Hey, I should post one of these “review” things… Admittedly the allure of just tossing out something I find on Flickr each week is pretty strong, but this is what I’m “supposed” to be doing, after all. This entry is from the late ’30s, that most special of times, and this film is another fine example of why. Waiter, I’ll Take Romance.
I’ll Take Romance – The Film
This film is based on the romance of kidnapping. Just one of the many felonies made attractive by Hollywood’s lighthearted romantic comedies over the years. Fonts of juvenile delinquency worse than comic books; they are. Thanks to a better offer in Paris, Elsa Terry (Grace Moore), a budding opera singer, is contracted to do a show in Buenos Aires but isn’t going. James Guthrie (Melvyn Douglas), responsible for getting her to the Buenos Aires show, meets and ends up romancing her, but she still refuses to go. Elsa enjoys his company and, forewarned, plays along when Guthrie puts her on the “wrong” ship. That’s only the fake kidnapping in the film; later, there are more real ones. Lighthearted-romantic-comedy-immunity applies, though, and everyone lives happily ever after, instead of, you know, in a supermax facility.
I’ll Take Romance – The Furs
More Broadway divas in fur here, as actual-Broadway-turned-Hollywood star Grace Moore does almost all of the fur-wearing, and all of it you’d want to see. Grace’s character has an “aunt,” you see, the kind scraped up from the leftovers of Marie Dressler’s fat and wrinkles (Helen Westley), who disgraces a silver fox fur for a mercifully brief few seconds early in the film.
Elsa’s first fur is not only refreshingly unique but given quite a bit of screen time.
The silver fox fur trim on this dress is thick and heavy, just the way I like it.
One might say the 80’s big shoulder craze had nothing on this.
How do you boost your on-screen fur time? Easy, if you’re a musical, you do a number.
Elsa sings wearing the silver fox, accumulating an impressive seven minutes and some change in the big fur-trimmed dress.
This next one is kind of tricky because, while it suggests that it is pretty impressive, the age-old quandary of a black fox at night rears its… well, not precisely ugly… mostly just “hard to make out” head.
Most of the time, she’s wearing this it’s in the dark backseat of a cab or on the equally dark deck of the ship. However, she enters her stateroom very briefly, and we get a better idea of how nice it is.
Sadly this is a brief scene, but it does look rather lovely for these few seconds we can make it out.
To the marquee fur, a white fox cape, as usual. Also a pretty good example of why white fox should always be your “go-to” choice for evening fur filming. Because… you can see it.
And this one is, like most from this period, somewhat hard to miss.
Melvyn’s getting himself a handful. Easy there, cowboy.
This is a good sequence, giving up almost 3 minutes of white fox goodness. Sadly, Melvyn’s also in the frame the entire time.
The film doesn’t stop there, providing this shorter tidbit on the dock where Grace appears in a coat with a large fur collar.
This is pretty short, and while a lovely collar, it’s not a particular loss that we don’t see it for very long.
To cover absolutely everything, there is another sequence near the end where Grace wears a different fur-trimmed dress, but there’s not much fur, and it’s tough to see. Hard to film black fur even in the daytime. Even without this sequence, the ratio clocks in at an impressive 16%, so there’s no reason to pad the totals with it. The white fox cape is virtually definitive of the period and makes the film worth a look all by itself.
Fur Runtime: approx 14 minutes
Film Runtime: 85 minutes
On-Screen Fur Ratio: 16%