The scene is set at Billy Rose's Casa Manana Revue, filmed at the Fort Worth Frontier Fiesta (1937), an enormous production created as part of the Texas Centennial civic celebrations. The ...
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The scene is set at Billy Rose's Casa Manana Revue, filmed at the Fort Worth Frontier Fiesta (1937), an enormous production created as part of the Texas Centennial civic celebrations. The opening song, "The Night Is Young And You're So Beautiful" emanated from the first edition of the Revue and became a hit song on two continents in 1936. The show had its last performance and the cast doesn't have much hope for their careers in Hollywood or New York. A chorus member suggests that Rose (played by himself) produce a show of his greatest numbers. Without missing a beat, Rose tells the cast to report for rehearsal the next morning. The constantly bickering dance team of Mason & Dixon (Virginia Grey and Lee Dixon) does not look forward to working together so soon. Grey explodes when she learns that Dixon has a new, younger partner. She later learns that the new partner is the adorable Peggy Ryan, a mere fourteen-year-old hoofer. They become a brilliant trio in the show. Fiction aside, the ... Written by
Elaborate and overproduced, this early George Sidney musical short suffers a bit from the sort of overproduction that Billy Rose's shows were infamous for -- take a look at FUNNY LADY -- that played very well in the period, although the profits for the producer might be pretty iffy. There are a couple of plots shoehorned into the spaces between the numbers, and some excellent care is given to camera placement. But the huge sets and overly elaborate costumes dominate the short.
Of course, it's interesting to see what the now legendary Billy Rose looked and acted like, and you can have some fun looking at Peggy Ryan as a real teenager. A few years later she would move to Universal and be teamed with Donald O'conner as teenaged lovers for far too long, but on the whole this is an adequate, but not terribly interesting musical short.
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