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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John H. Auer
Biography of songwriter, Broadway pioneer, Jerome Kern. Unable to find immediate success in the USA, Kern sought recognition abroad. He journeyed to England where his dreams of success became real and where he met his future wife Eva.
During World War II, all the studios put out "all-star" vehicles which featured virtually every star on the lot--often playing themselves--in musical numbers and comedy skits, and were ... 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
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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