Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sweethearts of the U.S.A.

Right now, I am watching Sweethearts of the U.S.A., a 1944 movie so slight it is almost nonexistent. It stars Una Merkel, who you might remember as the daughter in W.C. Field's The Bank Dick, or possibly from her fight with Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again.She was also Effie in The Maltese Falcon,but not the version with Humphrey Bogart, so I don't know why I mentioned it. Her boyfriend is a dialect comedian called "Parkyakarkus", playing a character named "Parkyakarkus" with an accent. He's not very interesting, but it turns out he's the father of Albert Brooks and Super Dave Osborne. I don't mean "his humor makes him their spiritual father" or something -- he's actually their father. You know they were brothers, right?

Anyway, the plot of Sweerhearts of the U.S.A. has something to do with Una working in a war plant (as represented by a lot of montages provided by Boeing) and then hitting her head and being unable to get a job. Then she and Parkyakarkus go off to a house that Parkyakarkus might or might not own and start a nightclub, and then there's a pirate ghost that captures the bank robbers (there were bank robbers earlier that I forgot to mention) and it all turns out to be a dream and she's defense worker of the month and then she knocks herself out again and there's another song in the dream sequence. There's a lot of talk about the War Effort and it ends with dancing girls making a V for Victory and encouraging us to buy War Bonds.

This sort of thing is why I'm glad there are so many channels. Turner Classic Movies has to really try to fill its programming, so you get tributes to Una Merkel's birthday. How else would I get to watch movies like this?


jheaton said...

I mostly remember Una Merkel from her appearances in countless crossword puzzles

Monty Ashley said...

Some of those were probably Una O'Connor, too.