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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Van JohnsonWhen I first saw VAN JOHNSON (1916-2008), born Charles Van Johnson, it was on the "I Love Lucy" show. Lucy liked having friends appear on the show. Of course, Van played himself and Lucy was star struck, as usual. It was wonderful seeing the two of them do a dance number together. The first movie I ever saw Van Johnson in was Brigadoon (1954).  He paid the best friend to Gene's Kelly character. Although Van's character Jeff Douglas wasn't the warmest or nicest person in the story, he played a good part. .Had I not seen Van Johnson in anything other this film, I'd have labelled him a villian. It was Van Johnson's comedic roles that I liked best. My favorite of these was in Yours, Mine and Ours (1968). There's a scene in a bar that's priceless.  Eddie Albert was part of a similiar scene in Roman Holiday (1953).

A Guy Named Joe (1943)Haven't you seen A Guy Named Joe (1943)? This film was later remade into Always with Richard Dreyfuss. If Always is the only film you see of these two, Always comes across as a very good story. In fact, I saw the Van Johnson vehicle, after I'd watched the remake. Seeing the original made me never want to watch the remake again. A Guy Named Joe (1943) was so far superior. It's a great film. Van Johnson plays Capt. Ted Randall.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

The Cane Mutiny (1954) This is one of Van Johnson's most well known roles. He does an excellent job. He plays Lt. Steve Maryk.
Too Young to Kiss (1951) In this romantic comedy, Van plays Eric Wainwright, an impresario that believes he has discovered a child prodigy, having no idea that the child is actually a woman  his own age, played by June Allyson, in disguise.
In the Good Ole Summertime (1949) This is the musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner. Van plays the lead role opposite Judy Garland. I like this one more than the earlier motion picture. The story is slightly different. I like the whole music slant. He plays Andrew Delby Larkin and narrates portions of the film.
Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) He plays best friend to Henry Fonda's character. Van Johnson plays Warrant Officer Darrel Harrison.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve Randolph" Date: Fri, Nov 11 2005 / 10:52 PST


  • I love old kurt russell movies and doris day's too. Most people my age haven't even seen any of them.

    Send me no flowers is great.

    And most kids today don't realize their fav movies are remakes, ocean's eleven the original is great!

    By Blogger Beth Danae, at Sat Nov 12, 10:05:00 AM PST