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Ready, Willing and Able
     

Ready, Willing and Able

Director: Ray Enright,

Cast: Ray Enright, Ruby Keeler, Lee Dixon, Allen Jenkins

 
The Warner Bros. musicals began running out of gas in the late 1930s, yielding such lukewarm efforts as Ready, Willing and Able. Ruby Keeler, as charmingly ingenuous as ever, plays Jane, a college student with show-biz aspirations. In order to land a role in an upcoming Broadway spectacular, Jane impersonates famous British stage luminary Jane Clarke (and never

Overview

The Warner Bros. musicals began running out of gas in the late 1930s, yielding such lukewarm efforts as Ready, Willing and Able. Ruby Keeler, as charmingly ingenuous as ever, plays Jane, a college student with show-biz aspirations. In order to land a role in an upcoming Broadway spectacular, Jane impersonates famous British stage luminary Jane Clarke (and never mind that her British accent is as transparent as a plastic bag). On the strength of Jane's supposed reputation, fly-by-night producers Pinky Blair (Lee Dixon) and Barry Granville (Ross Alexander) convince a movie studio to pony up the money for their Broadway show. The trouble begins when the real Jane Clarke shows up, threatening lawsuits left and right. Somehow, Pinky and Barry are able to make both of their leading ladies happy, and the show goes on. The film's solitary musical highlight is "Too Marvelous For Words," performed by a battalion of leggy chorines on a huge typewriter; curiously, this very famous sequence was barely mentioned at all in the original reviews for Ready, Willing and Able. Sadly, co-star Ross Alexander died before the film was released nationally.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Definitely a second-tier musical, Ready, Willing and Able is remembered today for its "typewriter" staging, set to the wonderful Johnny Mercer-Richard Whiting song, "Too Marvelous for Words." It definitely is a memorable five minutes, although it must be admitted that this is due more to conception than execution. It's not that the execution is bad, mind you, for Bobby Connolly's staging is sprightly and engaging, and the number is certainly satisfying. It's simply that one can't help but imagine what Busby Berkeley (in his prime) would have done with the same idea, taking the number to dizzying new heights. Even without Berkeley, however, "Marvelous" makes a deep impression for the sheer surreality of it all. Ready features a couple of other pleasant if undistinguished songs, as well as a tired story that stretches credulity in any number of places. Ruby Keeler and Lee Dixon perform their numbers well; they do less well in the dialogue scenes. Ross Alexander is quite fine in his dialogue, but far too obviously dubbed when singing. And Winifred Shaw score solidly throughout. Throw in some nice bits by Teddy Hart and Louise Fazenda, and the result is an accommodating if generally unexceptional little tuner.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/02/2009
UPC:
0883316164501
Original Release:
1937
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:33:00
Sales rank:
51,891

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ruby Keeler Jane Clarke
Lee Dixon Pinky Blair
Allen Jenkins Jay Van Courtland
Louise Fazenda Clara Heineman
Carol Hughes Angie
Ross Alexander Barry Granville
Winifred Shaw Jane Clarke
Teddy Hart Yip Nolan
Hugh O'Connell Truman Hardy
Addison Richards Edward McNeil
Shaw and Lee Moving Man
E.E. Clive Sir Samuel Buffington
Jane Wyman Dot
May Boley Mrs. Beadle
Charles Halton Brockman
Adrian Rosley Angelo the Tailor
Barnett Parker Reginald Fortescue
Elsa Buchanan Maid
Sol (Saul) Gorss Cameraman
Dick Jones Kid
Lillian Kemble-Cooper Mrs. Buffington
Milt Kibbee Steward
Carlyle Moore Actor
Dennis Moore Reporter
Gertrude Pedlar Actor
Cliff Saum Yip's Assistant
William Worthington Eldery Couple

Technical Credits
Ray Enright Director
Sam Bischoff Producer
Bobby Connolly Choreography
Warren B. Duff Screenwriter
Douglas Gould Editor
Sig Herzig Screenwriter
Sol Polito Cinematographer
Jerry Wald Screenwriter
Richard A. Whiting Score Composer

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