Thursday, September 18, 2014

Case Study No. 1583: Connie Lane

June Allyson/Peter Lawford - The Varsity Drag
From the1947 MGM film "Good News", here are June Allyson and Peter Lawford in the ultimate college gym number.
Tags: Good News The Varsity Drag
Added: 4 years ago
From: loafersguy
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[Tommy and Connie are standing outside, alone, at the Tait College prom]
CONNIE: Well, where are you going?
TOMMY: Where am I going? I'm going home! Where do people generally go?
CONNIE: Home ...
TOMMY: You staying?
[she fakes a smile]
CONNIE: Oh yes, I'm having a lovely time!
[she tries to nonchalantly whistle]
TOMMY: Well, why don't you go back inside?
CONNIE: I like it out here ... I think it's utterly delightful out here.
[she breathes in the night air, then suddenly turns to Tommy with an angry look on her face]
CONNIE: And besides, nobody's gonna tell me where to go! Why don't you go inside?
TOMMY: I'm leaving, I don't have to go inside!
CONNIE: Well then, why don't you leave?
TOMMY: Because I love you!
[there's a momentary look of shock in her eyes, but she quickly tries to brush off his statement]
CONNIE: Oh, that's a ridiculous thing to say ...
TOMMY: Well, I said it!
CONNIE: [whispers] I'm glad ...
TOMMY: [loudly] What?
CONNIE: [loudly] I'm glad!
[his demeanor immediately softens as he takes her by the arm]
TOMMY: Oh, you are?
TOMMY: Oh, in that case, I got a lotta things to say ...
CONNIE: For instance?
TOMMY: You remember the day in the library, when you gave me the French lesson?
CONNIE: Uh huh.
TOMMY: Well, there are a lotta things that you can teach me, and that's the way I want it to be. You name it, I'll do anything you say.
CONNIE: Anything?
TOMMY: Try me.
[she folds her arm]
CONNIE: Down on your heels!
[he gets a confused look on his face]
TOMMY: Down on my heels?
CONNIE: Up on your toes!
TOMMY: Up on my toes? What's that?
[he suddenly realizes that the entire school dance is watching them, as they start singing]
ALL: That's the way to do the Varsity Drag!
[they all laugh, then Connie starts to sing]
CONNIE: We've always thought, knowledge is naught! We should be taught, to dance! Right here at Tait, we're up to date! We teach a great ... new dance! Don't think that I brag, I speak of the Drag!
[she drags him back into the dance and continues singing]
CONNIE: Why should a sheik learn how to speak Latin and Greek ... badly? Give him a neat motto complete, say it with feet ... gladly! First lesson right now, you'll love it and how you'll love it!
[she begins dancing]
CONNIE: Here is the Drag, see how it goes! Down on your heels, up on your toes! That's the way to do the Varsity Drag!
[he joins in with the dance steps]
CONNIE: Hotter than hot, newer than new! Meaner than mean, bluer than blue! Gets as much applause as wavin' the flag! You can pass many a class, whether you're dumb or wise! If you all answer the call, when your professor cries ... Everybody!
[everyone stops just watching the two dance and joins in]
CONNIE: Down on your heels, up on the toes! Stay after school, learn how it goes! Everybody do the Varsity Drag!
TOMMY: Here is the Drag!
ALL: Here is the Drag!
TOMMY: See how it goes!
ALL: See how it goes!
TOMMY: Down on your heels!
ALL: Down on your heels!
TOMMY: Up on your toes!
ALL: Up on your toes! That's the way to do the Varsity Drag!
TOMMY: Hotter than hot!
ALL: Hotter than hot!
TOMMY: Newer than new!
ALL: Newer than new!
TOMMY: Meaner than mean!
ALL: Meaner than mean!
TOMMY: Bluer than blue!
ALL: Bluer than blue! Gets as much applause as wavin' the flag! You can pass many a class, whether you're dumb or wise! If you all answer the call, when your professor cries ... Down on your heels! Up on your toes! Stay after school, learn how it goes! Every, everybody! Step right up and do the Varsity Drag!
[the men and women separate to do an extended dance sequence, led by Tommy and Connie respectively]
ALL: The boy, garcon! The girl, la fille! That's good, c'est bon! The show, fini!
[the camera pans up to show Tommy and Connie standing on the top of the stage, holding hands]
ALL: The moral to this tale, is learn to "parlez vous!" Send her a billet doux, tell her her eyes are blue!
[everyone stops as Tommy looks into Connie's eyes]
TOMMY: They sure are blue ...
[they kiss, then everyone continues singing]
ALL: "Je vous adore" means "I love you!"




Walters, Charles (Director). Good News. United States: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1947.

Starring: Allyson, June (Connie Lane, College Student, Assistant Librarian); Peter Lawford (Tommy Marlowe)
Based on the Play: Schwab, Laurence, & B.G. DeSylva. Good News. NY: Samuel French, 1932.

And Broadway Musical (1927) Starring: Mary Lawlor (Connie Lane); John Price Jones (Tommy Marlowe)

Connie Lane is Assistant Librarian of a college library (and also a third year student majoring in languages) in this football rah-rah musical that has been adapted several times on stage and screen. "This is scarcely the favorite hang-out for the football team," Connie states to its captain, Tommy Marlowe. The librarian here is associated with learning. Predictable and dated storyline. Tired exchange: "You sure don't look like a librarian." "I sure don't feel like one." Favorite quote: Beef to Pat: "Gee, why must everyone get literary in my car?" High point of the film: Football uniforms apparently designed by Ronald McDonald. Also features one of the most commonly used scenes: The library at closing time.



"Good News" (1947), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Technicolor college musical comedy with reel librarian Connie Lane (June Allyson), is about the romantic machinations of Tommy Marlowe (Peter Lawford), Tait College's star football player and popular big-man-on-campus who is rejected by his latest female interest, Pat McClellan (Patricia Marshall). He visits the college library to find the definition of "incorrigible", a French word that she called him.

In the first library scene, Connie (a student and assistant librarian) is seated at a desk by the card catalog handing books to a student, remarking, "I think these have what you're looking for, Jim." He thanks her, and as he leaves the library, Tommy comes wandering in and looks around, as if it were his first time in the library. Seeing Tommy, Connie remarks, "Why, Mr. Marlowe, what on earth are you doing here? ... This is scarcely the favorite hangout for the football team." Unwilling to admit he is not a serious student, he replies with a lie: "I don't know what you mean. I've often been in here doing research, you know." "Not in the past three years you haven't," she retorts.

As Connie carries two large stacks of books in her arms to her desk, he admits lying to her but does not offer to assist her. When he finds out that she is a student, he asks, "Why do you wnat to work here for?" "Oh, it helps pay my tuition. It's something called working your way through college." "Oh, I'm sorry," he replies, realizing that she is not as wealthy as he and the majority of students at Tait.

Tommy asks about the definition of "incorrigible," and Connie (a language major) tells him the meaning. Although disheartened that the definition is precisely what he expected, Tommy remarks that he needs to learn French to impress Pat. He then asks for the name of the best French teacher on campus. It is Professor Kennyon, but Connie informs him the professor "hates football players."

"I've never flunked a subject yet," he responds. Showing confidence in his academic ability, he adds, "I bet it's easy. C'mon, throw me a few words." "Oh, don't be silly, it's closing time," Connie replies, but he insists. They break out into a song, "The French Lesson," and she manages to shelve several books while they sing. After the song, they exchange childhood reminisces about reading as they walk out onto the protico. Tommy remarks, "You know, when I walked in here a few minutes ago ... I was feeling kind of sorry for you."


"Oh, I don't know, having to work your way through school, missing a lot of good times, not having the best things in life." Connie replies that she has them; everybody has them, she maintains, as she sings "The Best Things in Life are Free." After the song, Tommy and Connie kiss. Tommy, exuberant about his French lesson, can hardly wait to show off his French to Pat. "That'll put a dent in her," he tells Connie. Upset by his complete denial of their romantic moment, Connie angrily replies, "Why don't you just hit her over the head with a hockey stick," and rushes back into the library.

Connie is an attractive blonde (half bang; collar length pageboy; popularly known as the June Allyson hairstyle), fashionably dressed in a polka dot dress with a white collar, matching cuffs, and narrow tie. She is a librarian, not by appearance, but by maintaining that she is the assistant librarian and by working in the library. Another factor supporting her status as assistant librarian is her financial situation. It is evident the majority of Tait College students are from prosperous families, and Tommy expresses sorrow for Connie's failure to have the "best things." Even though Connie insists the best things are free, the tuition at Tait College is not, requiring her to work at the library.

The film's second library scene occurs on the afternoon of the opening football game; Connie watches the game from an open window, jumping up and down and shouting for Tommy. An "only 38" woman (uncredited), undoubtedly Connie's library supervisor, attired in a grey dress, white collar and bow, with an armful of books, walks by Connie and taps on her shoulder. Connie quickly leaves the window and walks down an aisle smiling. The supervisor possesses the visual characteristics of the stereotypical image. This contrast of librarians continues the basic cinematic treatment of leading (youthful) and supporting (elderly) roles that was established in silent films.

Connie, as many alluring reel librarians, attracts a handsome man - Tommy, the college's star athlete whose family is wealthy. The romance has a tenuous beginning, as Tommy believes that he is in love with Pat. With a whimsical beau like Tommy, Connie encounters many disappointments - the most difficult to accept graciously concerns the prom. When Pat refuses to attend the prom with Tommy, he asks Connie, who accepts. When he wins the football game, Pat changes her mind, and Tommy dumps Connie at the last minute.

When Tommy telephones, Connie is wearing a fashionable lacy blue prom dress. Connie's roommate looks at her and remarks, "You sure don't look like librarian."

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