Film & Water #44 – Susan Slept Here



Rob welcomes Steven Thompson from Booksteve’s Library to discuss Frank Tashlin’s bubbly 1954 romantic comedy SUSAN SLEPT HERE, starring Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds!

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4 responses to “Film & Water #44 – Susan Slept Here

  1. Well, you stumped me on this one. Sounds fun though. As for the May/December romance, you have to remember, back in the 50s, it wasn’t uncommon for an older man to marry a younger, even teenaged girl. Seems icky now, but that’s just cultural evolution at work. Heck, Hollywood STILL pairs younger actresses with older leading men, while a lot of the older leading ladies get put out to pasture, or into supporting roles.

    Several years back, I remember explaining to my son that the grandma in Disney Channel’s Halloweentown series of movies was Princess Leia’s mom. Mrs. Reynolds has really held up well. She still has that exuberant sparkle in her eyes. I call that star quality!


  2. Tashlin ran an animation unit for the Leon Schlesinger company, which produced the Warner cartoons, particularly in the 40s.

    Les Tremayne, aside from Mentor, was known to me as Edward Quartermaine, on General Hospital, during the big “Like & Laura” era, that included the whole James Bond riff they did, with the Ice Princess and and a weather machine. He also did voices for Chuck Jones’ post-Warner and MGM animation company, which produced several tv specials; but, especially, The Cricket in Times Square adaptations.

    I haven’t seen this one, though I’ve seen it on the Warner Archive site. Ironically, I started to watch It Started With a Kiss, also with Reynolds, also available from Warner Archive. I only started the film, though, where she is paired up with Glen Ford. She is a dancer who marries Ford, rather quickly, after a date. Meanwhile, he has also won a Ford Futura, which was the basis for the George Barris-designed Batmobile. They had just woken up, in bed together, after being married, when I had to turn off the film. I’ll have to finish it tonight.

    Reynolds and Ford also did a nice little comedy/mystery film (also at Warner Archive) called The Gazebo. I first saw it on Cinemax. The film features the pair as a couple, she is a dancer on Broadway and he is a tv producer, specializing in mysteries. He is being blackmailed by a crook, with photos taken in Reynolds’ past. He finally decides to bump off the blackmailer and devises what he thinks is a foolproof plan, which includes burying the body underneath the foundation of a new gazebo. Unfortunately, rain causes a problem with the foundation and both the police and the blackmailer’s former associates are looking for him. It includes John McGivers (Lord Beasley, the butterfly hunter on Gilligan’s Island and numerous character roles in comedies) as the builder who is installing the Gazebo, and Martin Landau as one of the crooks.

    That Ewan McGregor/Reese Witherspoon film is Down With Love (not Down By Love). It’s pretty good, though its a little shaky at the start. Its aided greatly by David Hyde Pierce, in the “Tony Randall” roll and Tony Randall, himself, in a cameo. It is a real tribute to those Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedies.

    Tashlin directed my favorite Jerry Lewis films, The Geisha Boy and Who’s Minding the Store?, as well as another favorite romantic comedy, The Glass Bottom Boat, with Doris Day and Rod Taylor, as well as Arthur Godfrey, Paul Lynde, and Dick Martin. There’s even a cameo of Robert Vaughn, where the UNCLE music is heard.

    This is why I enjoy the Warner Archives. not only is a great source for favorite tv movies and 60s and 70s cartoon series; it also features great movies like these that were good, solid, entertaining films; but, weren’t viewed as “classics.” They highlight stuff like this, the George Sanders Saint films, the Joe McDokes shorts (with George Hanlon, the voice of George Jetson) and so many more. They cover a variety of decades, too. They’ve also used it to continue releasing tv series sets, after they have proven not to be strong enough to mass retail. They’ve got it all over the other studios and some have even released their films through the Warner Archives, including Paramount and Fox.

    1. One other quick fun fact about Down With Love was that its director, Peyton Reed is now more well known to nerds as the director of Ant-Man and it’s upcoming sequel.

      1. Down With Love is really fun and the plot owes a lot to Pillow Talk. It’s fun to McGregor doing comedy and Randall is great in his cameo.

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