A young songwriter leaves his Kentucky home to try to make it in New Orleans. Eventually he winds up in New York, where he sells his songs to a music publisher, but refuses to sell his most...
See full summary »
A young songwriter leaves his Kentucky home to try to make it in New Orleans. Eventually he winds up in New York, where he sells his songs to a music publisher, but refuses to sell his most treasured composition: "Dixie." The film is based on the life of Daniel Decatur Emmett, who wrote the classic song "Dixie." Written by
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 20, 1943 with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour reprising their film roles. See more »
The movie changes all sorts of historical facts: The movie makes Emmett a bachelor wooing "Jean Mason" who is confined to a wheelchair. The song Dixie was intended as a sort of dirge but is given a sprightly tempo only because the theater, in the deep south, has caught fire. In fact Emmett married Catherine Rives circa 1853 and remained married until her death in 1875, there is no indication that she was disabled. Dixie was first sung, and at its familiar tempo, in NYC on April 4, 1859, in a non-burning music hall. The movie has only the first verse sung over and over again because, frankly, the second and third verses are a bit "unenlightened" by modern standards. A couple of years later Emmett was appalled that the Confederacy had appropriated his song and he promptly wrote several songs for the Union Army. See more »
Boy, that was a tough slog getting through all the history lessons and moral instruction regarding slavery. Yes, yes, it was a shameful period in America and minstrel shows were degrading, but most contributors forgot to evaluate "Dixie" - the movie, that is.
Well, let me have a bash at it. When I think back on "Dixie", the first thing I think of is the ballad, "Sunday, Monday or Always", done to perfection by Bing at the beginning and at the end. Much of the rest of the movie is forgettable and uninspired. Paramount had assembled an excellent cast which is largely wasted in this fictitious biography of a forgotten songwriter. Maybe the biggest disappointment was the lack of spectacle and excitement in musical number after lifeless musical number, especially the last one. The choreography was almost non-existent and very understated, except for a dance by the largely wasted Eddie Foy, Jr. The script was desperately in need of a re-write
and what's with the fires? There were three separate fires in the
course of "Dixie", one of which should have included Dorothy Lamour's thankless part.
I guess musicals were not Paramount's thing. Such matters were best left to Fox or MGM, or even Universal, which had a few pretty good underbudgetted musicals. Our present rating is a little rich for "Dixie" - I gave it five and upped it to six on the strength of the song "Sunday,Monday or Always", which was gorgeous.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?