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'Rainbow Girls' has just opened and closed on Broadway when Dixie, a actress in it, runs into smooth talking Hollywood Director Frank Buelow. He tells her she would be a natural, promises her a movie contract, and so she goes to Hollywood, but there is no contract for her. She meets Donny, a washed-up veteran actress (Blanche Sweet), on the lot who becomes her friend. Frank is fired from his studio and the new director finds that Frank's storyline is actually a copy of 'Rainbow Girls' stage play from Broadway. They call Jimmy, the author and Dixie's boyfriend, for the rights and he goes to Hollywood to produce it as a movie. Dixie gets the lead. But things start going wrong when Dizzy Dixie, spurred on by the fired Director Buelow, thinks that she is better than the picture or the studio and starts making demands. Interesting note: Good look at early Hollywood, with cameos by Loretta Young, Walter Pigeon, Noah Beery and a young Noah Beery, Jr. make the film fun to watch Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com
Appealing look behind the scenes of early talkies...
If you're fascinated by early "talkie" musicals, this should be considered a must-see. There's a lot to like about it, most especially, its three lead performers (Alice White, Jack Mulhall and Blanche Sweet). Alice White is adorable as 'Dixie Dugan'--and is ably assisted by Mulhall as her steadfast beau. Mulhall is largely forgotten today, though he shows a fresh naturalness in an era when many actors seemed strait-jacketed by the new technology of sound (the fact that Mulhall had already been acting in films for over 20 years when this one was made may have helped!). Blanche Sweet has some touching moments as the premature 'has-been' actress, 'Donnie Harris'. The film moves along fairly briskly, under the direction of Mervyn LeRoy (in one of his earliest feature film directing assignments). I was struck by the scoring of the film, too. It effectively uses the featured tunes in different variations that are unusually subtle for that era (presumably, scored by Leo Forbstein). The 'big finale' is fairly typical of early talkie musicals--and one can imagine how much more effective it must have been when it was originally released in early Technicolor (no color copy of the final reel is known to exist). All-in-all, a pleasant and appealing little film that's surely worth a peek.
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