Friday, July 27, 2012

"We're Not Dressing" with Carole Lombard and Bing Crosby (1934)

Carole Lombard, as heiress Dorothy Worthington; along with a very young Ethel Merman as her friend Edith; take a trip aboard Dorothy’s yacht, which is captained by the inimitable Leon Errol. Bing Crosby plays a deckhand hopelessly smitten with Ms. Lombard, not realizing that she has fallen for him as well. There is even a real trained bear who is infatuated with Bing Crosby’s singing.  Add in the yacht hitting a reef, with all finding their way to a seemingly deserted island; even the bear swims in this film; and you have a recipe for a good old fashioned madcap comedy.

When they begin to set up camp ashore; all eyes turn towards the deckhand to provide them with food and shelter. He refuses, arguing that they are now outside of civilized society, and as such, it is now all for one, and one for all. When they refuse, he leaves the group to go fishing for himself.
Unknown to all of them is the presence on the island of 2 biologists; Gracie Allen and George Burns. When Dorothy finds them in the jungle, she resorts to a bit of cunning in order to borrow some tools, which she then lets Bing Crosby “find” in order to build a shelter. She has been very high handed with him and he has refused all of her attentions; so what better way to win him back than to have him believe he is “the man?”

There is great acting by everyone in this film. Ethel Merman is a standout; even at this early stage of her career you can see that she is going to be big. Leon Errol is also wonderfully vibrant as, well, Leon Errol playing a yacht captain. And with Bing singing his way into Carol Lombard’s heart, this film is just plain fun to watch.

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