Friday, July 15, 2011

Mary Ware (Hoppy's Holiday, The Dead Don't Dream)

“It's your happiness. It's all that counts,” Rand Brooks tells his fiance, Mary Ware, who instead of marrying him and settling down to raise prairie young uns together has decided to return East. Which, of course, should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever watched a B-Western like The Dead Don't Dream (1948). Heroes and their sidekicks just don't get themselves hitched. Perish the though! It does remain unusual, though, for a sidekick to come this close to the altar and not since Maudie Prickett pursued Smiley Burnette has one made such a narrow escape as the redoubtable Mr. Brooks makes here. Miss Ware, meanwhile, who apparently attempted to change her image by billing herself “Mary Tucker” in this one, had earlier starred in the very low-budget Secrets of a Sorority Girl (1945) in which, as a tag line reported, she was one of those “CAMPUS CUTIES ON THE LOOSE … Living Only for Thrills and Headed for Heartbreak.” You would have thought that some fresh air out West would have been just the ticket after all that, but perhaps The Dead Don't Dream's silly House of Mystery plot with sliding panels and other leftovers from the silent screen era or the previous Hoppy's Holiday (1947), put her off for good. They almost did me. Mary was her old self, Mary Ware, as Andrew Tombes' daughter in Hoppy's Holiday, which is the one where William Boyd, as Hoppy,spots a horseless carriage and boldly predicts that there will be “dozens around before long.” Unlike The Dead Don't Dream, Hoppy's Holiday is played mainly for laughs, throwing the film to sidekick Andy Clyde and proving mostly that self-producing Boyd was running out of ideas and was willing to try anything at this late day and age.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting:
    I wrote a book recently, and after it was published I discovered that it had the same title as the Hopalong Cassidy story- 'The Dead Don't Dream'.
    In my case, I was referencing the Steve Martin movie, 'Dead Men don't Wear Plaid'.

    Anyway, it's NOT a comedy, it's a straight-ahead, noir murder mystery, set in 1973 Toronto.
    Check it out on amazon or B & N.
    Mauro Azzano.