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Vermont farm girl Gwen Harding enrolls in the Devereau School of Music in New York,and makes a singing hit at a school party. She wins the attention of student Richard "Slick" Ellis and also the jealousy of Slick's girlfriend Brenda Allenby. The school is in bad financial shape and its director, Lionel Devereau, is in debt. Gwen's singing teacher from Vermont, Lucy Meadows, arrives at the school and Devereau, thinking she is a job applicant, hires her as his secretary. Gwen has to leave school when her Uncle Rufus is faced with ruin on the farm because of a shortage of help. Gwen returns and her school friends volunteer to go and help in bringing in the harvest. Gwen plans to enter her pet cow Myrtle in the stock show at the Farm Jubilee but Brenda steals and hides the cow. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Moonlight in Vermont" was another of the many "B" musicals made by Universal during the war years, targeted towards the younger crowd. Like others of the genre, this movie is fast-paced, breezy, and upbeat, with plenty of song and dance, comedy, and "hep" talk.
The storyline starts out along typical lines: a poor country girl (Gloria Jean) goes to a music school in Vermont to study. From that point, however, there's a pleasant twist. Instead of the girl becoming a Little Miss Fixit and saving the school, the kids in the school head for the girl's farm and help harvest the crops, supposedly saving the farm in the process. As was typical of these "B" musicals, the story is inserted into the song and dance almost as an afterthought, rather than the other way around.
Of course the young viewers cared little about plot subtleties; they weren't there for the story (which is passable) or the acting (which is excellent), The comedy, singing, and dance routines were the main attraction. While the song of the same name as the movie isn't performed, there is plenty of other music. Gloria Jean sings four songs, including Rogers and Hart's popular "Lover". While Donald O'Connor doesn't appear with Jean in this one, his replacement, singer/dancer Ray Malone, is very good, performing a couple of energetic O'Connor-like dance routines, accompanied by the equally energetic Jivin' Jacks and Jills (who appeared in several other Universal pictures, including Jean's "Get Hep to Love", "What's Cookin'?" and "Mister Big").
This is one of the better of Universal's efforts in the "B" musical category. It's tough to find a copy of this movie, but you can order it directly from Gloria Jean on her website. While IMDb policies forbid the posting of URL's, you can find the address by doing a web search of "Gloria Jean Schoonover". It's definitely recommended.
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