A Universal Army enlistment promotion, produced as a musical showcase for Harry James, the Andrews Sisters, Joe E. Lewis, and Donald O'Connor & Peggy Ryan. The film's thin plot has James ...
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A Universal Army enlistment promotion, produced as a musical showcase for Harry James, the Andrews Sisters, Joe E. Lewis, and Donald O'Connor & Peggy Ryan. The film's thin plot has James drafted, and joining him is the band's lead vocalist Lon Prentice (Dick Foran), who doesn't believe that Army training and regulations are necessary for anyone of his skill and fame. Shemp Howard steals the film whenever James and the Andrewses aren't performing. As Sgt. Snavely, he's effectively teamed with Mary Wickes as his shrewish fiancée, trying desperately to keep her away from the attentions of nightclub comic and USO performer Lancelot Pringle McBiff (Joe E. Lewis). Shemp also has the opportunity to clown onstage with the Andrews Sisters during a musical finale, as they perform Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree. Arguably, Shemp's best solo feature film credit. Written by
At just over an hour, this film does not exceed its welcome, despite the acquired taste of the Andrews Sisters. Patti, Laverne and Maxene were perky and certainly had good voices, but their screen personalities are either OTT (Patti) or dull (the others). To carry a film, it just doesn't work.
Elsewhere there's Harry James and his Music Makers; Harry gets drafted and the band go with him (even the one with a flat foot), and that's about all the plot is.
There's a funny restaurant sketch, and some nice songs and music, and the film passes the time without making the viewer cringe. It is a typical flagwaver, a patriotic morale-booster.
Oh, and it has a 16-year old Donald O'Connor, showing a flash of promise of what would come later, along with Peggy Ryan.
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