Subject: Ed Gardner and Bing Crosby on sale for limited time




TODAY'S SPECIAL

Duffy's Tavern (1945)
Starring Ed Gardner and Bing Crosby

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
Several of Paramount Pictures brightest stars make cameo appearances in this comedy set in "Duffy's Tavern," a favorite watering hole from old time radio shows. The trouble begins when the neighborhood bar is in danger of closing. The trouble begins when the proprietor, Archie, discovers that one of his regulars, Michael O'Malley, owner of a record company is going broke. This means that many veterans will soon be unemployed and therefore, unable to pay their tab at the tavern. Archie immediately begins recruiting famous stars to donate their services and help. They do, the record company is saved and so is the tavern.
Director: Hal Walker
Writers: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama, Ed Gardner, Matt Brooks, Abe Burrows, Eddie Davis, Barney Dean, Bob Schiller, George White

Stars: Ed Gardner, Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Paulette Goddard, Alan Ladd, Dorothy Lamour, Eddie Bracken, Brian Donlevy, Sonny Tufts, Veronica Lake, Arturo de Cordova, Barry Fitzgerald, Diana Lynn, Robert Benchley, Joan Caulfield, Gail Russell
Songs include:

(Doin' It) The Hard Way
Written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke
Performed by Betty Hutton

You Can't Blame A Girl for Tryin'
Written by Bernie Wayne and Ben Raleigh
Performed by Cass Daley

Swinging on a Star
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Performed by Bing Crosby, Sonny Tufts, Arturo de Córdova, Cass Daley, Jean Heather, Helen Walker, Gail Russell, Diana Lynn, Billy De Wolfe, Betty Hutton, Howard Da Silva and Dorothy Lamour

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Music by Ernest Ball

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Written by Louis Lambert
Performed by Johnny Coy, Miriam Nelson and dancers

Attempting to duplicate the success of other radio programs that made the transition to the big screen (FIBBER MCGEE & MOLLY, THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE, HENRY ALDRICH, etc.), studio executives at both MGM and Paramount set their sites on Duffy's for their next radio crossover picture. Paramount's proposal of a "stars-go-all-out-for-the-war-effort" variety film in the vein of Hollywood CANTEEN and THANK YOUR LUCK STARS caught Gardner's fancy. And so it was that contract players Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, Robert Benchley and more than two dozen others were signed up for cameos while the radio actors (save for Broadway actress Ann Thomas as a new Miss Duffy) reprised their familiar roles.
Betty Hutton is a tornado of energy performing "Doin' it the Hard Way" and Cass Daly, the gangly gal with the overbite, sings a rousing number, "You Can't Blame a Gal for Trying." Bing and Betty parody the Oscar winning song "Swinging on a Star" from Paramount's 1944 hit GOING MY WAY and Bing shares a scene with his four young sons Gary, Lin and twins Phillip and Dennis.
The film was placed 15th in the list of highest-grossing movies in the US in 1945. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times summarized it as "Take it for what it is, a hodge-podge of spare-time clowning by the gang, including a large hunk of Archie, and you’ll find Duffy’s Tavern fair enough." Film Daily commented: "There isn’t much to the story itself, which merely offers an excuse for bringing in such topflighters as Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Paulette Goddard, Dorothy Lamour, Eddie Bracken, Veronica Lake, to name but a handful, so that they may do their bit in the manner of guest stars. Most of the big names are introduced at the end in a benefit show staged to raise money to permit Victor Moore to reopen his record factory and put a lot of nice guys back to work."
Duffy's Tavern was one of the most popular radio comedy series of the 1940s. The fictional tavern was a cheap diner on New York City's Third Avenue. Celebrity guests "dropped in" the tavern each week, where they were lampooned by Ed Gardner, playing "Archie," the Brooklyn barkeep, who was renowned for his malapropisms. The show also featured Eddie Green as the waiter; Shirley Booth (who was married to Gardner from 1929 to 1942) as "Miss Duffy," the daughter of the tavern's proprietor, who himself was never heard, but frequently telephoned Archie; and Charlie Cantor as "Clifton Finnegan," a dim-witted customer.
In one notable bit in the film, a drunken O'Malley and Archie try to find out if the light inside a refrigerator goes off when you close the door by climbing inside the icebox to investigate.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
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