Beverly Ross moderates an 5:30 am radio show with swing music, dedicated to the local servicemen. Two buddies of her brother have a chance to meet her and both fall in love. One of them is ... See full summary »
Beverly Ross moderates an 5:30 am radio show with swing music, dedicated to the local servicemen. Two buddies of her brother have a chance to meet her and both fall in love. One of them is a wealthy sponser, the other used to be his chauffeur, but before she can decide, which of them she likes more, the soldiers have their marching orders and are away to their destination. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rather subdued war-time musical, not as sparkling as other Miller vehicles, but still entertaining with some of the top musical acts of the time-- Duke Ellington's Take the A-Train, Bob Crosby's Big Noise from Winnetka, Frank Sinatra's Night and Day, along with The Mills Brothers, Count Basie, and my favorite, Ella Mae Morse's styling of Cow-Cow Boogie. The music is there, but somehow there's not the flair nor the energy that would normally be expected of these headliners. Miller gets a final production number and a belated chance to tap dance her way into our proverbial hearts, but the staging comes across on the skimpy side. I suspect the flaming "V" (rather too close to the stage curtain) at number's end was an attempt to compensate.
Naturally, in a musical not much is expected from the story. Miller's yo-yoing between the radio station and the music store is somewhat amusing, as is her competition with the incomparably fussy Franklin Pangborn whose cartoonish eyebrows appear ready to jump off the screen. Irene Ryan (later, Granny, on the Beverly Hillbillies) has the best bits as the scatterbrained secretary. The romantic subplot is lame, to say the least, at the same time, leading man William Wright seems oddly to disappear from the movie's last half. In fact, the screenplay as a whole appears uncertain what to do with Wright and buddy Purcell once they're introduced into the plot.
A couple of noteworthy sidelights. Good to see the presence of a backyard Victory garden, that staple of civilian support for the war effort. Then too, if food prices keep going up in 2008, we may see them returned and renamed Survival gardens. Note also how class differences between Wright and his chauffeur are symbolically eliminated in support of the common war effort. Finally, note the rather surprising downbeat ending with the boys marching off to war, leaving Miller looking unkissed and forlorn. Perhaps the rather subdued mood of the musical as a whole has to do with it being 1943 and a lot of boys and their girls having to face a very uncertain future. Though not the best Miller musical, there are compensations.
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