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Felix E. Feist
At the Davis School of the Theatre, run by Jeremy Taswell, where teen-age kids study drama and the serious arts, instructors Johnny Hanley and Alice Taswell are in love. The students, including Donald, Patricia and Peggy, secretly want to become singers. Patricia's aunt, Mrs. Davis, owns the school and disapproves. Donald has written a musical comedy for the year's class play, which the students want to do; but Mrs. Davis has selected and insists they do Sophocles' "Antigone." Taswell agrees to let the kids do Donald's show. Donald manages to keep Mrs. Davis away on the day of the show, and when Broadway producers in attendance rave about Donald's play, she becomes a backer. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Originally titled, "School of Jive", this movie is one of the standard "Hep" musicals that were popular with the young crowd during the WW2 years. It features the popular Gloria Jean, Donald O'Connor, and Peggy Ryan in a swinging, breezy, upbeat production that runs at a frantic pace for the full 63 minutes.
The plot is simple: Teens, in a school that teaches the arts, would rather perform popular music of the day. They overcome their stuffy highbrow sponsor's objections by performing a Swing musical instead of the classical work that's requested. Of course, the kids' version is a big success.
The movie features jazz and swing music, and popular bands of the era appear. A lot of the dialog, while dated to that day and age, is nonetheless entertaining. O'Connor and Ryan are their usual energetic selves and, of course, perform their zany songs and dances. Gloria Jean is charming as always and sings beautifully. Several other kids and adults perform as well, including a very talented six-year-old Elinor Donahue (who later played Betty in "Father Knows Best" and has many other TV and screen credits).
I haven't seen this movie on TV for over 25 years, and it's hard to find a good copy of it. However, you can buy a quality copy of it from Gloria Jean herself at her website. IMDb policies forbid the posting of URL's, but you can find her site by using your favorite search engine and her full name of "Gloria Jean Schoonover".
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