Broadway producer Johnny Demming courts big-name talent for his upcoming musical show, oblivious to the talent all around him, in his family and friends. When Johnny finally lands Hollywood... See full summary »
Broadway producer Johnny Demming courts big-name talent for his upcoming musical show, oblivious to the talent all around him, in his family and friends. When Johnny finally lands Hollywood star Helen Hoyt for his cast, Helen herself tries opening Johnny's eyes to the talents of his dad and sister. But Johnny remains adamant. Will his family and friends launch their own show, in competition with Johnny's? Written by
Dan Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Arthur Freed bought the rights to the Broadway musical "Very Warm For May", music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, as the starting point for the film, originally meant as a vehicle for Judy Garland. In typical Hollywood manner, by the time they were done all the original songs except "All the Things You Are" had been dropped, replaced by material from other writers and the project had been handed over to Jack Cummings. Three of the original songs were sung, fragmentarily, by George Murphy sitting at a piano waiting for Ginny Simms to come out. The name of the original play is also mentioned in passing in one of the scenes. See more »
Impressionist Dean Murphy, impersonating Joe E. Brown, is in a barnyard sketch with Nancy Walker. His armpit sweat varies from shot to shot - very wet, a couple smalls spots, dry and wet again. See more »
Variety fest enjoyable, though be aware the corn grows high
A pleasing enough entertainment, working primarily as a pageant of various MGM specialty acts - impressionists, contortionists, nightclub acts, tap-dancers, as well as the standard musical theatrical numbers. The film isn't a musical in the traditional sense, as all the musical numbers are in the contest of an actual performance (some done toward the camera). It's much more in the tradition of a 1960s-70s variety TV show.
There is a connecting plot, though only the slimmest possible. For me, the movie dragged whenever it stopped the music for a little story updating. George Murphy doesn't really dance much here - just briefly toward the beginning and end - and he does an OK piano medley in the middle. Ginny Simms isn't much of a screen presence, but has a great voice used to advantage. Close your eyes while she's singing and you won't miss much onscreen, other than the costumes.
The highlights are in the supporting cast; great numbers from Lena Horne, Tommy Dorsey, Hazel Scott, and Nancy Walker (though you really have to wait for hers; she's a bit underused here). Really nice work from Gloria DeHaven and Kenny Bowers in their couple of tunes, as well as Walter Long's tap-dancing. The singing-contortionist Ross Sisters are something to see, but the impressionist got on my nerves after a while. (Some of his subjects will not register with viewers unfamiliar with the era; there's a couple of topical jokes elsewhere in the film also.)
And Charles Winninger is a pleasure to watch in a diversion for him; I've rarely seen him in musical roles.
In short, worth seeing for most of the musical segments; the rest is unremarkable.
7 of 10
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