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Monday, January 16, 2017

My Favorite Spy (1942)

Starring Kay Kyser, Ellen Drew, Jane Wyman, Robert Armstrong, Helen Westley
Directed by Tay Garnett
(actor & director credits courtesy

On the day of his wedding, bandleader Kay Kyser discovers he has been called up to service in the Army, but he's actually wanted by the government as an espionage agent.

An atypical film for Kyser and his band, who are only featured in a couple of songs, while the bulk of the picture finds him evading enemy spies and trying to hide his covert activities from Drew as his new wife.  Kyser is underrated as a comedian, but it just seems odd to shift so much of the film's focus away from the band and their music, which was probably the selling point for the movie to begin with.  The spy story seems more grim than funny, covering ground we've seen executed far better in other pictures.  However, it is fun to spot all the character actors in the cast, including future Oscar-winner Wyman, King Kong's Robert Armstrong, My Three Sons' William Demarest, and James Whale's favorite screamer, Una O'Connor.

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