Artists and Models (1937): Raul Walsh’s Oscar-Nominated Musical Comedy, Starring Jack Benny and Ida Lupino

In Artists and Models, a musical comedy directed by the versatile Raoul Walsh at Paramount, Jack Benny, in one of his first starring roles, plays Mac Brewster, an advertising executive who tries to land a silverware account, and then hold on to it as his biggest client.

The artists of the title include the gifted comedian-cartoonists Peter Arno and Rube Goldberg.

The silver company is run by Alan Townshend (Richard Arlen), who employs in the office Paula Sewell (Ida Lupino), a woman longing to compete in the Artists and Models Ball and win the title of Queen.

Poor Paula: professional models are frowned upon at the Ball, and all entrants must be debutantes. Among them is the snooty Cynthia Wentworth (Gail Patrick), who looks to be a shoo-in to win. But Paula has a plan of how to win the desirable crown—and more.

Among the highlight is a scene in which the brilliant jazz musician Louis Armstrong performs a tune with Martha Raye.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Song; Whispers in the Dark, music by Frederick Hollander; lyrics by Leo Robin

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Best Song Oscar Award went to Harry Owens’ “Sweet Leilani” from the musical, “Waikiki Wedding.”

 

Credits:

Paramount

Running time: 95 Minutes.

Directed by Raoul Walsh.

 

Cast:

Jack Benny as Mac Brewster

Ida Lupino as Paula Sewell

Richard Arlen as Alan Townsend

Gail Patrick as Cynthia Wentworth

Ben Blue as Jupiter Pluvius II

Judy Canova as Toots/Specialty

 

 

 

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