Film Review of Love Happy: Hungry Entertainers, Missing Diamonds, and Ruthless Criminals
Struggling performers are alive by committing the crime of stealing food. A private detective devotes years to solving the crime of stolen Romanoff royal diamonds. Will the two paths’ crossing end in happiness or unhappiness in the film “Love Happy”?
Love Happy is a comedy film by writers Mac Benoff, Harpo Marx, and Frank Tashlin; producers David Miller and Mary Pickford; and director Lester Cowan. Responsibility for cinematography, editing, and music is by William Mellor, Basil Wrangell, and Ann Ronell. The filming location is in Los Angeles at the General Service Studios and in New York City.
The film lasts 85+ minutes. It premiered on October 12, 1949 in San Francisco. It was released by its distributor, United Artists, on March 3, 1950.
The film begins with private detective Sam Grunion (Groucho Marx) conducting an eleven-year search for Romanoff diamonds. He focuses upon a musical revue troupe led by Mike Johnson (Paul Valentine). The troupe survives by Harpo (Marx) stealing Herbert & Herbert gourmet food shop canned goods while purporting to carry customers’ groceries.
Mute Harpo hears manager Lefty Throckmorton (Melville Cooper) speak of sardines with Madame Egelichi (Ilona Massey). He manages to take the Maltese cross-marked can filled with Romanoff diamonds. He offers the supposed sardines to Mike’s girlfriend, dancer Maggie Phillips (Vera-Ellen). Madame offers $1,000 for the diamonds’ recovery when Lefty recalls Harpo’s presence.
Police bring Harpo to Madame. Madame’s thugs Alphonse and Hannibal Zoto (Raymond Burr and Bruce Gordon) interrogate Harpo for three days. Madame overhears Mike’s new hire, Faustino the Great mind-reader (Chico Marx), speaking of sardines during a telephone call sneaked by Harpo.
Financially-strapped Mike accepts Madame’s financial backing. He breaks a birthday date with Maggie for an evening meeting with Madame. But Harpo escapes, finds the diamond-filled can set out for alley cats, and takes Maggie to Central Park. He regales Maggie with diamonds and harp-playing.
Lefty and the Zoto brothers appear at the theater on opening night. Maggie has on Harpo’s diamond necklace until dissuaded by Mike. Mike promises to buy an engagement ring. Maggie puts the necklace in the piano.
Madame’s thugs close in on Maggie when the show begins. Harpo gets the thugs’ attention with costume jewelry. He has them follow him to the theater’s roof.
Faustino’s on-stage routine includes piano-playing. The necklace flies up when Faustino plays loudly. Faustino grabs the necklace and runs to the roof.
Madame follows. With gun drawn, she inadvertently gets the costume jewels. But Sam is on the roof and obtains Harpo’s diamonds. Harpo nevertheless steals them back
The film ends with Sam talking on the telephone with his wife, Madame.
Love Happy is memorable in film industry for Marilyn Monroe’s (1926-1962) non-comedic, non-dancing/singing performance as Sam’s client.
Copyright: Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Derdriu