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I try to find enjoyment in life's simple things: friends & family, gardening, nature, home projects, etc. The television and radio are generally silent appliances in my home. But sometimes we all need a little help outside of ourselves to lift our hearts with laughter or a song. In my house, that often means switching on "Golden Age" radio shows, classic television or film, or simply turning to a good old-fashioned book.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Eve Arden in "Stage Door" (1937)

Yesterday evening's viewing started as one of those chance stumbles. I really don't remember what I was looking over at YouTube when I was provided with a side-link to Eve Arden's appearance on "What's My Line. "

What a classy lady. Simultaneously elegant and down-to-earth. (I think she mentions at the end something about living on a farm?)
I know Eve Arden more for her radio work than screen appearances. My mother enjoyed listening to "Our Miss Brooks" in the radio years, before the popular show transitioned to television. It was among the first series I listened to when Golden Age Radio began to become widely available online.

My favorite "Our Miss Brooks" radio episode comes from 24 April 1954: "Cow in the Closet:"

I had heard Eve Arden in support roles on various other radio shows, though, oddly enough, I never sampled radio's "The Danny Kaye Show" until just a few months ago. Likewise, I was unaware of her earlier film and theater work until just recently, so I did not realize how such previous roles had set the stage for the sardonically wisecracking Miss Connie Brooks.
Eve Arden and Ginger Rogers in Stage Door - 1937 Apparently her supporting role in "Stage Door" (1937) was largely responsible for garnering her attention and for setting the pattern for so many of her future roles.

She is shown here with Ginger Rogers and the ever-present cat who was so accommodating in working with her throughout the picture.

That cat was a wonderful device for her part, drawing visual attention and interest to her character. I think it also helped communicate a softer, well-intentioned heart beneath the wisecracks.
Arden is not listed among the opening credits of "Stage Door," but Lucille Ball is.

I have to laugh at myself. I noticed Ms. Ball's name in the opening credits, but then didn't recognize her throughout the entire movie and forgot to look for her! In fact, I kept scrutinizing her, thinking how "that young actress" reminded me so much of another young actress who came much later, in the late 1980's.
Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball in Stage Door (1937)

1 comment:

  1. eve is wonderful here. it's great how she didn't talk at all. it reminds me of the time when danny came to what's my line and bot times he didn't talk, once he whistled another time he mhm-d. like he has a bad throat. amazing. great to see eve doing a similar thing.