Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and ... See full summary »
Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and then try to sell their songs under their own name. The problem is every song publisher thinks they're copying Courtney's style. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Bing Crosby & Mary Martin in a Pleasant Paramount Musical
"Rhythm on the River" is one of Bing Crosby's finest of his underrated Paramount musicals.
I discovered it last night, along with another Crosby musical vehicle called "We're Not Dressing" (1934). I never thought both would turn out to be this great. They are the kind of honest, feel-good musicals I'd enjoy and watch them over and over again.
Lightly directed by that underrated stylist Victor Schertzinger, "Rhythm on the River" is a pleasant, surprisingly genial little musical comedy about a gifted and unobserved pop composer Bob Sommers (Crosby) who happens to be in love with an equally gifted musician Cherry Lane (Mary Martin). Both are ghostwriters for a famous has-been composer Oliver Courtney (Basil Rathbone in a fine, delightful role) who uses Bob and Cherry's lyrics & songs for his own good. Oscar Levant has a good supporting role as Billy Starbuck, Oliver's closest friend, the one that inspires Bob and Cherry to write more lyrics and songs for his untalented buddy.
Mr. Crosby and Ms. Martin have awesome chemistry on screen. Their singing and charming camaraderie are wonderfully observed. I particularly adore Ms. Martin; I thought she was her very touching in her performance and kinda reminded me of Margaret Sullavan, with her sweet, humble innocence or dedication.
The memorable songs include "That's For Me", "Ain't It a Shame About Mame" (both sung by Martin), "What Would Shakespeare Have Said?", "Rhythm on the River" (both sung by Crosby), and the unforgettable "Only Forever" (sung by Martin and Crosby together).
"Rhythm on the River" is available on VHS/DVD, courtesy of MCA/Universal Home Video in good transfer and I recommend it to you.
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