope that Pottawatomie can win. Only if Connie realizes how much she loves Clint and relents can our boys play. I know you're in suspense over what Connie decides, but I don't believe in spoilers. You'll have to watch the movie.
The primary reason to see the movie is the Rodgers & Hart score. This was the only film version of a Thirties Rodgers & Hart production that even remotely resembled the Broadway original. The score has one classic, "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and one near classic written specifically for the movie, "You're Nearer." Since this is a college movie, Rodgers & Hart came up with some real rousers; pep songs before a game and victory songs after: "'Cause We Got Cake," "Spic and Spanish" and "Look Out." The climax is a near hallucinogenic production number that features a bonfire, pulsing rhythm, flickering shadows and Desi Arnaz sweating and beating a bongo drum while he struts amidst the cheering throng. Rodgers & Hart also came up with a lovely, gentle gem of a song that demonstrates why Hart was one of the best in the business:
Love never went to college.
Ignorant boy, that,
But think of the joy that he starts.
His work requires no knowledge
So he can do it
By using intuitive arts.
He just says, "You two kids
Start falling in love
I ain't got brains
But I reigns over all these parts."
Love never went to college.
Never had teaching
But yet he keeps reaching our hearts!
The lyric is conversational, but note the clever, interior rhymes. The phrase, "I ain't got brains but I reigns over all these parts" is pure Hart...something that seems just amusing at first hearing and then seems perfect at the second, especially when matched with Rodgers lovely melody. It's like a little extra drop of vinegar that makes an already fine dressing superb.
Lucille Ball is a knock-out. Richard Carlson is stalwart and a bit wooden. This was Eddie Bracken's first movie and he's great...especially when he sings his version of "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." Hal LeRoy, like Bracken, is around to provide comic relief. He was a gifted and distinctive dancer. He has one tap segment in the Spic and Spanish number which is extraordinary. He's not only fast, but his knees seem to be double-jointed. Desi Arnaz makes a funny and endearing impression as the guy who is always ready for a game or a dame. Frances Langford, long forgotten by most nowadays, was a pop singer of style and great popularity during the Forties. She does a fine job as the student body president. She does an even finer job singing some of the songs. Ann Miller is there to do her machine-gun taps and precision twirls. And although Van Johnson is unbilled (he's listed on IMDb as Chorus Boy Nr. 41), his one line is vital to Pottawatomie and to the movie. "We won the game, so help me!"
The movie is part of the Lucy & Desi Collection, a three-movie DVD pack. Too Many Girls can be bought separately, easily and legitimately from any number of dealers who have broken the pack down. The DVD transfer is a little soft, but otherwise looks fine. There are a couple of small extras. The first is a short subject featuring an all-woman orchestra, Frances Carroll and the Cocquettes. The second is a Merrie Melodies cartoon that Warner Brothers now thinks requires a warning statement disavowing the ethnic and racial sterotypes the cartoon displays.
For those who enjoy Rodgers & Hart, you might want to find two CDs. The first is "Too Many Girls," the full score of the Broadway show, re-created by Ben Bagley in 1989 and featuring Estelle Parsons, Anthony Perkins, Johnny Desmond and Nancy Alexander. The cast may seem a little eccentric, but they do a superb job capturing the spirit of the show. The second CD is "Fly With Me", a re-creation of a Columbia University varsity show Rodgers, when he was 17, wrote with Hart. Rodgers, among his many talents, could write a powerful college pep song. On this CD, look for "A College on Broadway." It'll have you marching around your house."
Joseph Hart | Visalia, CA United States | 06/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To begin with, this item is apparently a rip. 3 Lucy/Desi movies come boxed together for about $22 on Amazon. It looks like this guy just took one of the discs out of the box and jacked up the price. My niece is a Lucy lover, so I bought the set, kept Too Many Girls (I'm a R&H lover), and gave her the other two. My disc cost about about $7.
Out of the 13 or 14 original songs (this is a movie version of a stage show), they kept about 5, adding a new one for the flick (You're Nearer, not sung by Lucy incidentally). I don't think the song Look Out! had a lyric by Hart. I think Rodgers wrote it. As everyone knows, Hart was hell to work with, and in this show, Rodgers (Hart couldn't be found) wrote the words to 2 or 3 of the songs. I have no proof that Rodgers wrote the words to this one (Hart is always given credit), but it sounds like a clumsy imitation of a Hart lyric.
The plot is fairly simple (but there IS a plot), Eddie Bracken has all the jokes and he's wonderful at it (except Desi's character and personality are humorous). The music melts in your mouth. Two comedy songs I adore (My Prince, and Give It Back To The Indians) were left out, much to my disappointment. The lyrics to those songs (like just about all Hart lyrics) were wonderful. (They'd have truncated Indians anyway, which would have been worse than leaving it out altogether, which they did.)
The picture and sound were fine. Ann Miller made a peculiar Latin. And didn't dance enough. I highly recommend this flick to anyone who likes musicals, and R&H musicals in particular. Only I suggest you buy the 3-pack Lucy & Desi Collection for $22 and, if you don't want them, give the other 2 flickers to someone who does. One last note. Lucy and Desi don't speak a word to each other in this movie! It's in BW. The other 2 movies are in color and are Lucy and Desi all the way."