|Smartest Girl in Town|
|Directed by||Joseph Santley|
|Screenplay by||Viola Brothers Shore|
|Story by|| Muriel Scheck |
H. S. Kraft
|Produced by||Edward Kaufman|
|Starring|| Gene Raymond |
|Cinematography||J. Roy Hunt, A.S.C.|
|Edited by||Jack Hively|
|Music by||No credit listed.|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.|
Smartest Girl in Town is a 1936 American comedy film directed by Joseph Santley, written by Viola Brothers Shore,and starring Gene Raymond, Ann Sothern, Helen Broderick, Eric Blore, Erik Rhodes and Harry Jans. It was released on November 27, 1936, by RKO Pictures.
Model "Cookie" Cooke (Ann Sothern) is urged by her unsatisfactorily married practical older sister Gwen (Helen Broderick) to find a wealthy husband. On a modeling assignment she runs into millionaire Dick Smith (Gene Raymond), but assumes him to be a low-earning male model. Dick falls in love with her, but she insists on dating eccentrically mannered Italian aristocrat Baron Enrico (Erik Rhodes). Dick installs another mannered character, his valet Philbean (Eric Blore) in the position of a casting agency president who would then pair Cookie on the same pre-arranged modeling jobs with Dick. Ultimately, Baron Enrico, who is so obsessed with birds that he cannot concentrate on romance long enough to propose, is goaded by Gwen into presenting Cookie with an engagement ring. Forced to act fast, Dick pretends to have attempted suicide by a gunshot to the head and asks Cookie to marry him on his deathbed, but she tastes the "ketchup blood" on his face and then embraces him.
RKO Pictures was also the studio which produced the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers series of films, thus Smartest Girl's comic supporting players, Helen Broderick, Eric Blore and Erik Rhodes, all had prominent roles in the previous year's Astaire-Rogers hit, Top Hat . Furthermore, two months before Smartest Girl's release, Blore and Broderick were seen in the dancing duo's very successful 1936 effort, Swing Time and, the previous year, had been in another RKO musical comedy, To Beat the Band . As for Blore and Rhodes, both had earlier appeared in the first Astaire-Rogers vehicle, 1934's The Gay Divorcee and also interacted as comedy relief in two other RKOs, the 1935 musical Old Man Rhythm and the 1936 murder mystery Two in the Dark .
One additional Astaire-Rogers title for RKO, the pair's initial teaming as supporting players in 1933's Flying Down to Rio , starred Gene Raymond (with leading lady Dolores del Río) and included Eric Blore as the typically mannered assistant hotel manager, Mr. Butterbass. Blore also supported Raymond in two other films, the 1934 Paramount drama Behold My Wife! (minor role as Benson, the butler) and the 1935 RKO mystery-comedy Seven Keys to Baldpate (third-billed, after co-star Margaret Callahan, in the key role of Harrison who masqueraded as Professor Bolton). The same year, Blore sported a French accent playing a major, fourth-billed role, in the musical comedy Folies Bergère de Paris , with top-tier stars Maurice Chevalier, Merle Oberon and Smartest Girl's Ann Sothern.
The last of the five 1935–37 RKO vehicles for Gene Raymond and Ann Sothern was She's Got Everything , with third-billed Victor Moore and fourth-billed Helen Broderick. In addition to the two films with Raymond and Sothern, Broderick also supported Raymond in three other RKO romantic comedies, 1936's Love on a Bet (third-billed, after co-star Wendy Barrie) and The Bride Walks Out (fifth-billed, after the other two leads, Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Young and supporting player Ned Sparks) as well as 1937's The Life of the Party , a Joe Penner vehicle, with Raymond as co-star and, for comedy support, Parkyakarkus, Harriet Hilliard, Victor Moore and Broderick. It was the third of six RKO films in which was teamed with Victor Moore. In addition to the Astaire-Rogers Swing Time and the Raymond-Sothern She's Got Everything , they were given two 1937 B-picture starring vehicles, We're on the Jury and Meet the Missus , as well as roles among the numerous players in the following year's Bob "Bazooka" Burns–Jack Oakie-Kenny Baker musical comedy, Radio City Revels .
The Gay Divorcee is a 1934 American musical film directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It also features Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, and Erik Rhodes. The screenplay was written by George Marion Jr., Dorothy Yost, and Edward Kaufman. Robert Benchley, H. W. Hanemann, and Stanley Rauh made uncredited contributions to the dialogue. It was based on the Broadway musical Gay Divorce, written by Dwight Taylor, which had been adapted into a musical by Kenneth S. Webb and Samuel Hoffenstein from an unproduced play by J. Hartley Manners.
Top Hat is a 1935 American musical screwball comedy film in which Fred Astaire plays an American tap dancer named Jerry Travers, who comes to London to star in a show produced by Horace Hardwick. He meets and attempts to impress Dale Tremont to win her affection. The film also features Eric Blore as Hardwick's valet Bates, Erik Rhodes as Alberto Beddini, a fashion designer and rival for Dale's affections, and Helen Broderick as Hardwick's long-suffering wife Madge.
Ginger Rogers was an American actress, dancer, and singer during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring role in Kitty Foyle (1940), and performed during the 1930s in RKO's musical films with Fred Astaire. Her career continued on stage, radio and television throughout much of the 20th century.
Fred Astaire was an American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, and television presenter. He is widely considered the greatest dancer in film history.
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle is a 1939 American biographical musical comedy directed by H.C. Potter. The film stars Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver, and Walter Brennan. The film is based on the stories My Husband and My Memories of Vernon Castle, by Irene Castle. The movie was adapted by Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Yost and Richard Sherman. This was Astaire and Rogers' ninth and last film together with RKO. Their final pairing was The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) at MGM.
Eric Blore Sr. was an English actor and writer. His early stage career, mostly in the West End of London, centred on revue and musical comedy, but also included straight plays. He wrote sketches for and appeared in variety. In the 1930s Blore acted mostly in Broadway productions. He made his last London appearance in 1933 in the Fred Astaire hit Gay Divorce. Between 1930 and 1955 he made more than 60 Hollywood films, becoming particularly well known for playing butlers and other superior domestic servants. He retired in 1956 for health reasons, and died in Hollywood in 1959 at the age of 71.
Swing Time is a 1936 American musical comedy film, the sixth of ten starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Directed by George Stevens for RKO, it features Helen Broderick, Victor Moore, Betty Furness, Eric Blore and Georges Metaxa, with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Set mainly in New York City, the film follows a gambler and dancer, "Lucky" (Astaire), who is trying to raise money to secure his marriage when he meets dance instructor Penny (Rogers) and begins dancing with her; the two soon fall in love and are forced to reconcile their feelings.
Gay Divorce is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Dwight Taylor, adapted by Kenneth Webb and Samuel Hoffenstein. It was Fred Astaire's last Broadway show and featured the hit song "Night and Day" in which Astaire danced with co-star Claire Luce.
Flying Down to Rio is a 1933 American pre-Code RKO musical film famous for being the first screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, although Dolores del Río and Gene Raymond received top billing and the leading roles. Among the featured players are Franklin Pangborn and Eric Blore. The songs in the film were written by Vincent Youmans (music), Gus Kahn and Edward Eliscu (lyrics), with musical direction and additional music by Max Steiner. During the initial year that a Best Original Song was given during 7th Academy Awards, the film obtained a nomination for MUSIC (Song) – "Carioca," Music by Vincent Youmans; Lyrics by Edward Eliscu and Gus Kahn [came in 3rd]. Ironically, the song lost to The Continental from The Gay Divorcee, the subsequent film of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers after Flying Down to Rio.
That's Entertainment, Part II is a 1976 American compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and a sequel to That's Entertainment! (1974). Like the previous film, That's Entertainment, Part II was a retrospective of famous films released by MGM from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Erik Rhodes was an American film and Broadway singer and actor. He is best remembered today for appearing in two classic Hollywood musical films with the popular dancing team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: The Gay Divorcee (1934) and Top Hat (1935).
Helen Broderick was an American actress known for her comic roles, especially as a wisecracking sidekick.
Gene Raymond was an American film, television, and stage actor of the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to acting, Raymond was also a singer, composer, screenwriter, director, producer, and decorated military pilot.
Bernard Newman was the head designer for Bergdorf Goodman and head costume designer for RKO Pictures. He designed costumes for some 35 movies, including costumes for Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball and Helen Broderick. He was posthumously included in the Costume Designers Guild Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Bride Walks Out is a 1936 American romantic comedy film directed by Leigh Jason and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Raymond, and Robert Young. Based on an original story by Howard Emmett Rogers, the film is about a woman forced to give up her job as a fashion model by her new husband. Unable to meet her financial obligations, the woman secretly gets another job. The Bride Walks Out was the first of six films Edward Small made at RKO.
Radio City Revels is a 1938 American musical comedy film directed by Benjamin Stoloff and starring Bob Burns, Jack Oakie and Ann Miller.
Seven Keys to Baldpate is a 1935 film directed by William Hamilton and Edward Killy and starring Gene Raymond and Eric Blore. It is one of several filmed versions based on the popular 1913 play.
Hooray for Love is a 1935 American musical comedy film directed by Walter Lang from a screenplay by Lawrence Hazard and Ray Harris, which was based on an unpublished story by Marc Lachmann titled The Show Must Go On. Starring Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond, they were supported by Bill Robinson, Maria Gambarelli, Thurston Hall, and Pert Kelton; the film was released by RKO on June 14, 1935.
Walking on Air is a 1936 American comedy film starring Gene Raymond and Ann Sothern, with a supporting cast which includes Jessie Ralph and Henry Stephenson. It was directed by Joseph Santley using a screenplay by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Viola Brothers Shore, and Rian James, based on the short story, "Count Pete", written by Francis M. Cockrell. Produced by RKO Radio Pictures, they released the film on September 11, 1936.
She's Got Everything is a 1937 American romantic comedy directed by Joseph Santley using a screenplay by Harry Segall and Maxwell Shane, based on a story by Shane and Joseph Hoffman. The film stars Gene Raymond and Ann Sothern, with supporting performances by Victor Moore, Helen Broderick, Parkyakarkus, and Billy Gilbert. RKO Radio Pictures produced and distributed the picture, which was released on the final day of 1937.