This week’s musical: Seven Sweethearts (1942).
Director: Frank Borzage.
Plot: News reporter Henry Taggart (Heflin) goes to Little Delft, Michigan to cover the Tulip Festival. While there, he stays at the quaint House of the Seven Tulips inn, run by Mr. Van Maaster (Sakall). Van Maaster’s seven daughters-all of whom have boy’s names-help him manage the inn. Spoiled oldest sister Regina (Hunt), aka “Reggie,” tries to woo Henry but he falls for sibling Billie (Grayson). The only problem is, old-fashioned Mr. Van Maaster won’t let his younger daughters wed before Regina marries.
-This film is a family affair: Kathryn Grayson’s brother Michael Butler and sister Frances Raeburn are in the film. Grayson had a larger career than her siblings.
-Ann Rutherford was originally supposed to be in the film but she had measles. She was replaced by Peggy Moran.
-A film adaptation of a Hungarian play called Seven Sisters. The play was produced on Broadway in 1911.
-Producer Joe Pasternak’s first film at MGM.
-Remake of the 1915 film The Seven Sisters.
-Van Heflin attempting to dance a traditional dance during the Tulip Festival.
There aren’t any songs that really stand out or leave you humming after the movie. However, you have the opportunity to hear Grayson since several songs such as “Tulip Time” and Mozart’s “Cradle Song.”
This film is fun and adorable. Though she’s a brat, Marsha Hunt looks adorable, and I swoon every time Van Heflin smiles. This is only Kathryn Grayson’s fourth film, so you get to see her as she is still blossoming into stardom at MGM. Seven Sweethearts isn’t one of MGM’s huge, glittering musicals, and usually goes under the radar. However, it’s adorable and a lot of fun.
Comet Over Hollywood, named for the 1938 Kay Francis film Comet Over Broadway, offers anything from Hollywood beauty tips to rants about Katherine Hepburn. Jessica Pickens is a journalism student at Winthrop University who is interested in silent films to anything made before 1964. She writes for Winthrop’s student newspaper, The Johnsonian, and the Shelby Star in Shelby North Carolina. Visit her Facebook page.