Variety Girl


1h 23m 1947

Brief Synopsis

Dozens of star and character-actor cameos and a message about the Variety Club (show-business charity) are woven into a framework about two hopeful young ladies who come to Hollywood, exchange identities, and cause comic confusion (with slapstick interludes) throughout the Paramount studio.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 29, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White, Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

In the nursery of a hospital that is funded by Variety Clubs International, Barbara Stanwyck explains to Joan Caulfield how the Variety Club charities were founded: Eighteen years earlier, in 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a baby girl was left in the Sheridan movie theater with a note from her parents calling on the generosity of those in the film business to take care of her. An usher places the infant in the care of members of the Variety Club, a group of eleven local showmen who meet once a week. The men decide to sponsor the child and put her up for adoption as Catherine Variety Sheridan. Eighteen years later, only four people know who Catherine is: The Browns, who are her adoptive parents, J. R. O'Connell, who runs Hollywood's Paramount studio, and Bill Farris, head of Paramount's New York office. Catherine, who is now a talented singer performing under the name Amber La Vonne, contacts Farris, and he asks O'Connell to set up a screen test for her. A scarcity of rooms at the Hollywood Girls Club causes a gutsy, but talentless unknown blonde actress to impersonate Amber in order to steal her room. When Catherine arrives, the actress befriends her, but insists on keeping her stage name. After "Amber" pulls off a stunt in the Brown Derby restaurant and shamelessly calls attention to herself, Paramount talent scout Bob Kirby arrives to pick up Catherine, but mistakenly leaves with "Amber." "Amber" is then given Catherine's screen test. Later, believing "Amber" is Catherine, O'Connell invites her to a party at his home. At O'Connell's, "Amber" pretends to be a temperamental starlet and demands that Kirby let Catherine sing at the party. Despite the antics of Spike Jones and his orchestra, who have been ordered by Kirby to disrupt her performance, Catherine proves that she can sing. Before she can ingratiate herself with O'Connell, however, Catherine inadvertently pushes him into his pool, sending him into a rage. Later, on the set of a Cecil B. DeMille film, Catherine again soaks O'Connell. To punish "Amber" for foisting herself and Catherine on him, O'Connell orders William Bendix to purposefully humiliate her during her screen test by recreating over and over the James Cagney-Mae Clarke grapefruit scene in the film Public Enemy . "Amber" becomes so angry that she pushes the grapefruit into Bendix's face and throws a tantrum. At Farris's suggestion, O'Connell asks "Amber" to sing at the Variety Club's show, and Kirby arranges it so that Catherine's voice will be dubbed in. Because Catherine has, in the meantime, soaked O'Connell for a third time, she arrives dressed as a cigarette girl and hides under a table to sing. "Amber" allows Catherine to receive her own applause, however, and O'Connell is about to have Catherine thrown out, when Farris tells him who she is. The Variety Club's show then ends with performances by an all-star cast, including Bob Hope and Bing Crosby impersonating Siamese twins.

Cast

Mary Hatcher

Catherine Brown [Variety Sheridan]

Olga San Juan

Amber La Vonne

Deforest Kelley

Bob Kirby

Frank Ferguson

J. R. O'Connell

Glen Tryon

Bill Farris

Nella Walker

Mrs. Webster

Torben Meyer

Andre, headwaiter at Brown Derby

Jack Norton

Busboy, Brown Derby

Elaine Riley

Cashier

Charles Victor

Ass't to Mr. O'Connell

Gus Taute

Ass't to assistant

Harry Hayden

Stage manager, Grauman's Chinese

Bing Crosby

Bob Hope

Gary Cooper

Ray Milland

Alan Ladd

Barbara Stanwyck

Paulette Goddard

Dorothy Lamour

Sonny Tufts

William Holden

Joan Caulfield

Lizabeth Scott

Burt Lancaster

Gail Russell

Diana Lynn

Sterling Hayden

Robert Preston

Veronica Lake

John Lund

William Bendix

Barry Fitzgerald

Howard Da Silva

Macdonald Carey

Cass Daley

Patric Knowles

Billy De Wolfe

Mona Freeman

William Demarest

Barker

Cecil Kellaway

Virginia Field

Richard Webb

Frank Faylen

Stage manager

Cecil B. Demille

Mitchell Leisen

Frank Butler

George Marshall

Pearl Bailey

Spike Jones

Jim Mulcay

Mildred Mulcay

Roger Dann

French number

Russ Saunders

Waiter, member of Six DeWaynes

Ted Dewayne

Waiter, member of Six DeWaynes

William Snyder

Waiter, member of Six DeWaynes

Fay Alexander

Waiter, member of Six DeWaynes

Ray Saunders

Member of Six DeWaynes

Audrey Saunders

Member of Six DeWaynes

Janet Thomas

Girl

Roberta Jonay

Girl in Roger Dann number

Sally Rawlinson

Girl in Roger Dann number

Jac Lucas Fisher

Boy in Roger Dann number

Wallace Earl

Girl with sheep dog

Dick Keene

Dog trainer

Ann Doran

Hairdresser

Jerry James

Assistant. director

Eric Alden

Makeup man

Frank Mayo

Director

Pinto Colvig

Special voice impersonator, Dog imitator

Edgar Dearing

Policeman

Ralph Dunn

Policeman

Lucille Barkley

Secretary

Catherine Craig

Secretary

Carolyn Butler

Secretary

Russell Hicks

Man at steam bath

Crane Whitley

Man at steam bath

Charles Coleman

Man at steam bath

Hal K. Dawson

Man at steam bath

Eddie Fetherston

Man at steam bath

Len Hendry

Man at steam bath

Lorin L. Raker

Man at steam bath

Jack Overman

Abdul

Sammy Stein

Masseur

Russ Clark

Masseur

Paul Lees

Usher

Joey Ray

Theater manager

Hal Rand

Theater manager

Douglas Regan

Boy

Warren Joslin

Boy

Robert Williams

George Pal's assistant

John Stanley

Specialty dancer

Joel Friend

Specialty dancer

Al Ruiz

Specialty dancer

Pat Templeton

Boy at Grauman's

Larry Badagaliacca

Boy at Grauman's

Bob Alden

Autograph seeker

Pat Moran

Drunken tumbling act

Lee Emery

Usherette

Marilyn Gray

Usherette

Renee Randall

Usherette

Jesse Graves

Chef at garden party

Mildred Boyd

Sister Jenkins' daughter

Willa Pearl Curtis

Sister Jenkins

Don Barksdale

Joe, Pearl Bailey skit

Duke Johnson

Juggler

Michael Harvey

American officer

Alma Macrorie

Proprietress

Albert Pollet

Off stage French dialogue

Raymond Largay

Director of Variety Clubs

Barney Dean

Himself

Mary Edwards

Herself

Virginia Welles

Herself

Nanette Parks

Herself

Wanda Hendrix

Herself

Andra Verne

Herself

Patricia White

Herself

June Harris

Herself

Rae Patterson

Herself

Mikhail Rasumny

Himself

George Reeves

Himself

Arleen Whelan

Herself

Johnny Coy

Himself

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 29, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White, Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's opening states: "This film is dedicated to Variety Clubs International, the heart of show business, which beats constantly in behalf of the under-privileged children of the world...Regardless of race, creed or color." Narration within the film explains that, as of 1947, Variety Clubs International operates and maintains twenty-five hospitals, has seven thousand members world-wide, and has spent twelve million dollars on the welfare of underprivileged children. The film ends with the following statement: "...and as a result of the adoption of an abandoned baby in 1928 by eleven showmen...two and a half million underprivileged children have benefitted through the philanthropic activities of Variety Clubs in their nurseries, hospitals, research laboratories and boys' ranches throughout the world."
       As noted in Hollywood Reporter, Paramount paid $50,000 to the Variety Clubs of America for the rights to the film's story. Jim and Mildred Mulcay are billed in the opening cast credits as "The Mulcays, Jim [and] Mildred." Paramount stars appear as themselves unless otherwise noted in the cast list. Singer Pearl Bailey made her feature film debut in the picture. Mary Hatcher, who made her screen debut in the picture, was eighteen-years-old when she appeared in the film. On September 4, 1947, a special premiere of the film took place in her home town of Tampa, Florida. A benefit premiere in Los Angeles on October 8, 1947 raised $28,000 for the construction of an East Los Angeles Boys Club. According to Par News, thirty benefit premieres for the film were held in key American cities that had Variety Clubs.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video February 1999

Released in United States Summer August 27, 1947

Gary Cooper makes a cameo appearance. William Holden made a guest appearance. George Marshall also makes a guest appearance.

Released in United States on Video February 1999

Released in United States Summer August 27, 1947