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Set during WW I, Palmer and Hayden team up as vaudeville artists. Harry Palmer deliberately injures his hand to avoid being drafted to the army. Later, he makes up for this. WW I patriotism for a WW II audience, very sentimental, great musical episodes and songs. Written by
Gerhard Gonter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
How both stars must have rolled their eyes when they read this screenplay. The volume of clichés is atrocious: The oversentimental celebration of vaudeville; the romantic triangle; the heel gaining a conscience; the splitting-up-the-act intrigue; the brother and his fate; lines like "you'll never be ready for the big time, because you're small-time in your heart" (Judy nevertheless makes it work). Yet it's a pleasure to view, because Judy and Gene really bring out something special in each other. They did again in "Summer Stock"; in "The Pirate," to my eyes, not so much. She has a gravity and sincerity that balance his self-adoration and schtick, and he was always more persuasive playing a guy of questionable moral values than a mensch. You have to put up with George Murphy at his dullest and Ben Blue at his unfunniest, and Marta Eggerth, as accomplished as she is, appears to be in the wrong movie--she should be doing a Joe Pasternak operetta, not an Arthur Freed extravaganza. But when the two leads sing or dance (she was, in the Forties, a better dancer than she was ever given credit for) or, surprisingly, act together, they're tremendously moving. At her best, which she wasn't always but is here, Judy was the best there was. My favorite moment: the ending of "After You've Gone." Rather than smothering her performance in applause and cutting to a shot of an appreciative audience, Berkeley just fades out. It's MGM's way of saying: Enjoy it, folks, this is as good as it gets.
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