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Conceited World Champion boxer Tommy Lundy decides to test his popularity in a Broadway show. Tommy always has an eye for the ladies and he starts paying attention to beautiful chorus girl Pat Lambert. Pat's boyfriend Bill Smith isn't impressed with Tommy even though Tommy gets him a boxing part in the show. When Tommy finds out that Pat and Bill were secretly together the night before the show opens, he angrily plans to turn the boxing scene with Bill into a real bout. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Betty Grable comes out of the chorus to be a star in "Footlight Serenade," also starring John Payne, Victor Mature, Jane Wyman, Phil Silvers, James Gleason and Cobina Wright, Jr.
This is a backstage musical, done in black and white. Payne and Grable (Pat and Bill) are in love and ultimately marry. He's down on his luck but gets a job fighting boxing champion Tommy Lundy (Mature) on stage each night in the show; Grable is doing chorus. Lundy, however, is after Pat, and insists that she be made understudy to the lead (Cobina Wright, Jr.). After the Wright character quits the show, Pat gets her big break. To keep the volatile Lundy happy, the producers want Pat and Bill to keep their marriage a secret.
Grable sings and dances up a storm and is her usual vivacious and pretty self. Jane Wyman is on hand as a chorus girl and friend, and she's delightful. Victor Mature does well as the obnoxious boxer - he plays this type of role where he's one sandwich short of a picnic very well. There was something of the big lug in all of Mature's performances - he never comes off as too bright. In real life, he had no illusions about his acting. When a country club wouldn't accept him because he was an actor, he said, "I'm not an actor, and I have 80 films to prove it." In this role, he takes over the show from the producers, calling all the shots, and won't take 'no' from Pat. John Payne was hired by Fox to be a singing Tyrone Power. Handsome, with a beautiful physique and lovely singing voice, he was wonderful in the musical films with Grable and proved himself a solid, light leading man. He gives a nice performance in this, though the songs aren't very memorable.
Entertaining and a rare view of Grable in black and white!
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