The Incredible Inman: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour starred in 1943 musical variety revue
By David Inman
Published: Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
Question: I am trying to find out the name of a movie that was released in 1943. It was a musical variety revue that included a multitude of cameo appearances by the top stars of that period. I believe that Betty Hutton was the title star. About all that I can recall about the picture was a song sung by Dorothy Lamour and Veronica Lake. The song might help you identify the movie. It was “A Sweater, a Sarong, and a Peek-a-boo Bang.” It never made the Top 40. Please, can you tell me if it is on DVD?
Answer: That's the 1942 film “Star-Spangled Rhythm,” which featured cameo appearances by most of the stars under contract to Paramount Pictures at the time, including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Ray Milland, Mary Martin, Dick Powell, Fred MacMurray, Paulette Goddard and Alan Ladd. It's on DVD.
Q: My husband and I watch “Gold Rush” on The Discovery Channel, and we think Joe Mantegna from “Criminal Minds” is the narrator. Are we right?
A: Nope. The narrator is a fellow named Paul Christie.
Q: Back in the 1960s, I remember watching a cartoon on TV. It was about a mother hen who complained to her youngster, a male fowl, about her husband who ran off and abandoned the family for the life of a sea captain. The whole time she's trying to talk her young boy out of his dream to follow in his dad's footsteps. However, despite her cackling, when she asks him if he still wants to be a sailor, he says, “Yes” and mom goes crazy. Can you tell me the title of this cartoon and where it might be found?
A: That's the 1937 Looney Tunes cartoon “I Wanna Be a Sailor,” and you can watch it at youtube.com.
Q: A friend of mine mentioned a World War II movie, and he can remember only the story, not the title or the actors. It sounds good, so I'm hoping you can help us find out the title so we can see it — me for the first time, him for the second time. It is a British film in black and white. A young, shy and insecure couple meet and fall in love and get married. When the war breaks out, they each go off to military service. Their time in the military changes each of them, and when the war is over, they come home, each of them a new person, and that creates challenges for each of them personally and also for their relationship. Any ideas?
A: That's the good little 1945 film “Vacation From Marriage,” with Robert Donat as the man and Deborah Kerr as the woman. The cast includes Glynis Johns and Roland Culver. The movie's on DVD.
Q: I know that Tim Allen is the voice on the Chevrolet commercials, but is he also the voice on the Campbell Soup commercials?
Q: I would like to know the words to the theme song of “Maravack.” The tune keeps popping up in my head, and all I can remember is “Maravack is the legend of the west.”
A: Repeat after me:
And follow the bouncing bal:
Who is the tall, dark stranger there?
Maverick is the name.
Ridin' the trail to who knows where,
Luck is his companion,
Gamblin' is his game.
Smooth as the handle on a gun.
Maverick is the name.
Wild as the wind in Oregon,
Blowin' up a canyon,
Easier to tame.
Riverboat, ring your bell,
Fare thee well, Annabel.
Luck is the lady that he loves the best.
Natchez to New Orleans
Livin' on jacks and queens
Maverick is a legend of the west!
Q: I am looking for the name of an Edward G. Robinson movie. He and two others operate a luggage store as a front so they can dig a tunnel into a bank. The luggage store is a huge success even though they did not set out to do that. Any ideas?
A: That's the 1942 film “Larceny, Inc.,” which also stars Jane Wyman, Jack Carson, Broderick Crawford and, in a small role, Jackie Gleason.
Q: I was watching an episode of “The Dukes of Hazzard” recently that featured a kind of rustic “Three's Company” trio, a guy named Mason Dixon and two knockout young women. Apparently, they traveled around, North and South, working out of a gadget-filled RV and doing good. It certainly looked like a spin-off in the making but I do not recall a program called Mason Dixon. Did Mason and his ladies get their own show?
A: The “Mason Dixon's Girls” episode of “The Dukes of Hazzard” aired on Feb. 29, 1980. Leap Day reappeared in 1984, but “Mason Dixon's Girls” never got past one episode of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” So, out of respect, we'll name the actors — Dennis Rucker played Dixon, Mary Margaret Humes was shapely associate Tinker and Robin G. Eisenmann was equally shapely associate Sam.
Write David Inman in care of The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, 525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, Ky. 40201-7431; or email him at email@example.com. Questions of general interest will be answered; personal replies are not possible.
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