Monday 8 August 2016

A Cinephile Quiz -Solve the mystery of Italian DVD Distribution

From the hidden treasures lurking in the racks of Florence's wondrous Alberti Dischi on Borgo San Lorenzo comes this little item. The copy itself is immaculate, beautifully conserved Technicolour but when you look at the cover after watching the film you realise there's something wrong here. For those who need a leg-up the film is Up in Arms directed, as the cover says, by the redoubtable Elliott Nugent.  It has the distinction of being the first film in which Danny Kaye appeared. He arrived as a fully formed Broadway star and, somewhat regrettably, immediately was cast as the timid guy too easily pushed around. Danny had several middling numbers, some by Harold Arlen and some by Kaye's wife Sylvia Fine. One of the numbers was one of those mindbender tests of oral dexterity similar to but lesser than his most famous riff on the names of the Russian composers.

First prize is the satisfaction of being the week's Cinephile#1. A free subscription to Film Alert to anyone who sends in the correct answer. The more detail supplied the better the chances of winning first prize.


  1. I am sure that Dinah Shore is not spelt Virginia Mayo!
    But Dinah does play a character named Virginia!

  2. Commendably enigmatic James. No point in losing the first mover advantage with detail...

  3. Yup, that's it. I also like the way both women--whoever they are--are posed a la Betty Grable's "Million Dollar Legs" poster shot from 1943.

  4. OK, David Hare, Noel Bjorndahl, James Sabine, Eddie Cockrell here's what I know about Up in Arms. Various sources mention that Virginia Mayo (below) was in the film but uncredited. She was among the 'Goldwyn Girls' and she is clearly visible in medium close-up in at least one shot in the scene of the troop carrier's departure. Dinah Shore was indeed the star and Constance Dowling next female in line. Danny was smitten with Constance who preferred the young Dana Andrews. Dinah was smitten with Danny. So the Italian distributor of the DVD no doubt imagining riches beyond parallel decided that nobody had heard of Dinah Shore but everybody knows Virginia Mayo so substituted the one for the other on the very slim basis of the single medium close-up. And yes the Betty Grable poses come from another movie as well, Eddie.
    Free subscriptions all round and equal #1 cinephile for the next week. Cheers folks.
    Image may contain: 1 person , closeup


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