The DVD I watched is from an American rights company called Alpha DVD. Increasingly their output is delight and dismay because so many of the attractive films in their catalog seem to be created from DVD copying a TV print videotape directly off a computer monitor or television screen. THAT'S MY BABY looks like this as it has some weird patterned sheen over the whole image... like bathroom glass. This imperfection in the presentation detracts from what is a major musical find for anyone interested in Republic films of th 40s... and for you out there who love vaudeville zaniness will rush to find a copy. This would have been an A grade film from Republic with excellent art direction set design and a beautiful music score. Then there is the hilarious and energetic roster of auditioning stars and their orchestras... with added throw in and away guest appearances by everyone else possible. There is even break dancing from tap maestro 'Pigmeat" Markham. Some terrible TV edits rob us of some wild, barely seen adagio gymnastics, but one dance duo who I can't identify are jawdropping to briefly see: he is a massive lug in a cartoon dinner-suit, like a football forward in a tux and she is absolutely tiny in an even tinier miniskirt; they proceed to slide-jive and hop about like the Big Bad Wolf and Lambchop! The number is brief and made even shorter by cutaways for dialog... maybe it was risqué.. but what we so briefly see is live cartoon craziness perfected. Later in this very concise 68 minute musical is a wondrous sequence by Dave Fleischer creating a cartoon, mostly in a fascinating montage that delivers the hilarity needed for the fade-out. A great DVD print release of this thoroughly enjoyable mini musical is much deserved. It is alternately silly and spectacular... and the musical numbers, each and every one worth the cost of the DVD alone. The boogie woogie scene in the restaurant needs to be repeated 200 times just so you believe you actually saw it. It is a movie about a cartoon; and so is a musical with cartoon sensibilities... if that is possible.... well it is and it is called THAT'S MY BABY, Republic Pictures 1944. Whata hoot this would have been to see with a huge crowd. The Hilarious and droll Al Mardo and his (useless) dog were a staple of 50s television; Lead acress Ellen Drew is breathtaking, she is very much like Hedy Lamarr; her measured dialogue delivery is particularly appealing. Yep, all this in 68 minutes.
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