This week’s mystery movie has been the 1944 Warner Bros. picture “The Doughgirls,” starring Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Jane Wyman, Irene Manning, Charlie Ruggles, Eve Arden and a large supporting cast of Warners players. The screenplay was by James V. Kern and Sam Hellman, with additional dialogue by Wilkie Mahoney, adapted from the play by Joseph Fields. The film was photographed by Ernest Haller, with art direction by Hugh Reticker and set decorations by Clarence Steensen. The film was produced by Mark Hellinger and directed by James V. Kern.
The film is available on DVD from Warner Archive for $18.59.
A playbill for the Broadway production of “The Doughgirls” at the Lyceum Theatre, listed on EBay as Buy It Now for $14.11.
“The Doughgirls” was adapted from an extremely popular Broadway play, which opened Dec. 30, 1942, and closed July 29, 1944, receiving 671 performances. The show was also taken on tour and performed in Los Angeles at the Biltmore Theatre. The film opened in Los Angeles on Nov. 23, 1944, at the Warners Hollywood, Downtown and Wiltern theaters with “Birth of the B-29.” The film was apparently not reviewed in the Los Angeles Times.
A review by P.P.K. in the New York Times (Aug. 31, 1944) said:
This picture, “The Doughgirls” which came to the Hollywood yesterday, is going to be easy to write about. The writing about it doesn’t require much thought, because, probably, the seeing it doesn’t require much thought. The spectator is required simply to sit there and wonder what’s going to turn up next, knowing that the chances are better than even he’ll enjoy whatever it happens to be.In one or two places the gag lines and gag sequences seem to be forced and, as happens in such cases, the entertainment is forced too. But such danger spots are quickly passed and the mad farce goes careening along its dizzy way.
“The Doughgirls” opens in Los Angeles, Nov. 23, 1944.
For Monday, our gent takes this mystery guest business seriously.
Update: This is the very puzzled justice of the peace, played by Walter De Palma.
For Tuesday, a very dressy gent.
Update: This is Francis Pierlot.
And for Wednesday, we have an agitated mystery gent on the phone.
And you remember him as Eddie Mars in “The Big Sleep.” This is John Ridgely
Brain trust roll call: Don Danard (Tuesday’s mystery gent), Howard Mandelbaum (Tuesday’s mystery gent), Lee Ann, Megan and Thom (Tuesday’s mystery gent) and B.J. Merholz (Tuesday’s mystery gent).
For Thursday, we have a rather surprised gent.
Update: This is Oliver Blake, who also performed as Oliver Prickett.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Jenny M (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Don Danard (Wednesday’s mystery guest) and Patrick (Tuesday’s mystery guest).
And for Friday, we have four mystery women.
Update: This is, from left, Barbara Brown, Jane Wyman, Ann Sheridan and Alexis Smith.
Brain Trust roll call: David Inman (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Jenny M. (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery guest), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery gent), Lee Ann, Megan and Thom (mystery movie, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guest) and Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guest).
And an absolutely over the top performance by Eve Arden Sgt. Natalia Moskoroff.