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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

IT’S A PLEASURE (1945)


Two years after leaving FOX, Sonja Henie, Hollywood’s one & only skating movie star, made this indie comeback pic. It’s not the expected low-budget Poverty Row vehicle, nor one of those star turns in a British pic from a fading diva (the war, ya know). Nope, it’s a big, expensive, homegrown TechniColor extravaganza with a veteran hack (William A. Seiter) megging. They even got a legit release with a pickup from RKO. It’s got everything! Sonja skates! Sonja jumps . . . a bit. Sonja spins like a whirlwind, still damned impressive! And Sonja is more pert than ever in color! What it hasn’t got is a story to tell or sensible dialogue or decent gags or characters that make a lick of sense. The supporting cast are barely functional and the leading male is the underwhelming Michael O’Shea. He’s a hockey player with a fierce Irish temper and their on-again/off-again relationship is what passes for a plot. It’s hard to see why she’s so gosh darn loyal to this mug. Yet, the print is in such spectacular condition (you can actually see the thin sheet of water covering the performance ice which is how they got that crystal clear mirror effect) and the entire package is so peculiar, that’s it’s worth a look. Once.

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