For Reel

Maisie Gets Her Man (1942)
December 24, 2013, 12:30 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Roy Del Ruth
3.5 Stars
Maisie Gets Her ManThe sixth of the Maisie films reliably opens with a sequence that involves the titular sassy blonde finding herself out of work. This time, she’s performing on stage alongside a misogynistic showman who becomes blinded with woman-hating rage after he finds that his sweetheart has left him. During a knife-throwing act, he misses several marks and almost severely injures Maisie (Ann Sothern) before chasing her away in a murderous rampage. As with the prologue of Maisie Was a Lady, it’s a fascinating, deliriously macabre sequence that considers the role of the female performer in a world in which women are merely objectified or, worse, held with utter contempt (in the earlier film, Maisie appears as a “headless woman” in a traveling act). After narrowly escaping her former partner, she finds herself at a talent agency where she is introduced to a lame comic, ‘Hap’ Hixby (Red Skelton), whose obnoxious brand of comedy is well met by her smart-mouthing. It comes as little surprise that Maisie warms up to the loudmouth, but the impressive cast makes the routine fare a worthy, if minor installment in the series. Allen Jenkins is particularly good as the building manager who gives Maisie a job–he’s a kind, well-liked sap that seems perpetually depressed (particularly when the subject of his wife is brought up). A subplot involving a con artist (Lloyd Corrigan) is an unnecessary contrivance, but Sothern is memorable in a late scene in which she needs to distract him until his eventual arrest.

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