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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Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of ... See full summary »
Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in basic training. To their dismay, the company's drill instructor is none other than ... See full summary »
Covering a quarter-century of American 'syncopated" music (Ragtime, Jazz, Swing, Blues, Boogie Woogie)from prior to WWI through prohibition, the stock-market crash, the depression and the ... See full summary »
Broadway partners Vicky Lane and Dan Christy have a tiff over Christy's womanizing. Jealous Vicky takes up with her old flame and former dance partner, Victor Price, and Dan's career takes ... See full summary »
Russ Raymond, America's number one crooner, disappears and joins the Navy under the name Tommy Halstead. Dorothy Roberts, a magazine journalist, is intent on finding out what happened to ... See full summary »
Young Sherry Williams dreams of having a singing career, and she idolizes her older sister Josephine, who has gone to New York to perform on the stage. When Sherry is distraught just before... See full summary »
Rich playboy Drogo Gaines is in imminent danger of marrying a gold digger, and escapes by feigning insanity. The joke's on him when he wakes up in an asylum full of comical lunatics. There ... See full summary »
Kalmus is after the freight contract held by Summers. When his gang kill Summers, Tex and Duke step in to help Madge keep the freight line going. When they foil the gang's further attempts, Kalmus gets the Judge to jail the two.
Rawley University is about to receive a star athlete who could give it the first championship rowing team it's ever had. Unfortunately, he gets drafted into the army before he's able to ... See full summary »
Marcia Mae Jones,
Horace Jackson (John Beal) and his bride, Millie ('Wanda McKay' qv)),check into a New York City hotel room for their one-night honeymoon before he reports for induction into the arm the ... See full summary »
The trustees of Midwestern University have forced three teachers out of their jobs for being suspected communists. Trustee Ed Keller has also threatened mild mannered English Professor ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Old-time musical star Schyler Jarvis, now wealthy, is dying; his last act is a visionary plan for the future happiness of his son, swing bandleader Louis Jarvis, and Honey Carter, daughter ... See full summary »
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 Andrews 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 Appletree. Arguably, Shemp's best solo feature film credit. Written by
What this Universal production lacks in production values, it more than makes up for with sheer pizazz. Those Jivin' Jacks and Jills left me gasping for breath. There's enough sheer energy in their acrobatics to light up a city for a week. And don't forget the Andrews Sisters who do some pretty fancy steppin' themselves. In fact, this is a showcase for the threesome, topped off by a signature version of "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree". Plus trumpeter James gets a lot of time with his band and even makes fun of himself with an army trumpet, (was that really Huntz Hall of the Bowery Boys holding James's sheet music and playing it straight for maybe the only time in his clownish career).
Speaking of comedy acts, short homely Shemp Howard gets a featured role along with long tall Mary Wickes. Their little routines together are gems, especially the nightclub table between swinging doors. Add Joe E. Brown as Howard's rival and there's more mugging than you can count. Hard to believe that director Cline puts all these lively elements together in a single, smooth 68-minute package.
Also, you can tell this was early in the war since the patriotic touches are in abundance, and everyone is eager to do his or her part, even slacker Dick Foran who finally comes around. A snappy dynamo like this musical should have been sent to the Axis in Tokyo and Berlin. Then they would have known there was no hope of winning a war against the sheer pep and energy of the American homefront. Anyhow, count this one as a genuine sleeper amongst low- budget, hep-cat musicals.
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