The Perils of Pauline (1947) Poster

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10/10
A sparkling Betty Hutton and supporting cast in a very entertaining movie
jim-114024 April 2005
OK, so this film was never going to be nominated for an Oscar, but for plain entertainment value it has to get 10 out of 10. Although historically inaccurate; this film about the silent movie queen Pearl White, is the perfect showcase for the effervescent Betty Hutton's remarkable talents. The difference in singing style between the gentle 'I Wish I Didn't Love You So' and the bulldozer of a number 'Rumble, Rumble, Rumble' just goes to show how versatile she is as a singer. In the film she plays an actress of rather limited ability, which is very far from the truth. Betty Hutton was a great actress in her day; a far better actress than she was given credit for. Betty Hutton is still alive and living in Palm Springs. I love her dearly and wish her the very best of health and happiness.
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10/10
This IS Her Very Best!!
timmauk10 April 2001
Never was Betty Hutton so funny, charming and sweet. Never have I enjoyed a movie so much. This has some nice songs too.

This is NOT your typical Bio-Pic. This has an entertaining storyline with some great comedic moments, with help from the supporting cast, and what a cast. You have some of the best here, Billy DeWolfe, William Demarest and Constance Collier. John Lund is the love interest here and it is perfect casting. He plays the perfect straightman for Betty. The songs here are not classics, but enjoyable. I still catch myself singing the "Sew Machine" song or "Papa Don't Preach To Me".

This movie flows through it's 96 minutes so you never feel like it is never going to end. The end is pure Hollywood, so don't expect true reality here. All in all, it is a terrific musical from one of Hollywood's best comedians. Thanks Betty!!
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Overlooked Betty Hutton film is biography of serial queen Pearl White...
Doylenf27 May 2001
Pearl White was a serial queen of the B films of the silent period and this is a take on her life--a humorous one, tailored of course to suit Betty Hutton's style of clowning.

The story begins with Hutton working in a sweat shop and doing one of her frantic song routines before she lands a part with a traveling repertory company where she falls for conceited leading actor John Lund. Lund plays straight man for Hutton's mugging and one scene in particular will have you laughing out loud as Hutton--drenched from the rain--attempts to recite her next line without sneezing. He proves an excellent co-star.

Adding to the merriment is Constance Collier as a wise, veteran stage actress who attempts to teach Pearl the tricks of the trade. Billy de Wolfe and William Demarest add to the fun and there are some nice tunes by Frank Loesser.

Definitely one of Betty Hutton's better pictures, tuneful, brightly technicolored and a good showcase for her talent.
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10/10
Worth watching!
Dave-14620 May 2001
What a remarkably entertaining little film loosely based on the life of silent screen star Pearl White. Betty Hutton gives a lively, sympathetic performance. John Lund is the aloof unemotional object of Pearl's affections. Frank Loesser's score is beautiful. Especially the movie's theme song 'I Wish I Didn't Love You So' which Betty performs so tenderly. This movie deserves mention as a classic. If you get a chance have a look at it. It is fast paced but there time in places for a little fun and sentiment.
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6/10
Any movie with Betty Hutton in it is worth watching.
opsbooks11 January 2004
Don't expect ‘The Perils of Pauline' to cast much truth on the real Pearl White. In line with similar movies of the period, it's entertainment first and truth a distant second. What you do get is the irrepressible Betty Hutton, a kind of female Mickey Rooney. You also get Billy DeWolfe and William Demarest and those three make this movie worth the price of admission. Betty may bear a resemblance to other blondes of the period but it would take a hard hearted viewer not to like her. She's that kind of girl and rarely has an actress worked so hard in a part.

There are some good scenes; the movie factory gets my vote. This has been done both before and since but rarely so effectively. Bill Demarest overacts superbly as her manager, as does Billy DeWolfe as her best pal. The weak link is John Lund. Okay, maybe he's supposed to be that way. I just didn't think he was effective. The movie falls away in the last third but despite that, it's worth viewing. Betty belts out ‘I Wish I Didn't Love Him So' but it's not a particularly memorable song from Frank Loesser.

Five years after this movie, Betty would walk out on her Paramount contract and destroy her career. Like a number of memorable actresses of the great studio period, her star burnt brightly before going out forever. If you see her name in a cast list, on a movie long-forgotten, don't miss it.
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10/10
MAINTAINS BETTY HUTTON'S REPUTATION FOR ENERGY
rsoonsa24 November 2000
Enthusiastically ambulating throughout this charming and funny story of silent-film Hollywood, Betty Hutton depicts a mythlike Pearl White, framed by fascinating shots of prototypical movie-making. A romantic plot involving Betty and her princely co-star, John Lund, is developed in a leisurely fashion until the rather frenetic ending. Hutton's singing is often spectacular, as with her opening number, and enjoyment is developed as the viewer identifies early stars in this fine example of 40's cinema.
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8/10
Not The Genuine Pearl
bkoganbing19 September 2009
The Perils Of Pauline is reputedly a biographical film about the Queen of the silent serials Pearl White as played by Betty Hutton. Of course any resemblance to the real life of Pearl White is strictly coincidental. The real Pearl White (1889-1938) led a very tragic life with several marriages, injuries as a result of her doing her own stunts when she was younger, and dying an alcoholic's death in Paris with her life savings pretty much spent due to booze and medical bills.

Hardly the kind of story that Paramount would want to have brought to the screen, so they made up a story about Pearl White and cast Betty Hutton in it. If The Perils Of Pauline is not the Pearl White story, it is a good vehicle for Betty Hutton to show off her talents.

Case in point the first number in the show the Sewing Machine Song which Hutton does while working in a sweatshop run in Brooklyn by the appropriately accented Frank Faylen. White never saw Brooklyn, she was from Missouri and got into show business with traveling stock companies in the Midwest. Still it's a great number for Betty Hutton.

Frank Loesser wrote the score for The Perils Of Pauline and his song I Wish I Didn't Love You So got the film an Academy Award nomination for Best Song. This beautiful and plaintive ballad which was introduced on screen by Betty Hutton, earned Dick Haymes a best selling record on the Decca label. Sadly this song lost to Uncle Remus and Zip-Pa-Dee-Do-Dah from Walt Disney's Song Of The South. That decision should have sent Frank Loesser screaming about how he was robbed. As for those who think that Betty Hutton only did raucous comedy numbers, watching this film should set them straight.

The film was also a follow-up role for John Lund who had been introduced the year before in To Each His Own. As a lead, Lund was pretty bland and settled back into character parts for most of his career. He plays an egotistical ham actor heading the theatrical company that Hutton joins. He's so arrogant I can't see why Hutton wasted her time with him. Constance Collier has the best part as the old stage actress who befriends and encourages Hutton. Billy DeWolfe was part of the theatrical troupe that Hutton joined and he was his usual good self. They all wind up on the silent screen after Pearl gets her big break.

This film is an absolute must for fans of Betty Hutton, a great technicolor musical from Paramount's golden years.
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5/10
A Pearl in Betty's career
dougandwin1 August 2004
I think that this is one of Betty Hutton's better films, but it has almost been forgotten by many buffs and critics. There is no doubt that a great deal of free licence was taken with the story of Pearl White and her time in the Hollywood serials, but what there is does represent a lot of fun and Betty has a great time playing the "lady on the railroad tracks". I felt Billy de Wolfe (who really could be a great pain in the neck) was excellent in this film and together with the evergreen William Demarest added a great deal to the entertainment. However, no matter how many tries John Lund was given by Paramount he was always very dull, and fares no better in this. The color was excellent, and the music was good, with "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" a standout. If it is available , it is worth another look.
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8/10
One of my two favorite Betty Hutton Movies!
david_cron28 May 2002
What fun!. As usual Betty Hutton is the epitome of energy. This movie is one of Betty's best and a wonderfully funny story to watch. Betty's energy is countered by John Lund's "Cool." Constance Collier is wonderful as Julia, and William Demerest is at is crusty best as the silent film director. Watch it! Highly recommended.
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10/10
The Perils of Pauline with Betty Hutton
Hollycon117 October 2006
I am sure Betty Hutton isn't a household name to most people, but I feel fortunate my mother got me hooked on movies from the thirties and forties! Now, i prefer the oldies to many of the movies out these days! Most new movies are remakes from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Almost all the movies nowadays are poor remakes. Just dazzle the audience with some special effects and anything goes. Movies like the Perils of Pauline were staples in the theaters when my grandmother was a child. Every week there was a serial and in order to find out how Pauline was going to get out of her dilemma you had to go to the neighborhood picture house so you could see how she got out of her trouble! So it was mandatory that you go to the theaters the next Saturday. Of course, movies cost a dime then. I wish we were exposed to more of these fun and silly movies, they seem so innocent and naive compared to the movies people seem to want to watch now. I am so grateful to my mom and my grandmother for getting me interested in the old films. I hope you will enjoy The Perils of Pauline too! I will enjoy it any chance I can!
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9/10
Fabulous reminder of the golden age of serials - and a blueprint for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
adrian-4376712 October 2018
I have to admit that when I saw this film announced on the classic movies channel, I thought I wouldn't bother. Thankfully, there was nothing else worth watching so I decided to give it a try - and, oh boy, am I glad I did!

PERILS OF PAULINE (1947) is great fun from beginning to end, in turns love story, musical, actioner, and a reminder of how great the spirit was in the film industry in the late 1940s, after WWII, to me the real golden age of the cinema.

Betty Hutton is superb as Pauline. It boggles my mind that her career fizzled out when she had everything to be better than the much better known Doris Day, for instance. She is beautiful, fun, sings well and is just... magnetic! John Lund is great as the male lead and love interest, Constance Collier is memorable as the no nonsense grand old dame Julia, Billy de Wolffe appears in little bits but his contributions are always eye-catching, and William Demarest embodies a fantastic spoof on silent movie directors.

The sequence which begins with pie throwing, and sees Hutton and Collier going through a number of studio sets shooting different films and ending up in a lion's den, to then sign a movie contract, is one of my all time favorites - any movie, anywhere - and I think that it must have served as blueprint for some of the initial sequences with Gene Kelly and Donald Connor in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, which came out five years later.

Besides all its others, PERILS OF PAULINE boasts one of the tidiest and most fitting ends I have ever seen - and I have seen many movies.

Really loved all 96 minutes of this flick. Highly recommended. 9/10
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7/10
Expect a Betty Hutton vehicle, not Pearl White's life
MissSimonetta16 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As a biopic of Pearl White, this film is dreadful. It turns a tragic life into Technicolor fluff and tacks on a happy ending. As a depiction of the silent era, this film is dreadful. It takes one of the most creative and rich periods of cinematic history and acts like all of it was cheap kitschy garbage that didn't require acting. However, taken on its own terms, this is a cute musical comedy.

Betty Hutton is delightful and energetic, singing and dancing and leaping about in every scene. She takes musical numbers that could have been dull in lesser hands and makes them explosive. Less impressive is her leading man, John Lund, who proves incapable of matching her charisma. Then again, the problem might be the way his character is written: he plays the snobbiest, most condescending jerk. Outside of looks, it's impossible to believe Hutton could fall for him. He also reforms much too late into the story for the audience to like him.

In the end, a fun, if unremarkable, film. Watch for Hutton.
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8/10
Bye Bye Betty
capricorn914 March 2007
After hearing of Miss Hutton's passing this past Monday, I thought I'd take a peak and remind myself what made her so popular. Now most would have gone for her Annie Get Your Gun, but I looked through my collection and came up with this little gem instead. I don't know much about the real Pearl and her career (will be looking it up now though) so I'm sure as Hollywood Biographies go this is not that accurate, it is still an interesting film. Miss Hutton is her usual riotous self in a lot of the silent reel recreations and very touching in the real world scenes. Don't forget the Frank Loesser songs! Such great supporting cast as well, which, according to the credits, did include some actual silent film actors. This is what made Miss Hutton so popular and hopefully she will be remembered by future film historians. Too many of our classic film stars have been leaving us lately, so let's hope that Miss Hutton is one that will shine on forever.
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7/10
Fun stuff, with a great and feisty Betty Hutton.
punishmentpark11 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I've never seen a film with Betty Hutton in it before, but Dutch commercial television put this one in Technicolor on offer in the middle of the night, which is the right time for yours truly. Hopefully they (and the public network) will exercise this idea - to broadcast more films from the (far) past, not necessarily in the middle of the night - more often...

I understand that the film does not have much to do with the actual story of Pearl White, which is much more tragic, but instead this is a comedy that almost parodies the world of filmed entertainment, with some romance, and even some tragic elements. The story of the film takes a backseat to many a song, dance, audition and film shoot, which are pretty much all very entertaining; what a voice she had, and how fun can those scenes from the silent movies be; it would have been difficult to combine all that with the tragedies of Pearl White's life...

Being very energetic and good fun, this is an oldie that won me over easily. 7 out of 10.
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8/10
The White Stuff
writers_reign8 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I've waited years to see this not because of Betty Hutton but because I'm a great admirer of Frank Loesser who, like Hutton, was contracted to Paramount and wrote several scores for Hutton pictures none of which I have seen. I was dreading the manic Hutton going near the standout ballad I Wish I Didn't Love You So, which was Oscar-nominated and topped the Lucky Strike Hit Parade and while she's no Margaret Whiting she did tone down her delivery. It was very simplistic and in terms of the real Pearl White it probably fit where it touched. This was the time when Paramount hadn't yet given up on John Lund so he was wheeled out as leading man but even his woodenness couldn't really harm a delightful film with a great cast including Frank Faylen, Frank Fergusen, Billy de Wolfe, William Demearest and a standout Constance Collier. Nice to catch up with this at last.
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7/10
The Perils of Public Domain
JohnHowardReid2 March 2013
this movie is anything but a bio of Pearl White. In fact, aside from a brief re-enactment – at the wrong speed, which makes the sequence look ludicrous rather than funny – of one of Pearl's death-defying stunts on a fast-moving train engine, there is very little in the movie that captures even a feel for Hollywood in the period from 1910 (White's first film) to 1923. Most of Pearl's film were serials, although there were a few features along the way, including her final offering, The Terror, made in France in 1924. Betty Hutton plays Pearl with her usual enthusiasm – no "enthusiasm" is the wrong word. Betty attacks the character with her usual vigor, while William Demarest and Constance Collier do their best to follow Betty's lead. John Lund, however, seems all at sea and plays his role with an air of bewilderment that is sometimes appropriate, sometimes not. And alas, the color on the current DVD, whilst acceptable, signally lacks the real Technicolor gloss and black velvet shading.
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6/10
Watch Betty "Rumble, Rumble, Rumble"...
moonspinner553 November 2010
Colorful, predictably bombastic vehicle for Betty Hutton, here playing real-life silent serial starlet Pearl White, who was the toast of matinée audiences at the time of the Saturday afternoon cliffhanger. White is a put-upon seamstress who joins a traveling theatrical troupe in the 1900s, barely learning her craft before walking into job as a moving pictures actress/stuntwoman. Frank Loesser's song score isn't very good, despite an Oscar nomination for "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" (the best of the lot), and Hutton isn't exactly a songbird. However, the depictions of silent-era slapstick filmmaking are well-done, and the stop-and-start romance between White and leading man Michael Farrington (John Lund) isn't too sticky. Hutton is a formidable presence on-screen; she takes no prisoners, it's true, yet she exudes total commitment to what she's doing. Racing around at full throttle, she doesn't quite create a character in Pearl White but instead gives us another dimension of Betty Hutton. Some big laughs, particularly in the film's first-half. **1/2 from ****
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7/10
Betty Hutton is a ball of fire
eddax16 February 2010
I had never heard of Betty Hutton before this movie. A little research informed me that because of studio disputes, she had an unfortunately short movie career. Most of her work were musicals, which is probably why I had never heard of her - not my favorite genre. This movie wasn't billed as one but there's some singing and dancing as well. I can see why though: Betty Hutton is a ball of fire. She sings, she dances, she jokes - she would bounce off the walls if she could. It would be a waste not to make full use of her talents.

The movie's supposedly biographical but it feels more like a Hutton showcase, though grande dame Constance Collier stands out too. It's too bad the story mostly feels forced - the whole romance bit with her chauvinistic boss... ugh. Still, Pauline showcases Hutton's charm well and that's something at least.
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10/10
A Comic Masterpiece
jayraskin112 February 2010
Director George Marshall had a long and distinguished career, but because he directed mainly comedies he never got the artistic adoration that other directors like Hitchcock, Cukor, Cortez or Ford received. Works like "Destry Rides Again," "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man," and "Monsieur Baucaire," are considered great works for their stars James Stewart, Marlene dietrich, W.C. Fields and Bob Hope, but he is given little credit. The same happens here where it is obvious that Betty Hutton has one of her best roles.

Yet, consider the secondary actors in this. William Demarest, Billy de Wolfe, and Constance Collier are all sparkling. Note the scene where de Wolfe and Demarest get into an argument over what is gnashing teeth and what is chewing. De Wolfe ends it by saying he will compromise and spit. Collier is hilarious thrashing Demarest with handbags and umbrellas whenever he forces Hutton to perform dangerous stunts. Marshall is brilliant at creating an ensemble feeling among his cast, as if they have been together for years instead of performing together for the first time.

The only small problem with the film is lead John Lunn. He is simply bland. However, that is a problem with most Betty Hutton films. She simply overwhelms her co-stars and they end up being listless straight men for her. Don Defore in "Stork Club," and Charlton Heston in "Greatest Show on Earth" are other examples of this. Even Fred Astaire in "Lets Dance" came off a close second to Betty. Eddie Bracken in "Miracle of Morgan's Creek" was the only exception I've seen. He managed to be as zany and nervous as she is.

The movie has a dazzlingly hilarious set piece in the beginning where Hutton and Collier manage to upset four silent movies that are being shot next to each other on a single movie stage. I also loved a stage scene where Betty seems to be spoofing Dorothy Lamour as a South Sea Island beauty. Betty does some hilarious songs at the beginning, but my favorite is her final "Papa Don't Preach to Me" number near the end. It seems to me that Marilyn Monroe's famous "Diamond's are a Girl's Best Friend" number from "Gentlemen Prefers Blondes" is a rip-off/copy of this number.

This is a very self-reflexive movie about acting, theater and moving pictures. It should rank with Michael Curtiz great "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
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7/10
Thanks, Mr. Barrington, will you untie my hands now?
I have no idea who Pearl White was and until I do I'll judge this movie on its own merits - I love Betty Hutton. I would have volunteered for WWII if they'd promised me a show in the canteen with her on stage. Sure, she sings like her hair is on fire, but that manic energy makes me laugh. The scene where she wanders through a bunch of silent film scenes with Constance Collier is hilarious. And depending on the makeup, hair and lighting she's quite fetching. Check her out as a raven-haired Hawaiian in the revealing dress. Vavoom. John Lund's character is a pill. The film worked a little too hard to make him an a88hole. But Hutton's charms overcome the film's shortcomings and you get a fun hour and a half.
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7/10
Bouncy Betty at her best boisterous bravado!
mark.waltz27 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The seemingly over caffeinated Betty Hutton had a personality all her own, yet made a habit of playing other famous entertainers. Whether Texas Guinan or Annie Oakley or Blossom Seeley, she added a unique touch to these classic performer's lives. Here, she's silent serial queen Pearl White, tied to the tracks or hanging onto a tree branch coming out of a very high cliff. And this being Betty Hutton, she gets to sing too, in this case some rather jazzy songs by future Broadway legend Frank Loesser. Veteran comedy director George Marshall turns this into a rip-roaring view of Hollywood 101 when everything you saw on screen was dangerously done with little or no special effects.

From laundry worker to big player on the stage to chapter play star, Pearl White's story pretty much fits the standard of all those other movie musicals. How accurate is it? That probably doesn't matter because it's very energetic and entertaining, focusing on a movie funny girl that is probably not for all tastes and has somewhat dated. There's the usual love interest (John Lund), a snooty but wise grand dame (Constance Collier), a Griff film director (William Demarest) and the effete sidekick (Billy DeWolfe), but it's pretty much Betty demanding the attention. The only difference is that here, she commands it too.

As a document on the early days of movie making, it's fascinating, with cameos by surviving silent comics adding to the authenticity, just like 1939's "Hollywood Cavalcade". Collier is hysterical going from serious stage actress to pie in the puss receiving movie actress, a much publicized comedown during the baby years of the flickers. Hutton goes from jazzy numbers to ballads easily, with "Papa Don't Preach to Me!" (no relation to the Madonna song) the standout. This makes a great document of an industry that was just taking off a hundred years ago, showing how far (for better or worse) the industry has come.
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7/10
Despite the mostly fictional story of Pearl White, I enjoyed The Perils of Pauline
tavm25 July 2015
This is my second viewing of the Betty Hutton musical, having first seen this almost 30 years ago on an independent TV station. It purports to tell the story of Pearl White, famous for those silent serials like the very title of this very movie. But it's really just another showcase for the musical and comic talents of Ms. Hutton which she once again displays considerably especially since the songs were written by Frank Loesser. Fun supporting turns by William Demarest as the serial director, Billy De Wolfe as a fellow actor, and Frank Faylen as her leering sewing machine boss, a much different role than Ernie the Taxi driver from my favorite picture-It's a Wonderful Life. As for her leading man, John Lund was okay though I did like his broad stunts when playing for Demarest's movie. There were also some nice appearances of some silent character actors which included one James Finlayson whose roles were usually bit parts after his last Laurel & Hardy appearance in Saps at Sea. By the way, director George Marshall had previously directed Finlayson in L & H's Pack Up Your Troubles. He had also appeared in that one as a cook. In summary, I still liked The Perils of Pauline despite knowing it wasn't a true story, mainly because of Ms. Hutton and those character actors I mentioned.
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7/10
Another highly fictionalized bio pic. Not accurate, but entertaining
vincentlynch-moonoi2 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The sad part is that TCM is showing a very faded Technicolor print of this film. I'm glad to see the film, but it wasn't the easiest movie to watch. Hopefully Universal Studios will someday restore the film.

It is an entertaining film with the always entertaining Betty Hutton. And, Hutton was just wild enough to make the film work. It is, of course, a bio pic of Pearl White who actually became famous for the "Perils Of Pauline" series of shorts. Unfortunately, this is one of those bio pics that whitewashes reality. White didn't injure her spine the way it's portrayed here, but rather while making one of the Pauline films. Her eventual marriage in this film bears no resemblance to her real life marriage (two of them) which ended in two divorces. And, the film ends with White needing back surgery, but getting the man she loves; also not true. She actually died of liver failure from the drugs and alcohol she used to mask the pain from her back injury. But, alas, this film is entertaining as a comedy/drama, when it probably should have been a drama with a sad ending.

Betty Hutton is fine as the fictionalized Pearl White. One of the best features of the film is the song "I Wish I Didn't Love You So", and while Hutton was a good singer, this song wasn't right for her; nevertheless, it's a beautiful song that has been rerecorded in recent years by several singers.

I always felt just a little sorry for John Lund, who here plays the love interest. Nice looking, but not quite as good at acting as was needed to really make it to the top. And that shows here. He does "okay", but his limited range is noticeable.

Billy De Wolfe is along for some laughs, and he's always a pleasure to see. As is William Demarest. And, I enjoyed the role of Constance Collier as an older actress.

If you're looking to learn anything about Pearl White's real life, skip right over this film. If you're looking for an entertaining performance by Betty Hutton, this will do the trick.
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9/10
Mostly very entertaining Technicolor Betty Hutton vehicle.
weezeralfalfa26 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Most reviewers jump on John Lund as a bland romantic interest for Betty in this film, which is based on the historic career of Pearl White as a silent film daredevil. This was only Lund's second film. He comes across to me as Paramount's hoped-for answer to Jimmy Stewart, whom he somewhat resembled in looks and personality. He was adequate by me in his role as Mike Farrington: director and leading actor of his little acting troupe, whom Betty, as Pearl, joins. Mike is a confirmed bachelor, and tries to maintain an emotional distance from his actresses. But, he has some difficulty doing so with Pearl. Clearly, she is begging him for approval as a woman, as well as a beginning actress. Unfortunately Pearl messed up the production in most of Lund's plays, except her blackface role as a southern mammy. In her last role in a Lund play, as a knockoff of several South Seas maiden films, she finally begins to get a little romantic feedback from Lund in the dress rehearsal. Unfortunately, things don't go well in the initial stage production, they argue and she leaves, for a career in Hollywood. Eventually, he follows her.

In his initial silent film role, Lund is supposed to arrive to rescue Betty from the villain. The director(William Demarest, as McGuire) immediately pounces on Lund as acting as if he were playing to a stage audience. Lund more than corrects his acting style, acting like an over-the-top Fairbanks, destroying everyone and everything on the set, in rescuing Pearl. Very funny. Demarest is ecstatic! (Demarest, in this and other films, impresses me as Paramount's answer to MGM's Spencer Tracy).

Other than the later unplanned balloon flight, most of the best parts of the film occur before Betty becomes the famous Pauline: film victim of all manner of hair-raising situations. Two of the highlights occur when Betty and Lund, separately, are trying to adjust from stage plays to silent film making. When Betty's much older theatrical mentor Julia Gibbs(Constance Collier) unexpectedly gets several pies in the face in their audition, Betty goes berserk and returns the favor, followed by crashing through several adjoining movie sets. She then impresses the director by nonchalantly kicking a lion in the butt. Hey, she should be good in dangerous situation films!

During the film, Betty has 3 male bosses she has to try to please. First one is Joe Gurt(Frank Faylen) who lords it over a bevy of seamstresses in a NYC(I assume from his fake Brooklyn accent) high rise sweatshop. Obviously, hyperkinetic Betty is a fish out of water in this sit down tedious job. Thus, she eventually does her classic sarcastic "The Sewing Machine" song and comedic act, while Joe is supposedly in his office. Fortunately , seasoned actress Julia Gibbs shows up for a costume, instantly recognizes thespian potential in an eager Betty, and offers to introduce her to her stage director (Lund). Betty and Julia arrive just before a production of "Romeo and Juliet" is about to start. Lund decides to give Betty a trial by fire: She is pushed out on the stage by herself and asked to do something to entertain the audience until the tardy play cast finish getting themselves ready. The audience throws tomatoes at her. When she throws one back, the audience decides to give her a chance, and she comes up with another classic Betty Hutton frenetic comedic musical number in "Rumble, Rumble, Rumble". Lund remarks sarcastically that she makes an ideal curtain raiser for Shakespeare, but hires her.

Billie De Wolfe does well in one of his more pleasant supporting comedic roles. His attempt to teach aspiring actress Betty how to speak effectively on stage is one of the comedic highlights. In other films, Billie usually played a more negative personality.

After the harrowing unplanned balloon flight of Pearl and Lund in a thunderstorm, it looks like they will finally get married. But, Lund, suddenly feeling like the forgotten man in a big promotional party for star Pearl, backs out. They split: Pearl going to France, performing in a nightclub(The real Pearl bought a Paris nightclub). She is the lead in a floor show to "Pappa Don't Preach to Me": more a Betty Grable -type number. She breaks her leg during her acrobatic encore. Lund serendipitously shows up, and again proposes marriage. She declines, assuming he's just feeling sorry for her, and they seemingly split again. But, they independently enter a theater to see one of Pearl's daredevil films. Lund surprises her, telling her she was a bad actor in trying to convince him she no longer loved him. He carries her out of the theater, with broken leg, for a happy ending.

I forgot to comment on Frank Loesser's memorable weepy romantic ballad "I Wish I Didn't Love You So", which serves as the theme song. Betty sings it while trying to hold back tears, regretting Lund being gone from her life.

A change from earlier B&W films. However, the Technicolor in my DVD is not up to par with the Fox and MGM Technicolor of this era.
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6/10
The perils of Pauline (1947)
jazza92311 March 2010
68/100. Betty Hutton is her usual over enthusiastic, animated and peppy self, but she is effective in the title role. As far as period detail and historical accuracy, very poor indeed. But, it was made to be entertaining, not accurate. Nicely produced, if not a bit overdone. Billy deWolfe stands out in the supporting cast and is quite good, William Demarest is fun as the frazzled director. The musical numbers are decent, but none are outstanding except for the Oscar nominated song "I Wish I Didn't Love You So", a beautiful tune. It's fun overall though, good pacing. John Lund is bland in a pivotal role. For the time, some of the special effects are good.
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