Alice Faye and John Payne shine in a gloriously tuneful Fox musical shot in breathtaking Technicolor
Of all Alice Faye's 20th Century-Fox musicals, "Hello Frisco, Hello" is probably my favorite. It is certainly the one that deserves to be called enchanting. The only other memorable Faye musicals that come to mind are "On the Avenue"(1937), "Alexander's Ragtime Band"(1938), "That Night in Rio"(1941) and "Wake Up and Live"(1937). "Hello Frisco" is a feast for the eyes and ears, breathtakingly photographed in Technicolor. The colors, the period costumes, and director Bruce Humberstone's nostalgic evocation of San Francisco's Barbary Coast at the turn of the century - are sublime. It also abounds in one gloriously tuneful song or dance number after another. There are lots to choose from including "Strike Up the Band," "Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?" and "Ragtime Country Joe", but Faye's memorable rendition of "You'll Never Know" is the best of them all. IT works as a perfect combination of Faye's sweet vulnerability and honesty. Faye's co-star John Payne is equally marvellous as Johnny Cornell. Contrary to a previous reviewer's remarks about Payne's stiffness, I didn't find him really that stiff. A bit stoic, maybe, but his Johnny Cornell is in perfect harmony with Faye's sweet Trudy Evans. And I can't imagine anyone else playing that role or doing a better job.
In all, a Glorious delight.
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