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Lesser Crosby, still worth seeing especially for Beatrice Lillie
'Doctor Rhythm' is not one of Bing Crosby's best films, for me it's one of his weakest, but even his weakest films are still worth seeing at least once.
If you're looking for a great story or script, look elsewhere. Anybody wanting good songs, some entertainment and decent performances will not feel short-changed. The story is very slight and silly even for a comedy musical, with a tone that can veer on the weird. The script is similarly flimsy with little attention to characterisation, and while some of the comedy is funny some of it bumbles along in a jumbled and tedious fashion.
Direction is at times routine, and Crosby while with an easy-going charm has looked more comfortable in other films. Mary Carlisle is a little dull in a ditzy sort of role with not much meat.
However, 'Doctor Rhythm' is a handsome-looking film, with a beautifully rendered opening and is very nicely shot. The song are very pleasant, with Crosby's contribution being excellent and makes one wonder why they are not better known, "My Heart is Taking Lessons" in particular. There are funny moments, and 'Doctor Rhythm' does have a good nature and a warm heart.
Crosby sings sublimely as always, his singing is often described as crooning and while the term is understandable it is somewhat unfair to Crosby's artistry. Stealing the show however is Beatrice Lillie, the film playing to her strengths as a sophisticated slapstick performer. "Two Dozen Double Damask Dinner Napkins", her justifiably famous stage and record sketch, is the highlight of the film.
All in all, worth seeing especially for Lillie but there are better Crosby films around. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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