Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Vincent Price Movie of the Week | Service de Luxe (1938)

Each week I’ll be trawling the internet archives to bring you a Vincent Price classic film or TV show, accompanied by some trivia and ephemera. This week its Service de Luxe, Vinnie’s 1938 Hollywood screen debut (which he jokingly used to pronounce as his ‘day-boo’ during many of his talk show appearances).

Glamorous career girl Helen Murphy (Constance Bennett) runs the Dorothy Madison Service, that provides assistance to wealthy customers. Country boy Robert Wade (Vincent Price) is an inventor trying to secure funding for his new three-wheeled tractor. When the two meet, they fall in love. But complications arise preventing their 'getting it on' until the typical happy ending…

This bubbly slapstick romantic comedy (which was shot in August 1938 and released in the US in October of the same year) was a major vehicle for Hollywood darling Constance Bennett (who was a big name in the 1930s - both on and off the screen), and marked the beginning of Vincent Price’s Hollywood screen career.

Vinnie is certainly suave, charismatic, and showed great comic skill, but Universal really didn’t know what to do with the character actor who had cut his teeth treading the boards following his 1935 Broadway debut in Victoria Regina – which ran for two engagements at New York's Broadhurst Theatre, ending in 1937. After completing the screwball comedy, Price returned to the stage for a revival of Outward Bound on Broadway – at the Playhouse Theatre – which ran for 255 performances from 22 December 1938 to 22 July 1939.


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