Young Sherry Williams dreams of having a singing career, and she idolizes her older sister Josephine, who has gone to New York to perform on the stage. When Sherry is distraught just before... See full summary »
Young Sherry Williams dreams of having a singing career, and she idolizes her older sister Josephine, who has gone to New York to perform on the stage. When Sherry is distraught just before performing at her school, a visiting Broadway producer encourages her by telling her positive things about her sister. Soon afterwards, Sherry decides to make a surprise trip to New York to visit Josephine - but what she finds there is not at all what she expected. Written by
I just finished watching this wonderful movie and immediately rushed to IMDb thinking I'd find a whole bunch of cult followers to yap with. Instead I find only 1 post in the forum and 2 lukewarm reviews.
As my title states: C'mon peeps, this movie is FREAKING AWESOME! First of all Jane Powell is absolutely adorable as "Little Poison Ivy", the 15-year-old girl who has a spooky way of looking twice her age at times. But regardless of how she's gussied up, she carries a sweet, impish, Jennifer Jones-like charm which is just perfect for the role.
It's perfect because--enter the sultry sister--Constance Moore works the other end of the spectrum. As a worldly, boogie-woogie burlesque showgirl, Ms. Moore is the perfect compliment to Ms. Powell's Baroque innocence.
Caught in the middle is Ralph Bellamy as a very Jimmy Stewart-like father figure who gets dragged into the whole mess that these feisty sisters create. He does a fantastic job. I would venture to say that in this case he out-Stewarts Stewart.
But what really knocked me out were the supporting performances from the butler Jeffers, the schoolchum Molly and the maid Hannah, each of whom make perfect comedic entrances at the perfect time. It was like watching a Shakespearean comedy where the real big laughs are handled by the minor characters, leaving the major characters to focus on the plot an dialogue. Freaking brilliant stuff & excellent performances all around. This is one of those movies where the cast is absolutely perfect all the way down to the extras, and I can't imagine anyone doing a better job in any of the roles.
Lastly I have to mention the excellent camera work and framing of shots. The director was very creative with perspective and depth, so we don't feel like we're watching a 2-dimensional cartoon all the time. There are clever shots where the action is in the forefront, but our eye is drawn to some detail in the background. And when the director applies this cinematic style to the actual dance numbers, the result is staggering (like in the finale where a parade of girls magically "flows" from behind a column and draws the shot toward the camera while Powell remains the stationary focal point in the background. Yeah it's hard to describe.
I am truly dumbfounded at why this film has such a low (5.9) rating on IMDb. I'm guessing it's because this is a very female-dominated story & performance, and practically all of the votes are from males (out of 40 votes, only 2 are female). Well golly, I don't feel like any less of a man for saying "this girly movie kicks ass!"
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