Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

20 April 2015

Ice Skating on Film?

Sidney Lanfield's odd musical comedy One in a Million stars Olympic gold-medalist and figure skater Sonja Henie as (what else would she be?) an Olympic gold-medalist in figure skating. The film's plot is lighter than air – there is a burned down hotel, apparently an arson-job, but no one cares who set the fire or why after the film's first thirty minutes and this little mystery is never solved. Still, the film made the Norwegian figure skater a big movie star. It was her first picture, and she was a hit in Hollywood.

Inexplicably, the great actor Adolphe Menjou shouts his way through this entire movie. Frankly, the whole thing is pretty stupid, and the songs are unmemorable, but Don Ameche sings a little (and who wouldn't want to listen to that pretty man serenade you?), and there are at least 3 pretty great numbers starring The Ritz Brothers – including a great bit where they play Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Charles Laughton and sing about being Hollywood villains... on roller skates.