The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

ONE TOUCH OF VENUS (1948) **

Our local theater, The Clayton celebrated their 65th anniversary this week. To commemorate the occasion, they played the very first movie they showed on opening night 65 years ago, One Touch of Venus. It’s not exactly a good movie, but it skates by thanks to the historical significance (not to mention a lovely performance by Ava Gardner).

Robert Walker stars as a meek window dresser at a big department store. The owner (Tom Conway, The Saint) gets a new statue of the goddess Venus to display in the store. When Walker kisses the statue, Venus (Ava Gardner) comes to life and falls instantly in love with Walker. Naturally, this causes a lot of predictable complications at work.

If the plot sounds at all familiar, it’s because One Touch of Venus was later remade as Mannequin. And it’s definitely not nearly as good as that flick. It suffers from some pretty lame musical numbers and a thoroughly irritating performance by Walker (who resembles a half-assed Jack Lemmon at times).

Then again, Ava Gardner is so hot in this movie that I guess Walker’s idiocy is to be expected. If she was coming on to me while wearing nothing more than a sheer toga I’d probably be doing double takes and pratfalls too. The film pretty much coasts on her charms alone (although Eve Arden gets some laughs as Conway’s put upon secretary). And since Gardner is so easy on the eyes, the movie likewise is easy on the brain.

I’m a fan of director William A. Seiter. I think his Room Service is the most underrated Marx Brothers film of all time. It’s just that the hackneyed script (full of sitcom type clichés) lets all involved down.

Next week’s Clayton’s Classic: Pat and Mike!

Tags: comedy, musical, o
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