Sunday, April 7, 2013

1940 - NO NO NANETTE, or who in the world is Anna Neagle?

Anna Neagle is the woman in the middle of the picture.  She was a very popular star in England during the 1930's and 40's.  She came over to America and appeared in crap like No No Nanette and a few other minor films.  She returned to England around 1942 and continued to have a successful career.

The audience attraction for Anna Neagle was as one of those "sunny" personalities in probably what were fairly light weight films.  In No No Nanette Neagle is a "goody toe shoes,"meddling in everyone's life.   A Mary Poppins fixer upper with a perennial cheery disposition, which becomes very grating after a while.

This film is based on a famous Broadway musical from the 1920's.  I am guessing that the plot of this version of No No Nanette has been considerably altered from the old Broadway play since the ending involves one of those whose on the sleek 1940's airplane farcical moments with the cast running all over the plane.  Not a whole lot of large sleeper planes were flying around during the 1920's.

No No Nanette has a few decent songs in it, such as "Tea for Two."  However you would hardly know it since the songs are sung almost as a throw a way for the most part.   Anna Neagle was a trained dancer early in her career and performs the title song in some sort of strange dream sequence  dressed up in a "Little Lord Fauntleroy" outfit while surrounded by a bunch of chorus girls, clearly her costume was meant to preserve her innocent but perky girl image in the film.

The film was originally two hours in length but cut by thirty minutes, no surprise there.

96 minutes

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