Jeff Turner (Preston Foster) and Mary Hale (Gail Patrick) have been divorced for a number of years. Each has strong convictions in regard to life style and raising children. Each took custody of one of their twin daughters upon separation. Turner wants his daughter Terry (Lee Wilde) to grow up "normal" - having fun with her friends and just being happy. But Mary wants to pursue a life of culture and noteriety, flying around the world in support of various charities and raising twin Stephanie (Lyn Wilde) to be well-educated and sophisticated.|
As the story begins, Mary Hale is visiting New York with Stephanie in tow. Jeff works as a newspaper reporter and meets Mary at the airport, to cover the story of the socialite's homecoming. He invites Mary and Stephanie to his apartment to see Terry. When the girls meet, each is envious of the other's life style and they decide to secretly switch places. (If this is sounding familiar, it should be - it's the same basic story line as The Parent Trap starring Haley Mills.)
Of course, switching lives is not as easy as it's cracked up to be. Terry and her boyfriend Jimmy (Marshall Thompson) have been practicing for a big dance contest, and Stephanie doesn't know the first thing about dancing. Stephanie is soon to enter an intelligence contest to be aired on radio, and Terry is not exactly the genius Stephanie is. Hilarious antics ensue as the twins try to cope with each other's predicaments and attempt to reunite their parents.
Lee and Lyn with Preston Foster
MGM, 1945 [B/W, 78min.]
Producer: Arthur L. Field
Director: Harry Beaumont
Screen Play by Ethel Hill
Director of Photography: Ray June, A.S.C.
Musical Direction: David Snell
Musical Arrangements: Earl Brent
Orchestration: Wally Heglin
Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
Associate: Richard Pefferle
Costumer Supervision: Irene
Associate: Kay Carter
Fim Editor: Douglas Biggs
Lee and Lyn with Marshall Thompson
Preston Foster ... Jeff Turner
Gail Patrick ... Mary Hale
Lee Wilde ... Terry Turner
Lyn Wilde ... Stephanie Hale
Richard Gaines ... Senator John Pringle
Jean Porter ... Kitty
Marshall Thompson ... Jimmy
Jimmy Lydon ... Mickey Pringle
Gloria Hope ... Alice
Douglas Cowan ... Jake
Warren Mills ... Whitey
Joel Friedkin ... Mr. Winters
Ralph Brooke ... Chet
Ralph Hoopes ... Lionel
Don Hayden ... Alfi
Tommy Bond ... Horace
Original newspaper advertisement
This is one of those little gems that is so fun to find. The film is pure delight from one end to the other. I've always enjoyed Haley Mills' The Parent Trap, and the recent remake starring Lindsay Lohan is wonderul. But Twice Blessed is just as much fun, if not more so. Perhaps because the twins really are twins; perhaps because of some truly priceless scenes with Lyn and Lee at their best (which is something to write home about!).
Some of the more precious scenes include sophisticated Stephanie trying to fill Terry's shoes at the local drugstore hangout - Terry's boyfriend Jimmy, who works as the soda jerk at the drugstore, slides Terry's usual breakfast of bacon and eggs and french fries down the bar and under the nose of a horrified Stephanie. Completing the every-morning routine, Jimmy beans Stephanie with a bottle of catsup as he pitches it to her while she's not watching (part of the usual morning routine). Jimmy is quite startled as he tends to Stephanie's head, and all of the kids at the drugstore begin to worry about Terry when she shows no interest in cutting some rug.
In the meantime, Terry is trying to cope with Stephanie's equestrian lessons. She makes a number of attempts to mount her steed, all of which end with her on the ground and her tutor mystified. When she finally does make it up on the horse's back, she's facing the wrong end but can't tell (she's trying to wear Stephanie's glasses and the whole world is a big blur).
Stephanie bombs out a the dance contest, but Terry makes a big hit at a formal ball with a kissing booth as she drops the price of a kiss to the point where she finally hooks one boy into a kiss - and she really lets him have it! Moments later, all the boys at the dance are crowded around her booth.
Lots of fun as the twins' bubbly personalities really shine! I don't believe the film is available on videotape, but it's occasionally shown on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Don't miss it!