American Jane Clarke (Ruby Keeler) is Ready, Willing and Able to pass herself off as a London musical star with the same name if it lands her on Broadway. Clue #1 that she isn't that Jane Clarke: She can dance, but only a devoted, tone-deaf mother could say she can sing. Clue #2: Up pops the other Jane Clarke herself (Wini Shaw, who wowed fans with Lullaby of Broadway in Gold Diggers of 1935). Pure Golden Era fun!
The Warner Bros. musicals began running out of gas in the late 1930s, yielding such lukewarm efforts as READY, WILLING AND ABLE. Ruby Keeler, as charmingly ingenuous as ever, plays Jane, a college student with show-biz aspirations. In order to land a role in an upcoming Broadway spectacular, Jane impersonates famous British stage luminary Jane Clarke (and never mind that her British accent is as transparent as a plastic bag). On the strength of Jane's supposed reputation, fly-by-night producers Pinky Blair (Lee Dixon) and Barry Granville (Ross Alexander) convince a movie studio to pony up the money for their Broadway show. The trouble begins when the real Jane Clarke shows up, threatening lawsuits left and right. Somehow, Pinky and Barry are able to make both of their leading ladies happy, and the show goes on. The film's solitary musical highlight is "Too Marvelous For Words," performed by a battalion of leggy chorines on a huge typewriter; curiously, this very famous sequence was barely mentioned at all in the original reviews for READY, WILLING AND ABLE. Sadly, co-star Ross Alexander died before the film was released nationally.
Great Britain |
Mistaken Identity |
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