Lowell Blackford (Kay Kyser) is blessed with a gift of music,but also cursed with a hereditary "evil eye" which hypnotizes people,and he is virtually a recluse. He goes in search of a ... See full summary »
Lowell Blackford (Kay Kyser) is blessed with a gift of music,but also cursed with a hereditary "evil eye" which hypnotizes people,and he is virtually a recluse. He goes in search of a Broadway publisher for a symphonietta he has written, and ends up crashing an audition at the Swing Publishing Company, where he meets torch singer Ginger Gray (Marilyn Maxwell) and her fiance and promoter, Waltzy Malone (William Gargan). Ginger accidently walks off with his music and he follows her to a gym where Waltzy's fighter, "Killer" Kennedy (Nat Pendleton), has just been kayoed by his sparring partner. Waltzy learns of Lowell's hypnotic power and believes that Kennedy can win the championship if Lowell uses his power against the champ. He arranges for Lowell to lead the band at the club where Ginger sings. The latter objects to the role she is to play in getting Lowell to use his "evil eye" but Waltzy persuades her to go along by telling Lowell that Kennedy is her brother and it means everything ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Columbia, RKO,and Republic, among others, turned out escapist wartime musicals by the dozens, and their lack of availability is probably a blessing; this one, from MGM, has sleeker production values but is similarly impoverished of imagination. It's a mishmash involving boxing, swing, hypnosis, Marilyn Maxwell twitching cutely, the unwatchable Ish Kabibble, Nat Pendleton still playing a punch-drunk heavyweight over a decade after "Horse Feathers," and lots of pulchritude to please the boys overseas. (Even Ava Gardner has an unbilled bit.) Kay Kyser could swing it, all right, but he was no actor, and it's almost painful to watch him go through these contrived paces. There's one good number -- no, check that, there's one not-very-good number made bearable by Lena Horne and some good production design -- among lots of trivial swing, and lots of camera trickery in the production numbers, presumably to disguise the paucity of invention. Tommy Dorsey and Harry James show up briefly; they look like they visited the set on lunch hour from other, better movies.
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