Hat check man Louis Blore is in love with nightclub star May Daly. May, however, is love with a poor dancer, but wants to marry for money. When Louis wins the Irish Sweepstakes, he asks May... See full summary »
Hat check man Louis Blore is in love with nightclub star May Daly. May, however, is love with a poor dancer, but wants to marry for money. When Louis wins the Irish Sweepstakes, he asks May to marry him and she accepts even though she doesn't love him. Soon after, Louis has an accident and gets knocked on the head, where he dreams that he's King Louis XV pursuing the infamous Madame Du Barry. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Missing most of the Broadway songs but tailored for Kelly, Ball and Skelton...
Obviously what was good for Broadway audiences was not always good for film--especially when censorship demanded certain changes. Thus, when MGM decided to make a screen musical out of DU BARRY WAS A LADY, they had to jettison most of the score and keep a few Cole Porter numbers just to satisfy the censors.
The result is a bland hodgepodge of a musical looking so prettily Technicolored that it seemed to be the ideal escapism the world needed in 1943. It also had the advantage of giving new exposure to GENE KELLY, MGM's new dancing star first seen with Judy Garland in FOR ME AND MY GAL. Two other talents, LUCILLE BALL and RED SKELTON share top billing with Gene, giving Lucy a big chance to shine in all her Technicolor glory.
But the story is a sappy one and gets off to a slow start with some banal musical and comedy moments that take place in the nightclub where Red works as a hatcheck man, Lucy is a singer and Gene an aspiring songwriter, before we get to Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra delivering some solid jazz/swing with Gene Krupa on the drums.
The plot starts with Lucy informing Kelly she can't afford to fall in love with a poor guy. Red becomes a wealthy gent when he wins the Irish sweepstakes and Lucy reluctantly agrees to marry him for his money with no objections from Red. When Rags Ragland offers to help Red get rid of his competition by slipping a Mickey into Kelly's drink, the plan misfires and Red falls into a coma, believing he's King Louis XV and Lucy is Du Barry with Gene as odd man out--the Black Arrow.
Unfortunately, the 18th Century part of the story has not much more wit than the modern sequences although it's amusing to see all the cast in powdered wigs and period costumes going through some slapstick paces.
Lucy and Red make a good pair with the right comic timing and chemistry, but Gene Kelly's role is a pivotal one and probably one of his weakest earlier roles.
Summing up: Lots of eye candy with all the Technicolor trimmings MGM usually put into their musicals. And watch for a brief guest star cameo from Lana Turner and an early glimpse of Dick Haymes as a singer in Dorsey's band.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?