Movie Mirrors Index

Ice Follies of 1939

(1939 b 82')

En: 5 Ed: 4


A marriage of ice skaters is divided when she becomes a movie star; but he becomes her equal by producing ice follies.

Barney (Charles D. Brown) tells Larry Hall (James Stewart) and Eddie Burgess (Lew Ayres) that their ice-skating act is fired; but Larry tells Mary McKay (Joan Crawford) that he quit, promising they will become stars. The car of Douglas Tolliver (Lewis Stone) hits Eddie's, and Tolliver gives him his card. Larry and Mary tell Eddie that they are married. Mary goes to see movie executive Tolliver and asks for $10 car damage. He gives her a contract for $75 a week that says she can't marry without his consent. At breakfast Mary rehearses for her test with Larry and Eddie. Larry brings groceries, and Eddie says he is going back east and leaves despite Larry's objections. Mary comes back with dark hair, and Larry serves dinner. Mary returns from her premiere in a fur coat and drunk, saying she is getting more money.

Larry leaves to become her equal and asks Mort Hodges (Lionel Stander) to put on his ice follies. Eddie and Kitty (Bess Ehrhardt) come in, and Mort tells Larry that he found $50,000 backing. Eddie learns that he didn't; but they manage to put on the show. Larry's ice follies perform with Shipstad and Johnson and are a success. Mary tells Tolliver that she wants to go to New York, and he says she will open her picture there.

Larry tells Eddie that he didn't get to talk with Mary at the airport. Mary calls Larry that she'll get away, and they meet in the park. Mary says she is going back to start a new picture, and Larry realizes that separated stars are lonely. Larry hears Mary speak on radio that she is quitting to go back to her husband, and he cheers. Tolliver hires Larry to produce movies. In the color sequences an audience watches the movie Larry produced with Mary and ice skating. Mary tells Larry that she should have skated, but he and Tolliver disagree. Mary sings the finale, and in the audience Larry kisses her.

In this Hollywood fairy-tale a woman becomes a star in one year, and her husband becomes a successful producer even faster. Although the studio attempts to control her marrying, they survive the separation caused by her career and his discomfort with being supported by his wife.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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