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LUCKY PARTNERS FILM (1940)
Lucky Partners is one of the works recommended
on Michael's "Suggested Reading" page.
Lucky Partners could be one of the top, least appreciated
or totally unrecognized Guardian Angel movies of all time. It's even more fun than
the perennial classic "It's A Wonderful Life" (1944) that came out 4 years later.
"You see he is an eccentric type of chap,
with a lot of peculiar principles that you and I don't understand.
All he wants to do is just make people happy!"
- actor Jack Carson about the Angel played by Ronald Colman.
At the time of filming, British actor Ronald Colman was the second highest paid actor.
Ginger Rogers was the top paid actress in Hollywood.
Oscar-winning Hollywood director Lewis Milestone was the #1 director too.
Milestone was known for directing numerous other acclaimed cinematic hits such as
Ocean's 11, Pork Chop Hill, All Quiet On The Western Front, Mutiny on the Bounty,
Two Arabian Knights, A Walk in the Sun, Of Mice and Men ...
Lucky Partners revolves around Jean Newton (Ginger Rogers) and a special, eccentric character named Dave, played by Ronald Colman, who may very well be an Angel.
The film is not like The Bishop's Wife (1947) with Cary Grant, where you see Angel powers.
But there are interesting moments in there if you look close.
You'll have to decide.
The film begins with a brief encounter between Dave and Ginger Rogers on a NYC street.
He says to her, "Good luck!", and she begins having good luck,
enough that she cooks up an idea.
She finds Dave again to propose going 50-50 on a bet in an English horse race
for really big money. The sweepstakes ticket idea is a hunch of hers.
Dave eventually agrees on one condition.
If they win, she'll allow him to spend his portion of winnings
on her and a proper honeymoon traveling around the globe.
The only catch is that the travel is for Dave and her, in a platonic manner.
Dave wants her to see the world before her fiancé scoops her up
to live forevermore in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Jean Newton's fiancé planned on saving money by skipping the honeymoon, travel, etc.
There's discussion and humor all around.
Even fiancé Freddie Harper (actor Jack Carson) has to get involved.
And the story unfolds from there!
It's not an accident Director Lewis Milestone chose a fully platonic story line
for the relationship between Dave and Jean Newton..
This is notable and interesting because Lucky Partners is directly based
on Sasha Guitry's beyond-salacious work Bonne Chance (1935).
That story line was sordid even for the 1930's.
A much older man was "dating" a very young woman.
Milestone with writer Allan Scott made a deliberate film,
one with a bit of a forced ending or landing.
He chose to turn the film into a political indictment
of the US Government and the Hays Code (1934-1968).
Hays Code prohibitions imposed all sorts of restrictions upon Hollywood
and resulted in immense industry self-censorship for 34 years,
via the MPAA and later the MPA, especially under Jack Valenti's tenure.
This is why there are constant, subtle references to issues
that flout those Hays Code rules.
The film's ending is a sudden right-hand plot twist that explains the film's obscurity today.
A judge in the ending apologizes to artists everywhere on behalf of the US Government
for the censorship but turns around and forcefully orders
the Guardian Angel to marry his ward.
Maybe this says the US Government is too big to ever get it right.
Analysis aside, assume Ronald Colman IS an Angel and see what unfolds as you watch.
The back alley scene in Lucky Partners is very similar
to an early scene of the movie Angel-A,
the one where they exit the Seine.
In both, Angels talks circles essentially around the human.
And what happens next? The Angel's offer to help out is formally accepted.
Now, who cares about deconstructing film scenes anymore!
Angel movies are fun. Period.
Check out these movies.
MICHAEL & ANGELS A DECADE AGO
On a personal note, it doesn't hurt to explain how Michael
stumbled onto Lucky Partners at 3 am.
He was trying to avoid meeting Angels one night a decade ago
and took his usual step, as was his habit back then, of flipping on the TV as a diversion.
Michael would get woken up often in the middle of the night in a nice way
but wasn't the most eager student. He often rolled over in bed and went back to sleep. His cat was much braver back then!
One time he heard the most beautiful chime sound.
Heavenly! The sound exploded throughout his home.
So much so, he went running out to the living room.
It was like an earthquake but in a good way.
Had Michael been a little more open and attentive back then
he would have heard the Angels singing to him.
Plenty of clients have had that Angel singing experience
since those early days. Why not?
Again, if there are no limits in life, perhaps there are really no limits?!
Even when Michael did venture out to his living room,
a part of him would desire to watch TV
and focus on something "safe" and manageable
like an old movie or MTV music videos.
Of course, on that one night in question, the "Black & White"
turned out to be the film Lucky Partners.
That's also exactly how he found the other Angel film "Angel-A" too on a different night.
On yet another evening, a 2010 music video for the song "Hello" came on
(the one by Dragonette/ Martin Solveig).
That song came straight from his Guardian Angel.
Here's an excerpt of the song's lyrics:
"I just came to say hello
Hello (hey, hey, hey, hey)
Hello (hey, hey, hey, hey)
Hello, oh, oh, oh, oh"
Angels have a wonderful sense of humor, are super gentle
and know how to handle stuff, especially if you're not too sure about this.
Trust that Angels exist and let Angels handle the rest.
Again, your Heart is already fully connected to the Universe
and is the actual doorway to "All."
This is how you realize everything is interconnected,
plus experience more growth and fun ahead.
Relax into everything with a little less Thinking.
Smile and Breathe! Slow down the doing.
Meanwhile, pop some popcorn and check out these films, including Peaceful Warrior.
The latter is Michael's absolute favorite and his #1 recommendation for you.
Maybe Nick Nolte plays an Angel in that one too? You never know!
Watch the movie first and then be sure to read Dan Millman's
autobiographical book "Way of the Peaceful Warrior."
And who knows after that? Maybe you'll grab Michael and meet some Angels!
Click the TCM Logo to see
a 3:56-minute movie clip
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