Betty Hutton is a hurricane of nonstop action as the Jazz Age nightclub hostess and personality "Texas" Guinan, whose "Hello suckers!" salutation became a watchword of the Roaring Twenties. Some liberties are taken with Guinan's story, and nowhere does the film touch upon her numerous brushes with the law when she fronted illegal speakeasies, but INCENDIARY...read more
Betty Hutton is a hurricane of nonstop action as the Jazz Age nightclub hostess and personality "Texas" Guinan, whose "Hello suckers!" salutation became a watchword of the Roaring Twenties. Some liberties are taken with Guinan's story, and nowhere does the film touch upon her numerous
brushes with the law when she fronted illegal speakeasies, but INCENDIARY BLONDE does capture the flavor of the era. The story opens in 1909: Mary Louise Cecilia Guinan lives with her shiftless but lovable father (Barry Fitzgerald), a hopeless dreamer whose schemes always backfire with disastrous
financial results. To shore up his latest failure, she enters a rodeo and wins $50 riding a bucking bronco. Soon, she launches a career on Broadway, aided by Tim Callahan (Bill Goodwin), to whom she is briefly married; later, bootlegger Bill Kilgannon (Arturo De Cordova) enters her life, making
her alternately happy and miserable. She escapes him by going to Hollywood and appearing in silent films, including westerns, then heads back east during Prohibition to become "Queen of the Nightclubs" (as Guinan's one talkie, a 1929 Warner Bros. film, was also titled), and much of INCENDIARY
BLONDE concerns the following decade, from 1923 to 1933, when Guinan died at the age of 49. The soundtrack and the star's belting delivery may require earplugs, but Hutton provides enormous entertainment, the production numbers are lavish, and the era is well profiled in sets and costuming in this
film, ably directed by George Marshall. Songs include: "It Had to Be You" (Gus Kahn, Isham Jones, sung by Hutton), "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" (Maurice Abrahams, Lewis F. Muir, Grant Clarke; sung by Hutton), "Sweet Genevieve" (Henry Tucker, George Cooper; sung by Fitzgerald, chorus), "Oh By Jingo" (Lew
Brown, Albert von Tilzer; sung by Hutton, chorus), "Row, Row, Row" (William Jerome, James V. Monaco; sung by Hutton), "Darktown Strutters Ball" (Shelton Brooks, Rocco on the piano), "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For" (Howard Johnson, Joseph McCarthy; sung by Hutton), "Ida, Sweet as
Apple Cider" (Eddie Leonard, Eddie Munson), "Runnin' on Empty" (Glenn Fry, Miller Huggins, sung by Wendy O. Williams).
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