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In 1922, novice composer Kenneth Harvey arrives in New York from Kansas, hoping to publish his concerto; he meets speakeasy owner Danny O'Mara, who hopes to put on a broadway show. Ken's affairs take a turn for the better when he falls for singer Bonnie Watson. But while he labors on orchestration, O'Mara is surreptitiously adapting his tunes to the Greenwich Village Gaieties. Written by
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The opening narration on the bus claims that George Gershwin was one of those legendary talents who got his start in Greenwich Village, but in 1922, when this film supposedly takes place, Gershwin was just starting out. See more »
Anyone looking for the Greenwich Village of bygone days will be sadly disillusioned by this film. The area known for all time for its Bohemian atmosphere and now for its outrageously overpriced just about everything will not be found here. Club owner William Bendix isn't even fond of bootleg whiskey in his joint as he's continually throwing out bootlegger Tom Dugan from his place. Of all the places in New York State during the Twenties where Governor Alfred E. Smith stated publicly he would not enforce prohibition, Greenwich Village was the area that flouted the Volstead Act the most with impunity and flare.
The score for Greenwich Village is made up mostly of old standards and the film was an opportunity for Darryl Zanuck to launch a new musical star in the tradition of Alice Faye and Betty Grable. Vivian Blaine was 'introduced' in Greenwich Village and in film she never quite got the success the other two ladies did. She did best on Broadway, most unforgettably as Adelaide in Guys And Dolls. The new songs were nothing to remember.
Young Don Ameche arrives in Manhattan from Wichita, Kansas where he was a professor of music there and he's written a concerto. No big market for concertos, but there's a passage in the concerto that sounds promising to William Bendix. It turns out to be the big hit song from the beginning of the Roaring Twenties, Whispering. Bendix has big ideas wanting to put on a big revue and if he can't get Ameche's bankroll which he's carrying, he'd sure like a loan on his talent.
It's all an excuse to put on a lot of numbers, but Greenwich Village seems to lack the creative flair of 20th Century Fox's earlier films with Betty Grable and Alice Faye. William Bendix, borrowed from Paramount where he mostly played good natured mugs, just does not strike one as a would be Ziegfeld. Carmen Miranda is just Carmen Miranda and she's the best thing about Greenwich Village.
Just not the best musical Fox ever put out.
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