A young American girl visits Paris accompanied by her fiancee and her wealthy uncle. There she meets and is romanced by a worldly novelist; what she doesn't know is that he is a blackmailer who is using her to get to her uncle.
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Crosby plays a Philadelpia Quaker engaged to a Southern belle. He becomes a social outcast when he refuses to fight a duel. Fields then hires him to perform on his riverboat, promoting him ... See full summary »
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Beautiful high society type Doris Worthington is entertaining guests on her yacht in the Pacific when it hits a reef and sinks. She makes her way to an island with the help of singing sailor Stephen Jones. Her friend Edith, Uncle Hubert, and Princes Michael and Alexander make it to the same island but all prove to be useless in the art of survival. The sailor is the only one with the practical knowhow to survive but Doris and the others snub his leadership offer. That is until he starts a clam bake and wafts the fumes in their starving faces. The group gradually gives into his leadership, the only question now is if Doris will give into his charms. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Silly but still thoroughly enjoyable screwball comedy musical
'We're Not Dressing' had a lot going for it, the beautiful tones of Bing Crosby's voice, Ethel Merman's big brassy one, Carole Lombard who is pretty underrated today and died tragically far too early and Gracie Allen and George Burns have delighted in other films they were in.
This may not be one of the best to come out of either of these talents but as a screwball comedy and as a musical it's thoroughly enjoyable and mostly works very well. Its biggest problem is the story, which is thinly sketched and silly (even for a screwball comedy) and has the odd very strange touch that anybody looking for sense should be warned not to expect it. Bing Crosby is also occasionally a little stiff.
On the other hand, 'We're Not Dressing' does look handsome and is charmingly photographed, not one of the most visually beautiful film musicals even but hardly a cheap-looking one either. The music score is energetic and lush, and the songs are great, the highlights being "May I?" and "Love Thy Neighbour". The script is witty, smart and astutely timed in delivery, while the direction has the right lightness of touch without being bland.
No matter the issues with the story, there is a warmth and light-hearted energy that helps still make it interesting. While well-developed characterisation is also not to be expected, the characters are fun enough and don't fall into the traps of being irritating or dull as dishwater.
Lastly, 'We're Not Dressing' boasts good performances from a spirited cast. Crosby not always being comfortable is more than made up by his charming interplay with Lombard and singing like a dream that one doesn't want to wake up, that's how beautiful and otherworldly-like his voice was. Lombard delights and charms effortlessly every time she appears, while Merman sends up a riotous storm in "A New Spanish Custom" and has interplay with Leon Errol coming close to the uproarious.
Burns and particularly Allen are also scene-stealers. This said, some of the most memorable moments of 'We're Not Dressing' is not from a human, adorable and hilarious Droopy comes close to stealing the picture with antics that have to be seen to be believed.
All in all, silly but thoroughly enjoyable. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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