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Shirley Anne Field
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This is a film with a very misleading title - we expect a biography of the great operetta composer. Instead he is a supporting figure in a love story between his temperamental male singing star (Allan Jones)and the latter's new discovery (Mary Martin) as they go through a tedious 91 minute combination of A STAR IS BORN and SHOW BOAT. The cinematography earned an Oscar nom though it did not deserve it. Its noms for Scoring and Sound were deserved. The Academy however missed a chance to honor the lavish Art Direction which it deserved as well. Jones and Martin are good enough (I'd swear Martin was at least partially dubbed- never heard her sing so high and if she could sing that high, why did she refuse any duets with Pinza when R&H were constructing SOUTH PACIFIC?) - and Susanna Foster is a marvelous find as daughter Peggy. Walter Connolly as Herbert is hardly around at all -perhaps Cuddles Zakall would have been a better choice. Unless you're a fan of Herbert's music (there's plenty of it) or the stars, stay away from this one.
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