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Swing Out Sweet Land

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Swing Out Sweet Land (1970) starring John Wayne and a host of celebrities

Swing Out Sweet Land is John Wayne’s tribute to the United States of America. It’s a star-studded tribute to America starring John Wayne, Lorne Greene, William Shatner, Dan Blocker, Michael Landon, Ann-Margret, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Hugh O’Brian, Roscoe Lee Browne, Glen Campbell, Greg Morris, Ross Martin, Johnny Cash, Roy Clark, Bing Crosby, Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Celeste Holm, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Tom Smothers, Red Skelton, Leslie Uggams, Dennis Weaver, Ed McMahon and more.

It was the highest rated show of the week it aired.

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Dr. Kildare’s Wedding Day

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Dr. Kildare’s Wedding Day (1941), starring Lew Ayres, Laraine Day, Lionel Barrymore, Red Skelton

(Editor’s note: originally published at Red-Skelton.info, used with permission)

Red Skelton had a recurring role in the  Dr. Kildare movie series, providing comedy relief as orderly Vernon Briggs.  In  Dr. Kildare’s Wedding Day, he has three memorable comedy routines — as well as a serious moment that we’ll address later:

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Lady Be Good

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Lady Be Good (1941), starring Robert Young, Ann Sothern, Eleanor Powell, Lionel Barrymore, Red Skelton, Virginia O’Brien Synopsis of Lady Be Good In Lady Be… Read More »Lady Be Good

Half a Hero [Red Skelton]

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Half a Hero (1953), starring Red Skelton, Jean Hagen

Synopsis of Half a Hero, starring Red Skelton, Jean Hagen

In Half a Hero, Red Skelton stars as Ben Dobson, a freelance writer who no sooner starts working full-time as a rewrite man at a magazine then his wife (Jean Hagen) decides that they should have their first child. Afterward, she pushes him into moving from New York City to the suburbs.  Here he is nickel and dimed to the verge of bankruptcy.  Until his boss gives him his first chance at writing his own article for this national magazine.  An article talking about the “slums of tomorrow” — the suburbs

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Ziegfeld Follies

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Ziegfeld Follies (1945) starring William Powell, Red Skelton, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly,  Lucille Ball,  Lena Horne, Kathryn Grayson and many more

Ziegfeld Follies is an attempt at recreating the spectacle of Flo Ziegfeld’s famous Broadway shows … And so the film is a series of unrelated musical and comedy routines. They’re unconnected except by the narration of the ghostly Flo Ziegfeld (played by William Powell) as he sits back in Heaven, thinking of the spectacles that he could create with then-current stars.  The various acts include:

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Flight Command

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Flight Command (1940) starring Robert Taylor, Walter Pidgeon, Ruth Hussey, Red Skelton

I originally watched  Flight Command because it was one of Red Skelton‘s earliest movie roles — which is technically true; Red’s in the film as part of the Hellcats squadron, acting as the class clown, but he’s definitely a secondary character.  Flight Command is primarily about a brash young pilot, Alan Drake (played by Robert Taylor) who’s recruited straight out of college to join the premier squad of Navy Hellcats.  He has trouble fitting in at first, although the flight commander (played by a young and dashing Walter Pidgeon) tries to help — as does the commander’s wife (played by Ruth Hussey). There’s a suspected romantic triangle between Drake and the commander’s wife (which was only him trying to console her on the death of her brother) — but all turns out well in the end.

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Neptune’s Daughter [Esther Williams]

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Neptune’s Daughter (1949) starring Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, Red Skelton, Betty Garrett, Keenan Wynn

Neptune’s Daughter is a laugh out loud funny romantic musical comedy, which I enjoyed immensely.   Although the movie stars the beautiful (and aquatic) Esther Williams and the dashing Ricardo Montalban (one of my favorite actors), the movie comes to life when Red Skelton is onscreen.

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