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Angel's Holiday 1937
Description: Lively June (Jane Withers), teen-aged daughter of mystery writer Waldo Everett (Jon Qualen), who calls her "Angel," becomes involved in intrigue centering on film star Pauline Kaye (Sally Blane) and her companion Stivers (Joan Davis). Reporter Nickname Moore (Robert Kent), once sweet on Pauline, is convinced that her sudden disappearance is a publicity stunt, which is real -- until gangster Bat Regan (Harold Huber) decides to receive involved.
Released: 07 Jun 1937 Director: James Tinling Writers: Frank Fenton (story), Lynn Root (story) Actors: Jane Withers, Joan Davis, Sally Blane, Robert Kent Genres: Comedy
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Angel's Holiday Reviews:

Jane Withers was one of those stars that came across as larger than life. She was the ultimate kid, full of energy and enthusiasm for whatever was thrown her way. From beginning to end, Jane is "on" in Angel's Holiday.Angel's mystery writer father drops her off with his brother, a newspaper publisher. Ten year old Angel has a crush on Nickname Moore, a reporter in hot water with the publisher. She even suggests he begin calling her by her true name, June, as she thinks the name Angel is a bit childish. To support Nickname victory favor with his boss, she hints him off to the whereabouts of the missing film star, Pauline Kaye. Pauline Kaye happens to be an old flame of Nick, and she is being hidden by her agent as a publicity stunt. By the time everything ends Jane has tangled with mobsters (looking to really kidnap the star), and the whole police force. She charms one of the crooks and irritates the police chief. Angel's Vacation really never has a dull moment. This film is a gem among old movies! Jane does her impression of Martha Raye, and then Joan Davis does a screwball routine. While Jane's comedy approach is still acceptable to contemporary audiences, Joan's comedy is definitely embedded in the 1930's. The comedy of this film is more situational than jokes and routines, anyway, so anyone can search this film funny today. Joan Davis' billing in the credits was higher than Sally Blane's, but Sally Blane had more screen time.


1937's "Angel's Holiday" helped cement Jane Withers' position as Fox's second largest box office kid star after Shirley Temple, which she held for two years. Jane's Angel is the daughter of famed mystery writer Waldo Everett (John Qualen), naturally involving herself in a true life puzzle involving film star Pauline Kaye (Sally Blane), her disappearance a publicity stunt engineered by her manager, and racketeer Bat Regan (Harold Huber), who gets in on the action by tailing Angel. Not one of the star's better vehicles, though she does her impression of Martha Raye, then bamboozles the whole police force to gratis Pauline's cohort in mischief (Frank Jenks). Billed on screen as Regan's top henchman Eddie is Lon Chaney (entering at the 46 minute mark), still fairly fresh to 20th Century-Fox, his two year stint under contract yielding tiny in the method of featured roles; he appears in two further Jane Withers pictures in the coming months, "Wild and Woolly" and "Checkers," both an improvement on this one. One stage finds him cleaning his gat at the breakfast table, to which Bat Regan has a comment: "ain't you got any better etiquette than to be cleaning your rod at the table? Eddie's everytime in a terrible mood before he has his breakfast, he's liable to pull a gun on himself!" Soon on Chaney bullies Joan Davis: "hey, what do you think you are?" "what do I look like?" "you couldn't be that!"


Having recently added Ginger, This Is The Life, Paddy O'Day and Tiny Miss Nobody to my Jane Withers collection, I had cute nice expectations for Angel's Holiday. However, I found the movie hard to follow with a cute dull storyline. I'm giving the movie three stars for Jane and Jane alone, even though her talents are cute wasted in this film. Check this movie vs Tiny Miss Nobody, which has a massive dose of pathos, but also the entire gangster thing going on along with some very funny scenes. This movie just had a very "low budget" feel to it (granted, Jane's movies were B films shot on a "cheap" lot at Fox...but this one has an additional weak budget feel to it.) I guess they were targeting children in the 30's who were into Gangbusters, but the movie centers around a movie star who seems to have no another career but to hold trying to disappear for publicity stunts (why does no one at ALL recognize her in the train if she's so famous?) Jane is the sidekick to the reporter who happens to be an old flame of this star. The entire thing is fairly boring for children (and I watched it with my 8 and 9 year olds who have seen Jane's another movies and liked them a lot.) If you're a die difficult Jane Withers fan, and I am, you'll probably wish to add this one to your library, just for Jane's performances alone. However, if you're just looking for a nice example of her films, test Ginger or one of the another above mentioned games and skip this one.



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