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This is a regrettably forgettable movie, for the most part. Joe Penner was very popular in the 30's but his type of humor doesn't translate well into our era. I imagine audiences back then were rolling in the aisles with laughter at his antics. Today, we merely roll our eyes and wait for the scene to change. Sorry Joe! What is very interesting is the appearance of the famous song writing duo of Mack Gordon and Harry Revel. They weren't as good actors as they were song writers but they weren't bad either. Jack Oakie is a plus, adding his considerable talent and his timing is excellent. What makes this movie memorable and collectible worthy and worth 6 stars, is the wonderful, delightful songbird, Frances Langford. Frances creates a wonderful character here, shy, vulnerable but with a real determination. Several years before her "makeover" Frances is cute, sweet and oh that voice! She is irresistible as always. "You Hit the Spot" may not be a great song but in the throat of Frances Langford it is pure gold. Mack Gordon and Harry Revel also wrote "Will I Ever Know" the song that inspired me to write my fantasy time-travel romance novel about Frances Langford. The words 'the moment that I see him I will know him, no matter how impossible it seems. I know just what he'll do, I know just what he'll say. We have met before in dreams." Those words inspired, in my book, Frances and my fictional character, Chad Henson to find each other through the corridors of time. Powerful words indeed. Thank you guys! See this movie if you can. It's worth sitting through all of its warts to experience the greatness of Frances Langford.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I can't believe some producers in the Thirties invested their money
into Jo Penner. He's not one bit funny, he's unattractive to the point
of being almost disgusting, has a terribly bad voice that has you
shiver in horror...in fact, he got on my last nerve watching him strut
his untalented self in this movie! And he has the wonderful Betty
Grable as his lover? Now! What a joke! A chance for her, her part is so
tiny I think she has 2 scenes at most. They have her play a dumb
platinum blonde who speaks in such a high pitch she's almost
unrecognizable! At least, she sings and dances a little.
Jack Oakie is very good as usual. He doesn't have much of the looks of his playboy character, but he compensates with personality and assurance. I wonder why he's always goofing when he's singing in his movies because for the first time, in that one, I've noticed that he had in fact a very beautiful singing voice when he sings straight.
My favorites in this movie, though, are Ned Sparks, always very, very powerful and funny, and Frances Langford who sings very good, IS very good and had that little something that could have made her a star. She was so thin she reminds of Audrey Hepburn! The movie, though pleasant, is weak at many points. It is slow to start, the plot is unbelievable and the way the Penner character's search of identity is done is not handled very well.
But the whole is still watchable. See it if you have a chance.
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