Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tonight's Movie: Two Guys From Milwaukee (1946)

TWO GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE is a lighthearted story in the tradition of PRINCESS O'ROURKE (1943) or ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953). Prince Henry (Dennis Morgan), from an unnamed European country, goes AWOL while on a visit to New York City. Henry meets a friendly cabbie, Buzz (Jack Carson), and learns the pleasures of being an ordinary American citizen. Henry also becomes a romantic rival for Buzz's girlfriend, Connie (Joan Leslie).

This is one of those movies that's not anything special but is nonetheless fun and entertaining. The cast has a good time together and takes the viewer along for the ride.

Morgan and Carson were frequent costars in the '40s, in dramas such as WINGS FOR THE EAGLE (1942) and light comedies and musicals such as THE TIME, THE PLACE AND THE GIRL (1946), TWO GUYS FROM TEXAS (1948) and IT'S A GREAT FEELING (1949). They had also previously teamed with Joan Leslie in the memorable drama THE HARD WAY (1943).

Throughout the film Janis Paige, who plays Connie's friend Polly, reminded me of someone; I finally realized that, in both looks and demeanor, she was a dead ringer for Tammy Lauren's Ginger in the TV series HOME FRONT, which was set during the '40s. After Paige's years at Warner Bros., she started working on Broadway, where she played the lead in the original Broadway cast of PAJAMA GAME. Doris Day played Paige's role in the Warner Bros. movie version.

The supporting cast includes Rosemary DeCamp, who makes the most of her smaller role in a personable turn as Carson's sister. S.Z. Sakall, John Ridgely, Franklin Pangborn, Charles Coleman, and child actress Patti Brady are also in the film. And be sure to look for a couple of amusing cameo appearances in the final scene of the movie.

TWO GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE was directed by longtime Warner Bros. director David Butler. It was shot in black and white and runs 90 minutes. The film was shown in the United Kingdom with the title ROYAL FLUSH; I guess Milwaukee was considered a hard sell outside the United States!

TWO GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE can be seen on Turner Classic Movies. The trailer is here.

Update: Here's more on Morgan and Carson from Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.

January 2016 Update: TWO GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE is now available on DVD from the Warner Archive. My review is here.


Blogger TOTALbystander said...

Having just watched it, I was just looking around for some background information on this entertaining little movie and I came across your solidly informative post. Really nice blog. Thank you and keep up the good work-!

1:26 PM  

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