Thursday, March 13, 2014

Maisie Gets Her Man (1942)

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Maisie Gets Her Man finds the heroine Maisie Ravier (Ann Sothern) in Chicago in a stage show as an assistant. The man she was working for goes out of his mind over a woman who left. He takes his frustration out on Maisie by almost killing her, not on purpose, when he tries to perform a stunt by throwing knives at a board behind her. Backstage Maisie has enough of the guy’s carelessness and frustration and she punches him. After the punch she gets fired.
            The following day Maisie heads down to a casting agency. In the casting office she comes across Hap Hixby (Red Skelton). He pulls a goofy gag that does not put Maisie in a good mood. As she walks out of the casting office Maisie comes across an old friend named Pappy Goodring. He had seen her in an act years ago and really liked her. Pappy walks Maisie around the building which he is manager of. He gives her a small job around the building. Pappy takes Maisie out to lunch at a small pool hall. All the guys think Maisie is with Pappy but she quickly changes their minds. Of all the places to have lunch Hap shows up and just gets into trouble by trying to show Maisie some tricks. During the course of lunch, though, Maisie softens up to Hap when he tells her that he gave up on a decent job to pursue his dream of being a performer. Maisie decides to work with Hap on a new act he wants to try.
            Their practice goes well and all seems well until they actually get on the stage. Hap completely freezes up and blows their chance at a gig. He runs back to the hotel where Maisie finds him. She gives him a good pep talk and they are still on good terms. Maisie winds up talking Hap into trying to get a job with a Mr. Denningham who has an office in Pappy’s building. Hap gets the job and asks Denningham if there might be a job for Maisie and she gets one as well. Denningham claims to be selling a mineral water but really it is bathtub gin.
            Pappy loses his job after the building’s owner, Mr. Stickwell, becomes upset with him for not being able to collect rent from the building’s tenants. Maisie and Hap try to help by talking to Stickwell. They give him some of Denningham’s water and they drink some themselves and all of them wind up getting accidentally drunk. Maisie and Hap wind up getting Pappy his job back. Also they wind up confessing to each other that they have feelings for each other. Maisie tells Hap to tell her he loves her the next day so she knows his feelings for her are true and not just a drunken confession. Unfortunately for both of them Hap’s fiancée Elsie comes into town that day. Neither Hap nor Maisie are very happy to see Elsie. As Maisie leaves the office the police come looking for Denningham. Only Hap is there and he gets arrested since he was made president of the company.
            Some time later Maisie is part of a pretty successful singing/performing act. At a benefit down in Georgia she sees Denningham mingling with the guests. She gets a hold of Pappy in Chicago to have him get in touch with the police in Georgia. To keep Denningham around she tells him that she had been trying to swing Hap for her own job but he got to Hap first. This puts Maisie on Denningham’s good side and makes him stay close to her until the cops come.
            Hap is released from jail and is serving in the army. Maisie and her group perform for his company. Hap comes on stage and performs an impromptu gag which was the one he was supposed to perform back in Chicago.
            Of course Hap and Maisie wind up together.
            Ann Sothern is as always an absolute delight and absolute panic as Maisie Ravier. She gets to sing and dance in this film. I was not a fan of her singing too much. Red Skelton really does not usually do anything for he is too goofy but he was good in this. I liked him paired with Ann Sotherm.

            Maisie Gets Her Man was cute but it is not the best Maisie I have seen so far. I do not think I liked it as much because Maisie was not really a tough cookie it seems as if her attitude and determination and toughness were toned down. But I will say Maisie Gets Her Man is worth seeing because the character of Maisie Ravier is wonderful.