Dixie Dugan (1943)

dixie dugan 1943

Movie based on the popular comic strip that ran for thirty-seven years.  Two early films starred Alice White as Dixie. This one featured the screen debut of Lois Andrews. It’s a moral booster about getting women involved in Defense Department work and also taking up jobs that were done by men.

Rodger Hudson (James Ellison) ran a ball bearing company. Now he’s in Washington,D.C. heading the Mobilization Of Women Power For War. He’s late for a radio broadcast and hops in a cab driven by Dixie. It’s her fiancee’s cab and she can’t drive. In front of the studio she hits a parked car. The owner isn’t too happy.

Dixie goes home and spots a large crowd in front of her apartment house and on the stairs leading to her place. Rooms are at a premium in the city and her father (Charles Ruggles) is interviewing prospective tenants to room with them. Conman Judge Lawson (Raymond Walburn) talks his way in by charming Mrs. Dugan (Charlotte Greenwood).  Also staying in a spare room is Dixie’s fiancee Matt (Eddie Foy,Jr.). He wants to marry her but she wants to devote herself to the war effort.

Through the Civil Service Dixie gets a job as Hudson’s secretary. Her entrance is greeted by wolf whistles. She’s told she’s the first female secretary for Hudson. He’s not happy. His girlfriend Jean isn’t too thrilled either. While trying once again to dictate a letter the man whose car she hit charges in demanding his money.  Hudson’ settles with him.

Hudson would love to fire Dixie but can’t because of the Civil Service connection. Max isn’t happy either that she still has the job. Hudson gives her a make work assignment to go door to door taking a survey about what women can do in the work force. She does a great job and now Hudson has to figure something else out.

Jealous Matt goes to Hudson’s apartment. Things calm down between them and Matt leaves. Not so fast. It’s a blackout and Hudson has a roommate for the night.   Later there’s a long slapstick sequence where Dixie’s air warden father brings home a mock up incendiary bomb which is to be used in a fire department lecture. Of course it rolls off the table and hits the floor. Sparks fly and it works its way through the floor to the apartment below. It keeps going all the way to the basement.

Dixie hasn’t heard from Hudson about her report for a few days and she goes to the office. His new secretary (Byron Foulger) tells her that the report has been ignored and filed under miscellaneous, She storms into Hudson’s office and reads him the riot act.

Back home she tells the judge what happened and says she wants him to get her an appointment with the President. He scrambles for an excuse and finally says they should go to the press.

The movie has the usual quota of misunderstandings and resolutions before it’s all over. It’s an interesting time piece. The major flaw is Raymond Walburn as the judge. He’s trying to do the part in the style of W.C.Fields and fails miserably. If you can get past that and are curious about wartime morale boosters than check it out but don’t expect a whole lot.

Lois Andrews only made five movies. She also had five husbands. The last one was George Jessel.

Lois Andrews

Lois Andrews

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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One Response to Dixie Dugan (1943)

  1. Donnalee says:

    I don’t think I’m familiar with her at all. Handsome photo–thanks for the review

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