How much did you know?
- Question: It turns out that Ann Sothern was NOT the first choice to play Maisie. Who was? a) Claudette Colbert; b) Jean Harlow; c) Carol Lombard; or d) Greta Garbo.
Answer: b) MGM had purchased the rights to the Wilson Collison book, Dark Dame, as a big screen vehicle for Jean Harlow as Maisie. One problem: Harlow died in 1937, and the prospective film had to be shelved. Then when MGM brass got a gander at Sothern, the property was reignited and blossomed into a commercially successful series.
2. Question: What was the occupation of the film series’ chief character, named Mary O’Connor whose nome de plume was Maisie Ravier? Masie was a) a diner waitress; b) a streetwalker; c) a burlesque dancer; or d) a dental hygienist.
Answer: c) The Maisie character was conceived as a brassy, kind-hearted burlesque dancer from Brooklyn. With a heart of gold, no doubt.
3. Question: Which one of the following did not appear opposite Sothern in the Maisie series? a) Barry Nelson; b) Leon Ames; c) George Murphy or d) John Hodiak.
Answer: Sorry, another of our trick questions. All four actors appeared in various Maisie features opposite Sothern.
4. Question: After seeing Sothern in a 1938 drama about a murderess who changes her hair color to elude police, MGM signed her to play Maisie. Can you name the title of this inspirational drama? (Hints: it stars Fredric March and Joan Bennett, and was co-written by Dorothy Parker and produced by Walter Wanger.)
Answer: Trade Winds.
5. Question: Which one of the following Maisy pictures inspired Time Magazine to opine that Sothern was “one of the smartest comediennes in the business?” a) Undercover Maisie; b) Up Goes Maisie; c) Maisie Goes To Reno; or d) Swing Shift Maisie.
Answer: d) 1943’s Swing Shift Maisie.