In the true spirit of Howard Hughes film technique-plot will be sacrificed here for gratuitous shots of Jane- who’s nightgown really isn’t all that fuzzy, sadly.
Alright, buckle up and have your popcorn ready, this is a doozy!
Laurel is a major star! An independent woman who rules her own destiny and loves cigarette pants- as all powerful women do! She knows her worth and packages it accordingly! Let’s play a game, shall we? Let’s count how many times Jane has to blow or suck on something in the first five minutes to establish her character development, shall we?
Laurels new film is a glorious historically accurate sex romp thru the Bourbon period. Her last film was mostly tequila based, so this is a nice change for her. Her producer and studio boss are very excited about this film loosely based on the life of St Catherine.
Laurel is torqued off because her bath tub scene got cut by the censors for not meeting their ‘suds to bazooms ratio’.
Look it up kiddies- it’s a thing! Laurel refuses to come to the opening tonight until that calgon orgy is put back in. She knows art and how to sell it! Grandeur studios was built on Laurel Stevens bust! Seriously- they’ve been able to expand 3 times in 5 years!
Meet- aw, heck, I forgot her name. She’s a retired actress who provides sassy yet loving candor to Laurel in exchange for light housework and getting to eat anything in the fridge. Lets call her Maureen. She is wearing a fabulous belt! laurel is dressing for the opening- but slowly- so we can see her fabulous movie star home- look at all the ficus!
Laurel uses this scene to explain to Maureen that sex appeal is a tool and that you don’t need a man- it’s all career and fancy lamps! Oh, phone call!
Ok, off we go- time to hit the premiere and dazzle the masses! What could go wrong?
You will NEVER believe this! A nefarious man is waiting to abscond with Laurel! What a thing to do on the opening night of The Kidnapped Bride!!
Meet Mike and Dandy: an ex-con and his friend who believes in his good heart. They are kidnapping Laurel to get money to start over. I’m not sure they’re a couple, but maybe.
Meanwhile- the producers are being grilled by the faux Hedda Hopper about Laurel and whether or not they are cheesy enough to stage a ‘napping on the night of the premiere! But they are as shocked and upset as soulless studio people can be.
Laurel is forced to put on this lovely velvet cape by her kidnappers. Seriously- whats up with this? It doesn’t conceal her or keep her from seeing her whereabouts or anything- were they just worried about her getting a cold? Do they want to kidnap one of the 7 dancing princesses?
Well, when they arrive at the hideout- Laurel makes a brave escape attempt and her druid cape impedes her- maybe there was a point after all.
Laurel is carried into the house and forced to listen to Dandy unveil the plot!
Oh, you two are twisted weasels! They have truly creepy plans indeed! Dandy is going to force Laurel to wear this Lanz nightgown and play a frisky game of ‘what big _____ you have’ with them. She’s going to need so much therapy after this- you know Patty Hearst was given a very similar nightie in plaid. Look it up.
Laurel soon realized that not only is Mike evil- he thinks he’s Perry Como! It’s now time for the sensitive exposition talk about how Mike was an innocent man framed by the justice system and now he is marked for life and can’t do anything but continue down the perditious path. Poor Mike.
Meanwhile- Laurel, ever the professional, is practicing for her next movie- where she plays a high wire artist with Rory Calhoun- ‘Cleavage under the Big Top’…..
This film has it all, suspense, athletics, early American furniture….
Meanwhile Maureen finds evidence that Laurel couldn’t have left of her own free will and rushes to show the studio guys!
Laurel tries all of her best wiles to get her Perry Como impersonating abductor to release her. She nearly throw out her back trying to saunter in his dead Grandmothers negligee but they are
hardened er, desperate criminals!
Mike the excon had to register with his parole officer and was smart enough to leave the hideout as an address. When Detective McBride shows up to check on Mike- who he believed was innocent all along, but still a ne’er-do-well, Laurel tries out her expansive lung capacity on him-
Wow- that was close! luckily Mike keeps her from escaping and locks her in the ‘Young Brides 4 piece all mahogany look veneer bedroom suite’.
But she is always listening…..
Over a strangely long period of time for a public figure to be missing and only noticed by 4 people, Laurel, Mike and Dandy form a bond and enjoy long walked on the beach, toast and wearing each others clothes and wigs.
They decorate their tiny display Christmas tree and do all the other things one routinely does with their kidnapper. Yes, they paint each others nails alot.
At last the deal is made with the studio to ransom Laurel using a price by the pound. The ransom will be delivered and Mike and Dandy will go off to Mexico! By now, The faux Hedda cannot be put off- she knows something is up! So does detective Mcbride and oh, it’s about to all get crazy and misunderstandings will commence!
But what about Mike? He isn’t really a kidnapper- he’s misunderstood. What about Dandy? He’s just a low-level airport worker that wants to go to Mexico. If they take the money, they’re really crooks and what about Laurel? What about how she feels about Mike? What about Dandy and how I’m thinking he feels about Mike in the novel, but was edited it out of the film by the uptight Hays board?
Now it’s Christmas day and Dandy has a gift for Laurel- no it’s not another nightgown- it’s a really odd purchase for a bachelor man to bring his hostage, but hey, Dandy- you be you!
Oh, whats that noise? It’s a car, possibly the police or the neighborhood watch coming for Dandy!
Oh, carollers. That was close!
Well, the big day arrives- Maureen has all the money in a very generic suitcase and Dandy has his generic swap suitcase ready- he is ready to make the drop as they say.
But second thoughts are brewing all around. Mike- about becoming the thing he has denied for so long- a criminal.
Laurel- about being used by the studio like she is just a commodity! But she has no doubts about the fabulous lacy catsuit with chiffon skirting that Dandy bought her- it’s delish!
No, we can’t do this! We must stop Dandy! Time for a madcap chase thru the streets in a stolen police car!!
They find Dandy in the breakroom- abusing the companies generous break policy- Dandy is the reason minimum wage is so low.
The police arrive and so does Maureen and the studio people! Fire laws are clearly not followed and they are going to arrest Mike and Dandy! Oh no! Think Laurel, think!
Laurel announces that it was all her idea and the boys are her publicity team! The suitcase is full of old newspaper and a stray girl scout uniform that Dandy can’t explain, but nothing criminal in most states! Yay! Laurel and Mike will be together forever and Dandy will live with them until they find out. Ah, love.
photo credits: little me, with an Amazon assist. All images remain the property of the original owner.