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Covering the tulip festival in Little Delft, Michigan, reporter Henry Taggart takes a room at an inn ran by an eccentric old Dutchman, Mr. Van Maaster and his seven daughters. The eldest, Regina, is spoiled and stage-struck while Billie, Victor, Albert, Cornelius, Peter and George work there as boys. Henry, momentarily attracted to Regina, realizes he is in love with Billie when he hears her sing. Billie, resists his attentions, believing him the property of Regina since it is a Van Maaster family tradition that no girls in the family can marry until the eldest has. Billie admits her love for Henry but Regina will not relent. The old man trails Regine to New York where she says she has eloped, and asks that Billie marry Henry. Six couples in wedding clothes stand at the altar in the Little Delft church; Billie and Henry and the five other sisters with their intended. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
A wonderful film to sit back and simply ENJOY---no pretense, no attempts at greatness...just a chance to escape and enjoy the world as it was once-upon-a-time in Hollywood.
This despite a few references to WWII and even the term "goosestep" used in the lyrics to "You and the Waltz", sung by Kathryn Grayson and accompanied on the piano by Carl Esmond's character. And HEY---why were those five strapping young male suitors always hanging around the hotel, instead of off fighting the war?? But...as one reviewer said, this film was meant to take the viewer away from the overseas hostilities during the very dark and turbulent year of 1942.
I would agree that Miss Grayson's singing can be a distraction, but her light, rather quivery ("tremolo" as it's called in the film), somewhat shrill and brittle sound was the taste of the day....and she WAS in fact a very capable coloratura soprano. I wish she would have sung something other than the big "Mignon" aria at the Festival's concert scene...something more in tune with the film itself, more folksy and romantic. Loved the big outdoor Festival scene (the kind which MGM always did so well), the kitschy all-girl orchestra number as dinner music, and the singing of the moving hymn "We Gather Together" in the church; it's so refreshing and touching to see the sincerity of a scene like that appearing in a mainstream film of that bygone era.
SK Szakall is wonderful in this film; a first-rate, substantial performance, requiring lots of humor, split-second timing, and some very tender pathos. Marsha Hunt is stunningly gorgeous as always, even though her role requires that she play a pain-in-the-neck.
And where did the main pair of lovers decide to settle down? One would hope that they chose to stay right there in Tulip Town.
A delightful precursor to "Brigadoon", with certain similarities to "Seven Brides", both of which MGM would be hard at work on a decade later, during the sad decline of the Hollywood musical.
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