Thursday, September 24, 2020


RKO, 1945
Starring Phillip Terry, Audrey Long, Eve Arden, and Robert Benchley
Directed by John H. Auer
Music and Lyrics by various

With the European markets cut off after war began in 1939, Hollywood looked down south for other sources of revenue. This resulted in many movies of the time set in South America or the Caribbean. Several stars south of the border became popular up here as well, notably Carmen Miranda. RKO opted to go after the stars, filming many legendary South American performers for this romantic comedy about what happens when two photographers go on a Goodwill Tour...and end up with more than just goodwill towards each other. Let's start in the office of a popular travel magazine and find out...

The Story: Dan Jordan (Terry) has just returned from the war to resume his job as a photographer at a popular travel magazine. Editor Helen "Hoppy" Hopkins (Arden) and her assistant Charlie Corker (Benchley) have the idea to film beautiful girls from all over South America and the Caribbean and feature them in a revue highlighting the beauty and talent south of the border afterwards. Hoppy insists that their best woman photographer Jo Anne Benson (Long) come with them, mainly to keep an eye on womanizing Jordan. Her attentions work too well. Now he's in love with her and thinking post-war suburban living, not knowing she already has a fiancée in Brazil.

The Song and Dance: And "song and dance" are the operative words. The whisper-thin plot is merely an excuse to showcase some of the best performing talent Mexico, Brazil, and Cuba have to offer. Arden and Benchley have a lot of fun as the sarcastic woman editor and her assistant who gets an amusing sequence describing the Samba. Isobellita appears in a cute running gag that has her pop up in each country, hoping to win the pageant title despite not being from that country. 

Favorite Number: "Babalu" is today most associated with Cuban-born Desi Arnaz, but is used here in a big dance routine, performed passionately by Cuban singer Miguelito Valdes. Dancers Antoni and Rosario get two fiery flamenco routines, one set to "Guadalajara," one seen in the finale as the pageant winners from every South American country sings along. 

Trivia: This was actress Jane Greer's first movie. She can be seen briefly in the beginning as Hoppy's secretary.

What I Don't Like: Oooh, that plot! It's about as much fun as watching paint dry. Long isn't bad, but Terry is smarmy and unlikable. Jo Anne's fiancée is of such little consequence, we don't even meet him until the last 20 minutes of the movie...and when we do meet him, he's such a decent and good-looking guy, you wonder how Jo Anne could even let her boss talk her into being bothered with Phillip. 

Not to mention, the plot makes no sense. The main characters were supposed to be filming South American beauties, yet we never see any film crews. There's no way they could have set a stage show up so fast when they got back, either, and we never do find out which one ended up being Miss Pan-American. There's also the fact that the copy seen on HBO Max and TCM is terrible, blurry and faded. Someone really, really needs to take a crack at restoring this one. 

The Big Finale: Of interest mainly to scholars of South American film, those who grew up watching the performers south of the border, or really huge fans of Arden or Benchley. Anyone else will likely be put off by the ridiculous and boring plot.

Home Media: Can currently be found streaming on HBO Max, and occasionally on TCM. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Call of the Flesh

MGM, 1930
Starring Ramon Navarro, Renee Adoree, Dorothy Jordan, and Ernest Torrence
Directed by Charles Brabin
Music by Herbert Stothart and Ramon Novarro; Lyrics by Clifford Grey

Mexican-born Ramon Novarro came to prominence as a popular star of swashbucklers and dramas in the late 1920's. He turned to musicals after he recorded "Pagan Love Song" from his vehicle The Pagan and audiences discovered he had an attractive singing voice. This was the last of three operettas he made in 1929-1930 with soprano Dorothy Jordan, and the last of four films he did with exotic Renee Adoree. How does this tale of a dashing young singer who loves a convent girl look today? Let's head to that convent in Seville, Spain, as Captain Enrique Varquas (Russell Hopton) visits his sister Maria (Jordan) and find out...

The Story: Enrique wants Maria to stay within the convent walls, but she sneaks off when she hears music from the cantina across the street. Juan de Dios (Novarro) and his partner Lola (Adoree) perform a fiery number for the crowds as Juan flirts with all the girls. Lola wishes he'd pay a lot more attention to her. His music teacher Esteban (Torrence) wishes he'd pay more attention to his voice studies. He thinks he has the makings of a great opera singer and hopes to take him to Madrid for a major career.

Juan runs into Maria when she's stealing a dress from a clothes line. She so badly wanted to see him, she ran away from the convent. He takes her home, but has to hide her from Lola. He convinces Esteban to let her join them in Madrid. When they arrive, Juan auditions for an opera producer, but he claims he has no passion in his singing. Esteban pays the producer to give Juan a chance. 

Meanwhile, Juan is ready to marry Maria, but Enrique and Lola arrive and convince him that he's making her break her vow with God. He finally sends her back to the convent, but both their hearts are broken in the process. If they aren't together soon, he may not survive to sing another aria,  no matter how successful...

The Song and Dance: When this one stays away from opera melodrama and pours on the authentic Latin ardor, it's actually pretty interesting. Adoree is surprisingly good as the feisty Lola, given she was deathly ill at the time she made this movie. Novarro wakes up alongside her and does fairly well in his dance number with her. Torrence is also good as his teacher who truly believes in his pupil's abilities, if only he'd focus on them and not on destructive behavior. The elaborate sets and costumes does very well representing Spain somewhere in the early 20th century. There's even some decent camerawork for the time, particularly in the opening with the nuns and the convent.

Favorite Number: Adoree and Novarro have a lot of fun with their opening dance routine. No wonder Maria was enchanted. Their fast and fiery moves are genuinely funny and enjoyable. Novarro's big Pagliacci aria in the end is subdued for the 5 o'clock number of a big musical and a bit strained, until he suddenly collapses on its completion.

Trivia: This was Adoree's last film. She has tuberculosis during filming and was rushed into a sanitarium as soon as the film finished. She died two years later.

There were three numbers originally in Technicolor, including another Pagliacci aria, but none of them exist in the current print.

What I Don't Like: The overly melodramatic ending is ridiculous and annoying. Maybe it would go over a little better if Novarro and Jordan showed more passion, but they have all the chemistry of two tree stumps. Jordan is shrill and bland as the sweet little convent miss who is supposed to be swept away by Juan's magnificent music and his romantic life. You almost wish he'd just go back to Lola, who is a heck of a lot more interesting. 

The Big Finale: Mainly of interest to fans of Novarro, opera, or the early talkie era.

Home Media: Another rare title that currently can only be found from time to time on TCM.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Animation Celebration Saturday - Pinocchio (1940)

Disney, 1940
Voices of Dick Jones, Cliff Edwards, Christian Rub, and Walter Catlett
Directed by Ben Sharpstein and Hamilton Luske
Music by Leigh Harline; Lyrics by Ned Washington

This was Disney's follow-up to their massive hit Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The story of a little puppet and his cricket friend who run up against temptation (and four of the nastiest villains in animation) wasn't a hit on first release, but is now considered to be one of the studio's most enduring classics. How does Pinocchio's story look today? Let's start with our narrator Jiminy Cricket (Edwards) as he introduces his friend's story and find out...

The Story: Pinocchio (Jones) was created by lonely toy maker Geppetto (Rub), who longed for a son of his own. The Blue Fairy (Evelyn Venable) gave him his wish and brought Pinocchio to life. To keep him on the straight and narrow, she anoints Jiminy as his conscience. 

The little cricket discovers how tough it is to be the conscience to a puppet when Pinocchio is easily swayed from attending school by con animals "Honest" John (Catlett) and Gideon. They sell him to Stromboli (Charles Judels), a puppeteer, who wants him for his show and has no desire to let him return to his father. Even after they manage to escape Stromboli, the two confidence critters sell Pinocchio on the idea of "Pleasure Island," a place where boys can do whatever they want. This works out even less well, ending with Pinocchio half-donkey and barely avoiding a frightening Coachman (Judels). Now they have to rescue Geppetto from the belly of a whale, or Pinocchio will never truly become a real little boy. 

The Animation: Gorgeous to this day. The opening and closings with the star are stunning in their detail. You could spend time just checking out all the details on the clocks and toys in Geppetto's workshop, or checking out the buildings and shenanigans on Pleasure Island. This was the first animated film with "effects" animation, and it still looks pretty good, especially Pinocchio and Jiminy underwater.

The Song and Dance: One of Disney's lushest and most beautifully drawn films. It's also one of their scariest. The villains are some of their most frightening - the Coachman in that brief "devil" shot is utterly terrifying! Gags from Jiminy and Geppetto's pets Figaro the kitten and Cleo the goldfish help balance things out. Edwards did so well as Jiminy, he would continue to voice the character for the rest of his life. The music is excellent, too. "When You Wish Upon a Star" won an Oscar and is considered to be something of a theme for the entire Walt Disney Company.

Favorite Number: In fact, the film opens and closes with Jiminy performing "When You Wish Upon a Star" over one of those lush blue backdrops. Geppetto dances with his new "Little Wooden Head" creation after he finishes him at the workshop, introducing him (and us) to his kitten Figaro and fish Cleo. Foulfellow uses the catchy "Hi Diddle Dee" to convince Pinocchio that it would be wonderful to join the theater. "I've Got No Strings" is Pinocchio's puppet act; it starts off with him doing a slightly awkward solo, but ends with him dancing - or trying to dance - with marionettes from all over Europe.

Trivia: At least six more songs intended for Jiminy Cricket, Foulfellow, the chorus, and the boys at Pleasure Island were written, but eventually dropped. Jiminy's song, "I'm a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow," would eventually be used in Fun & Fancy Free

This was the second movie released on the Walt Disney Classics video label in the mid-80's after Robin Hood

Disney originally intended to make their own sequel in the mid-2000's, but it's one of the many John Lasseter canceled when he took over the animation studio in 2006. They seem to have more luck with a live-action version that's just about ready to film.

What I Don't Like: This is one of their few animated movies where the villains get away with everything. No one ever punishes Foulfellow, Gideon, Stromboli, or the Coachman for any of the terrible things they do, nor do we find out what happened to the other donkey-boys. Pinocchio just evades them and dashes off to the next temptation. Pinocchio himself isn't really all that interesting, either. He's another character things just happen to. 

The Big Finale: One of Disney's most charming and unusual fantasies. Watch this one with slightly older kids who can handle some of the scarier stuff with the bad guys and Monstro the Whale.

Home Media: Easily found in all formats. Your best bet for streaming would be Disney Plus if you have a subscription.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (1949)

Paramount, 1949
Starring Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and William Bendix
Directed by Tay Garrett
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyrics by Johnny Burke

Of course, Lawrence Olivier wasn't the only star who occasionally indulged in swashbuckling fantasies. Even easy-going Bing Crosby found himself caught up in a romantic adventure or two, and not just on the road with his buddy Bob Hope. This is the third adaptation of the Mark Twain novel about a blacksmith who finds himself back in medieval times and shows the residents how modern people live. How does this version fare? Let's head to Pendragon Castle in England, just as the tour begins, and find out...

The Story: Hank Martin (Crosby) tells the castle's owner Lord Pendragon (Hardwicke) his story when he shows him a priceless pendant given to him by the lovely Lady Alisande (Fleming). Martin is a car mechanic in early 1900's Connecticut who is knocked out and wakes up in medieval times. He's found by a burly knight named Sir Sagemore (Bendix), who brings him to his bosses King Arthur (Hardwicke), Merlin (Merwyn Vye), and Morgan Le Fay (Virginia Field). The aging and ill Arthur at first agrees with Merlin that Hank should be executed as a "monster." Hank uses the light from his watch to convince Arthur and the locals he's a sorcerer. Lady Alisande was always convinced, especially after Hank flirts heavily with her.

Merlin and Morgan have their own plans. They first set Alisande's fiancee Lancelot (Henry Wilcoxon) on Hank in a jousting match, but Hank uses rope tricks to get him off his horse. When Hank convinces Arthur to dress as a peasant and see the suffering in his own kingdom, they end up in Merlin and Morgan's hands as slaves. Hank, however, still has one more trick in his little black almanac that could save them all.

The Song and Dance: For once, Crosby being out-of-place in a historical film actually works as part of the plot. He does very well as the laid-back mechanic who uses his knowledge of the future to get himself and others out of a few big jams in the past. Bendix has some funny moments as Hank's strongest and most loyal ally in Arthur's court, and Rhonda Fleming is spirited and lovely as the intelligent Alisande. The color is absolutely gorgeous, nicely illuminating the stunning costumes and shadowy sets representing a fairy-tale Camelot. 

Favorite Number: We start off with Hank explaining to the kids in his Connecticut town why you should always keep trying, even "If You Stub Your Toe On the Moon." "Once and for Always" is Alisande and Hank's big duet, performed first after the ball to introduce him to the court, and later after they've all been tossed in prison by Merlin. Hank, Arthur, and Sagemore are "Busy Doing Nothing" as they try to pass for peasants on the road through Camelot.

What I Don't Like: The plot does come a little closer to the original Mark Twain book than the 1927 Rodgers and Hart stage musical, but it's still not a 100 percent adaptation. (For one thing, Morgan Le Fay shows up here, too.) The music, while cute, isn't the most memorable. Alisande's sudden change from Hank to Lancelot and back again is a bit of a mood whiplash in the middle of the movie. While it does set up for Hank leaving the kingdom, it also makes little sense with what comes before or after. Also, note this sticks to the book's interpretation as Merlin as a lot younger and more villainous than usual.

The Big Finale: If you love stories of knights and princesses and Camelot or fish-out-of-water tales, or are a fan of Crosby, you'll want to give this glowing fantasy tale a try.

Home Media: Currently DVD only in North America as part two Bing Crosby sets (although it does show up on TCM from time to time). 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Cult Flops - The Beggar's Opera

Warner Bros, 1953
Starring Lawrence Olivier, Dorothy Tutin, George Divine, and Stanley Holloway
Directed by Peter Brook
Music by John Gay; Lyrics by John Gay and Christopher Fry

The Beggar's Opera may be one of, if not the longest-lived musical (or "ballad opera") in the English language repertoire. It's original production debuted in 1728, an action-paced spoof of Italian opera with a roguish anti-hero highwayman who dodged the wealthy and romanced any woman he could find. Most people know it better today in the German version The Threepenny Opera, but the original still makes occasional appearances to this day. Brook was a British wunderkind, a stage musical director who made hits at a young age. This would be his first shot at a film, but he didn't see eye-to-eye with Olivier over how to play the leading man and ran over budget, and the film wound up being a flop. What happened? Let's head to Newgate Jail in London during the early 1700's and find out...

The Story: The Beggar (Hugh Griffith) is tossed into prison, his unfinished opera scattering around him. The opera revolves around the exploits of famous highwayman Macheath (Olivier), who just happens to be in the prison as well. He hands Macheath the notes, and discovering his voice isn't bad, insists he sing them his story...

Macheath was known for dashingly robbing the rich and romancing their wives. He was wed to pretty Polly Peacham (Tutin), who waits hopefully for his return. Her shocked parents insist on her setting a trap for him. He also has the heart of Lucy Lockit (Daphne Anderson), the daughter of the Newgate jailor Lockit (Holloway), who is still incensed he loved and left her without marrying her. Polly does help Macheath avoid her parents, but he has less luck with another former lover, prostitute Jenny Diver (Yvonne Furneaux), who with her friends turns him over to the police. He does manage to convince Lucy he loves her long enough to get her to help him escape, only to end up in prison again. This time, he may not have a happy ending...unless the Beggar and his friends can make it for him.

The Song and Dance: Dashing swashbuckler with Olivier in fine form as the roguish anti-hero Macheath. He's so charismatic and charming, you can almost overlook his shaky singing and dancing abilities. Love Anderson as the feisty jailer's daughter, too, and Holloway and Devine as the frustrated fathers who'd rather get the money than see their daughters married to a rogue. The Technicolor production ably recreates 1728 England, especially in the robust action sequences at the Peacham's farm and in the finale. Whatever else his faults were, Brook did do wonders with action and movement.

Favorite Number: "Let Us Take to the Road" is the opening number for England's many highwaymen as Macheath admits to his love of what he does. Jenny sings of "When Gold Is at Hand," while Lucy laments "How Cruel are the Traitors" after Macheath has left her a second time. Macheath wonders "How Happy I Could Be With Either" as he tries to decide between his favorite sweethearts towards the end.

What I Don't Like: Some of the effects, like the obvious green screen behind Macheath when he's riding off in the ending, don't look as good today as they probably did in 1953. Ironically, considering Olivier isn't the best singer in the world, most of the cast (besides Olivier and Stanley Holloway) were dubbed. (Although they did credit the singers in the end.) In fact, the theatrical artifice bumping against film realism doesn't always work well, especially in the stagy opening with the Beggar and his work. There's also the fact that this is an opera, and an older opera, at that. If you don't love opera or classical music, you may not be the right audience for this one (although it may help that it's a lot lighter in tone than Threepenny Opera).

The Big Finale: If you love Olivier, swashbucklers, or comic opera, you may want to track down this enjoyable, action-packed romp.

Home Media: On streaming, and on DVD from the Warner Archives.

Amazon Prime

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Animation Celebration Saturday - Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night

Filmation, 1987
Voices of Scott Grimes, Tom Bosley, James Earl Jones, and Don Knotts
Directed by Hal Sutherland
Music and Lyrics by various

Filmation is known today primary for their action cartoons in the 1970's and 80's, including the wildly popular He-Man and She-Ra. By the middle of the 1980's, they had larger ambitions. This was to have been the first in a series of animated musical follow-ups to Disney fairy tales...but Filmation was already in trouble, even as this bombed at the box office. This and the Snow White sequel Happily Ever After would be the only ones that made it out before the studio closed. What happened? Let's begin in the swamp, as a bumblebee named named Lieutenant Grumblebee (Johnathan Harris) is awakened from his sleep by the arrival of a carnival train, and find out...

The Story: The carnival train belongs to The Emperor of the Night (Jones) and the puppet master Puppetino (William Windom). Pinocchio (Grimes) is now a real boy, and the Blue Fairy (Ricki Lee Jones) reminds him that he must learn to make his own choices. She gives him a new concience, a wooden glow-worm he names Gee Willikers (Knotts), to keep him on the straight and narrow. He's still easily swayed by con-men, though. The rascally raccoon Scalawag (Ed Asner) and monkey Igor (Frank Welker) trade a fake ruby for the jewel box the boy is supposed to deliver to the mayor. Geppetto is so upset over its loss, Pinocchio runs away.

He looks for work at the carnival, where he falls for a beautiful marionette named Twinkle at the puppet show. Puppetino uses an organ grinder to force him to dance and turn him back into a puppet. The Good Fairy restores him, reminding him not to take his freedom and ability to make choices for granted. Determined to make good, the boy tells his glow worm friend he intends to find the jewel box and return it to his father. Scalawag and Igor...not to mention Puppetino...still want to take him off the straight and narrow path and into their land of false fantasy. It'll take all the help of Lieutenant Grumblebee and his bug friends and a pinch of Blue Fairy magic to stop the evil Emperor and get Pinocchio back on track.

The Animation: Pretty decent for a low-budget animated film. There's some great effects, especially at the rainbow "Neon Carnival" and in the finale when Pinocchio goes up against the Emperor. Filmation always did create awesome, imaginative villains for their productions, and this one is no exception. The Emperor himself is an incredible design, with his flowing, changeable carmine cloak, four hands, and devilish face. Puppetino is equally impressive, and even scarier; his thick lips and purplish face looks like the stuff of a child's worst nightmares.

The Song and Dance: This is a weird one, but then, the Disney Pinocchio and the Italian book both are based on aren't exactly sweetness and light either. At the very least, it's more interesting and better-made than Happily Ever After. The animation is better and less stiff and Puppetino and the Emperor of the Night are nifty and genuinely frightening villains, especially for a cartoon from this era.

Favorite Number: "Neon Caberet" is the big number when Pinocchio follows Puppetino into the Land Where Dreams Come True, and it's a wild riot of brilliant colors and Art Deco-inspired design. Pinocchio performs "You're a Star" onstage to a delighted crowd, dancing with his beloved Twinkle...but the fantasy isn't as real or as enjoyable as he thinks...

What I Don't Like: I'd love to know what audience Filmation intended this for. Pinocchio is regarded as a children's story, but there's some truly nightmarish images in this film, especially Puppetino and his puppet show and with what the "Land Where Dreams Come True" turns out to be. The story is both overly complicated, and something of a rehash of the Disney film. (To the point where Disney sued Filmation for copyright infringement.) Gee Willikers is silly, annoying, and fairly useless, and the bugs he recruits to rescue Pinocchio (including Grumblebee) aren't much better. The sequence with them trying to escape a huge frog comes out of left field and seems to be there more to give them something to do than for any importance to the story. The music is dull, and the score is the tinny synthesizer music common in low-budget films during the 80's and 90's. There's the odd action finale that also seems out-of-place, both in the movie and in a Pinocchio story.

The Big Finale: Too weird to be a huge favorite, but it's apparently picked up a cult following in the past few years. If you like your animated fantasy on the dark-ish side or are a fan of Filmation's TV projects, you may want to give this one a shot at least once.

Home Media: To my knowledge, this is not on disc in North America. Your best bet is streaming; several companies have it for free, including Amazon and Tubi.

Amazon Prime

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Back to School Again - She's Working Her Way Through College

Warner Bros, 1953
Starring Virginia Mayo, Ronald Reagan, Gene Nelson, and Don DeFore
Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone
Music and Lyrics by various

This wasn't what I planned on reviewing tonight, but that fell through. This one really fits better with Bathing Beauty anyway. Steve Elliot  is hardly the only person involved in show business to want to bump up his education. This heavy reworking of James Thurber and Elliott Nugent's 1942 play The Male Animal turns it into a stripper's right to attend school and further her education. How does the story look now, as more people from all walks of life attend college despite the costs? Let's start in a burlesque theater, where star dancer Angela "Hot Garters Gertie" Gardner (Mayo), is giving her last performance, and find out...

The Story: Angela opts to start her semester at MidWest State because her former high school English teacher John Palmer (Reagan) is now an associate professor there. She turns a lot of heads at the school from the moment she arrives, including that of football player and dancer Don Weston (Nelson). His girlfriend "Poison" Ivy Williams (Patrice Wymore) was the queen of the school and the best performer in the drama department before Angela came on the scene, and she's badly jealous. Angela's not the only one dealing with jealousy, either. Palmer's wife Helen (Phyllis Thaxter) is gushing over Shep Slade (DeFore), a former college football star-turned-successful businessman who is visiting for the big homecoming game. Palmer is so jealous, he gets raging drunk after a homecoming game party.

Angela and Palmer convince the student body to put on a musical Angela wrote instead of their usual Shakespearean play. The show is threatened when Ivy prints an article on Angela's previous job in the school newspaper. Now the chairman of the board of trustees Fred Copeland (Roland Winters) is calling for her to be removed, lest she corrupt the noble youth of MidWest, and Ivy wants her role and for her to lay off Don. Palmer won't let her leave without a fight, and finally goes up against the school board with a speech of his own to convince them that anyone, no matter where they came from or what their past was, should be able to further their education.

The Song and Dance: Interesting story about the importance of education and college, no matter who you are or what walk of life you come from. Mayo would later go on to call this her favorite of her movies, and I don't blame her. She gets to play a very intelligent and hard-working woman who is determined to get through college no matter what, even if she has to work the lowest rung of show business to do it. Reagan is a little stiffer as the college professor who admires her spirit, but he appropriately (if you know anything about his later political career) wakes up in the finale, when he gives a very stirring and emotional speech to the school about giving everyone the chance to better themselves. Nelson also does well as the jock who fits in equally well among the theater kids and the athletes.

Favorite Number: We open the film with a glimpse of Angela's previous occupation, a glittering burlesque number set to the 30's Warners song "With Plenty of Money and You." Don and the kids reveal how much Angela charmed them when they drive her up to the Palmers' door singing "We're Working Our Way Through College." Mayo and Nelson get two cute duets together to show off numbers for the proposed musical, "I'll Be Loving You" danced spiritedly on a piano in class and "The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of" at the party. Gene Nelson has an incredible dance routine done all over a gymnasium as he swings on the rings, glides around the mats, and even lands a basketball throw in "Am I In Love?"

Trivia: This was Julie Newmayr's first movie.

What I Don't Like: I'm not a big fan of the subplot involving Palmer's wife and the annoying former jock Slade. Palmer was right. If she loved the guy so much, why didn't she marry him? Other than a very funny routine involving him recreating one of his famous football throws (before Palmer grabs the glass out of his hand), De Fore doesn't have much to do. While the dancing is good, the music is pretty forgettable, and the plot is more than a little dull at times.

The Big Finale: Enjoyable enough time-passer with decent numbers if you ever run into it on TCM.

Home Media: Currently DVD only via the Warner Archives.