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The singing/dancing Angel sisters, Nancy (Dorothy Lamour), Bobby (Betty Hutton), Josie (Diana Lynn) and Patti (Mimi Chandler), aren't interested in performing together, and this plays havoc with the plans of Pop Angel (Raymond Walburn) to buy a soy bean farm. They do accept an offer of ten dollars to sing at a dubious night club on the edge of town where a band led by Happy Marshall (Fred MacMurray) is playing. Bobby takes the ten dollars and runs it up to $190 at the dice table. Happy hits on Nancy but she rebuffs him. He doesn't have the money to pay his band and borrows the gambling winnings from Bobby on the pretext that he will give her a job with his band. Bobby discovers the next day that Happy has hastily departed for New York. The girls follow to a night club where he is working and, after an audition, the manager is willing to give Happy a contract if the girls will sing with his band. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
A fun, mood-lifting movie with the talents of Hutton, Lamour and Lynn.
Movies like this raised the spirits of war weary citizens during the 1940's. Well guess what? It will still lift your spirits today! You've probably read the plot and already know the story. Nevertheless, in a nutshell The four Angel sisters (Lamour, Hutton, Lynn and Chandler) are chiseled out of $190 by band leader Happy Marshall (Fred MacMurray), pushed into doing it by his friend Fuzzy (Eddie Foy, Jr.). Happy and the band go to Brooklyn, with the girls following to retrieve their money and some funny and musical things happen along the way. Lamour and Hutton both get goofy over MacMurray with resultant pandemonium. The story line was not meant to be deep, just fun and entertaining, and it met those goals. Dorothy Lamour and Betty Hutton dominate the talent in the movie and not necessarily in that order. Although Lamour, with fine acting and a wonderful voice had the lead, it was Betty Hutton's talent that stole the show hands down. Before Hollywood stardom, Dorothy Lamour was Miss New Orleans in 1931, and then she set out to be a singer. In one part of the movie she tries to gain entry to the Copacabana club in Brooklyn, but is turned away by the ticket seller because she does not have an escort. This type of scene interests me because, when I see a familiar face I like to do some checking, then report the findings here (which saves the reader from doing so). Notice the ticket lady was Louise La Planche who was Miss North America 1940. In 1996 she was the last surviving cast member of Lon Chaney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame". In this scene, as Dorothy is walking away, she meets a fellow in a zoot suit. He had a familiar face and his name was Frank Faylen. Familiar because he played the father of Dobie Gillis in the TV show and the cab driver in "It's a Wonderful Life". Frank and Dorothy did a great routine with an exaggerated Brooklyn-ese style conversation. Betty Hutton's energy and pizazz was evident from the start. When the Angel sisters walked down the street in the beginning of the film and as they came out on the stage singing they just walked calmly except for Betty. She had that natural bounce to her step that is as much a part of her personality as rolling and blinking those expressive eyes. I don't know how else to put it in a group of talented entertainers she is the one you notice. Some might say she has an extraordinary talent that only comes along once in a lifetime. Ha! Try multiple generations! The third Angel sister was Diana Lynn, and when you saw her playing the piano in the movie it was apparently not a fake. In real life, she was a child prodigy who played piano for the Los Angeles Junior Symphony at the age of 12. The fourth sister was played by Mimi Chandler whom I don't recognize at all, so she is a mystery to me. Dorothy's boyfriend Oliver was played by Frank Albertson, brother of Jack Albertson (from Chico and the Man and Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka). The male lead was Fred MacMurray and I hate it when he plays a cad. He was great as a Scout leader in "Follow Me Boys" and as the father on TV's "My Three Sons", but when he plays a low life, I guess he does it too well as you just don't like him. Real life meets movie, as he plays a band leader in this movie and he started out playing and singing with bands early in his career. Eddie Foy, Jr. is his friend Fuzzy. Eddie played his father Eddie Sr. (famous as Eddie Foy and the Seven Little Foys) several times as in "Yankee Doodle Dandy". His parents actually had eleven children, but only seven survived and Eddie Sr. incorporated them into his act when their mother died. Eddie Jr. acted well in this movie and reminded me of a younger Harry Morgan. Those with a sharp ear will notice during the conversation between Eddie Jr, MacMurray and Hutton some name-dropping. Eddie says he has tried to get several singers and mentions Diana Shore, Harriet Hilliard and a name sounding like Boswell. As we know, Harriet Hilliard became the model for 1950's mothers in TV's Ozzie & Harriet with Dave and Ricky Nelson. An interesting person popped up when Fred and Dorothy go out night clubbing and end up at a Polish wedding. Notice the bride played by Hillary Brooke. Although a small part here, she became that "tall blonde with the British accent" who played opposite Basil Rathbone in a couple Sherlock Holmes movies and with Red Skelton in "The Fuller Brush Man" to name just a couple. The father of the Angel sisters was Raymond Walburn who usually played a comical stuff shirt official. He is described as a look alike for the caricature of Mr. Monopoly. In this movie, his favorite daughter is Betty Hutton, as demonstrated when she is the only one who appreciates his lamb stew cooking and he defends her for not finding a job. There were several such character actors in the film. All long time professionals such as Jack Norton who made a career out of playing staggering drunks even though he was a teetotaler in real life. As you can see, the movie had a wealth of acting talent to supplement the harmonious singing of the sister act with Betty Hutton and Dorothy Lamour in particular. As written on the screen at the start the Angels did not have halos, harps nor wings, what they didn't have they didn't need! Although the story line is somewhat predictable, don't waste time analyzing it. Just relax and enjoy the laughs and music of "And the Angels Sing".
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