The Blondie series of films based on the popular comic strip appeared in the late 1930s and 40s. The films included a charming blond boy of about 4 years of age appeared as Baby Dumpling. The same boy was still playing the part as a teenager because the films were made over several years. They made quite a number of these films between 1938-50, some 28. It was kind of like a TV series, although more spwced out. We have seen several of the films, but not all of them. The plots use some of the running gags from the strip, but the plots persue different thems, although quite a number deal with Dagwood's problens with Mr. Dithers. Dagwood is usually the focus of the plot despite the fact that the titles usually use Bolondie.
This was the first film of the Blondie series.
The blessed event of course is Cookie. Alexander is finally growing up a bit, but still in shorts. He appears in some sort of scout or military uniform. Actually this one is worth seeing as Alexander appears a good bit. He also at long last fusses about being called Baby Dumpling.
As Always Dagwood's life proves complicated. At home, a persuasive book salesman (Olin Howlin) manages to sell Blondie a set of books on child training. He has sold her on the idea that Baby Dumpling is a child prodigy. At work, Dagwood is of course having trouble with his tyranical boss--J.C. Dithers, Dagwood has made changes in an apartment building the company is building for Abner Cartwright (Robert Middlemass). Dithers as usual threatens to fire him. Dagwood to save his job has to sell on the changes. This proves difficult because Cartwright is using the changes as an excuse to get out of the contract. Blondie registers Baby Dumpling in school. Daisy who comes along is nabbed by the dog catcher. Daisy is quickly adopted by Melinda Mason (Peggy Ann Garner) who is the crippled daughter of a weathy man. Baby Dumpling is distraught. The following day he plays hooky to look for Daisy. When Blondie learns that Baby Dumpling is not at school, she and Dagwood conclude that he has been kidnapped. Melinda by this time is also missing and was seen playing with a little boy and dog. Dagwood takes off for the Mason mansion where he is arrested as a suspected kidnapper. Baby Dumpling wears short pants outfits.
Dagwood and Blondie find the mansion they are staying in is haunted. Alexander has a short pants suit, but never wears knee socks. He wears a little short pants outfit, with button-on shorts, sometimes with a suit jacket and cap.
Dagwood as a favor to an old friend finds himself in possession of a massive pedigreed Great Dane--'Chin-Up-White-Tie-For-Dinner'. Or perhaps it is the Great Dane who posses Dagwood, hard to tell. . Anyway Dagwood brings the lumbering beast home. Daisy is not impressed ar all. Actually an important client, Waldo Pincus, wants the dog. Blondie enters the dog in the local dog show. She also sings songs with the Mitchell Boys' Choir. Baby Dumpling joins a Scout-like group--the Boy Rangers. The boys wear a Scout-like uniform. The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir as the Ranger troop accompanies Blondie (the lovely Penny Singleton) in a song used to help a Great Dane perform at the dog show. The result is a free-for-all with William Frawley ending up at the bottom of the pile. And Chin-Up-White-Tie-For-Dinner wins the prize, beating a Mr. Pincus' dog. Of course Pincus is an important client for Mr. Dithers' company. Pincus is furious and Dagwood as in many of these films almost loses his job. Blondie as usual sorts the whole mess out.
The Bumsteads have money problems. Dagwood wants to use the available cash to join the Trout Club. Blondie as her hear set on a fur coat. Dagwood plans a surprise for Blondie. Then proverbial fur flies when Dagwoods old girlfriend Joan Forrester unexpectedly makes an appearance. She helps him pick out a fur coat for Blondie. And given that his old girl friend was Rita Hayword, that doesn't go over well at all with Blondie. Rita Hayword was a major glamour star at the time. This film was made before America entered World War II. Rita would become the most important pin-up with GIs posted all over the world.
The problem is resolved when a drawing at the movie theatre finally provides money for Blondie's fur. The boys (Baby Dumpling and Alvin) meat Rita, but I'm not sure how they fit into the plot line.
The Bumstead gets tied up with a young couple that runs off to get married. Alexander appears in both shorts and longs, with quite a few costume changes. He first appears in a long pants jump suit kind of outfit. Disappointing as his friend is in a nice sailor suit outfit with those shorts socks with horizontal stripes children wore in the 1940s. Then Alexander appears in a dark shirt/shorts outfit, followed by a short pants suit and cap, and then a great white sailor suit and old-fashioned sailor cap.
Footlight Glamour was the the fourteenth of the 28 Blondie films. For some reason the only ones we have seen are the earlier and not the post-War ones. "Foot Life Glamour" is one of only two Blondiee movies without 'Blondie' in the title. The other was 'It's a Great Life', also released in 1943. The standard gags like running into the mailman continue. The film begins at the breakfast table. THe sunject of rationing comes up. Baby Dumpling's friend, Alvin (Danny Mummert), comes over to the Bumstead home to ask Dagwood for a favor for his mother which Dagwood makes a hash of. Dagwood continues to have problems at work. Mr. Dithers. hopes that rich tool manufacturer Randolph Wheeler will build a new War plant on land he owns. Then touble begins when Blondie gets the acting bug and joins the community theater. It seems that Wheeler's daughter Vicki wants to be an actress. Her father doesn't like the idea at all. Trouble begins when Blondie casts Vicki in the community-theatre production. Vivki woinds up in the Bumstead housegold. The play is a disaster but somehow comes out alright in the end. . Baby Dumpling is growing up. He still wear short pants, but not juvenile styles, just a standard shirt, styled a little differetly than a basic shirt, and shorts. His best friend Alvin wears long pants.
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