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A Damsel In Distress

(1937 b 101')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from a story and play by P. G. Wodehouse, an American dancer, publicized as a womanizer, courts and wins the daughter of an English earl in this Gershwin musical.

Servants bet with lots on who Lady Alyce will wed, and young Albert (Harry Watson) gets the unknown American. Jerry Halliday (Fred Astaire) complains to his publicity man (George Burns) that women chase him or run from him. Alyce Marshmorton (Joan Fontaine) gets in Jerry's cab to avoid Keggs (Reginald Gardiner). Jerry hits a policeman with an umbrella, runs off, and sings "I Can't Be Bothered." Alyce tells her father John Marshmorton (Montagu Love) that she won't marry Reggie (Ray Noble). Keggs was arrested, and Lady Caroline Marshmorton (Constance Collier) orders Alyce to stay home. Albert sends Jerry a letter from Alyce inviting him. George and Gracie (Allen) tour the castle, but Keggs keeps Jerry out. Albert takes Jerry in with the singers, who sing "The Jolly Tar and the Milkmaid." Albert takes Jerry to Alyce, who says that she is in love. Jerry goes out before Caroline comes in. Jerry gives a note to John in the garden for Alyce.

Jerry, George, and Gracie rent a bungalow nearby. Albert warns Jerry to leave before John comes. Jerry criticizes the earl, and John throws Albert out. John gives Jerry a letter from Alyce and tells Jerry that she loves him. Jerry, George, and Gracie dance. At a carnival Jerry meets Alyce in the tunnel of love and kisses her, but she slaps him. Gracie sings "Stiff Upper Lip," and she dances with Jerry and George among the amusements. Alyce tells her father John that she changed her mind and now loves Jerry. Keggs threatens to fire Albert until he gives him his lottery ticket on the American. Alyce calls on Jerry to apologize and explain. Jerry sings "Things Are Looking Up." Albert cries and shows Alyce the news story of Alyce as Jerry's 28th victim. Alyce orders Jerry to be kept out and never wants to see him again.

Outside Jerry sings "A Foggy Day in Londontown." Keggs now helps Jerry get in. Women and Jerry sing "Nice Work If You Can Get It." Alyce is cool toward Jerry. Gracie agrees to marry Reggie but kisses George. Keggs sings opera he loves passionately. John encourages Jerry to be bold, and Jerry goes to Alyce's room. She says she does not want to be #28. Meanwhile Caroline tells John that Alyce must marry Jerry to avoid scandal. Alyce and Jerry agree to marry before Caroline comes in. Jerry leaps into a tree to please Alyce. George invites Gracie on a honeymoon, and Jerry tap dances with drums.

This film entertains mostly with Gracie's funny lines, the songs, dancing, and some humorous situations. The American gets the girl.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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