"Dakota," a young soldier on a pass in New York City, visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous stars of the theatre and films appear and host a recreational center for servicemen ... See full summary »
The oddly-assorted Hart cousins: revue singer Blossom, con man Harry, and machinist Chiquita (who gets radio through her teeth!), inherit southern plantation Magnolia Manor, which alas ... See full summary »
A Universal Army enlistment promotion, produced as a musical showcase for Harry James, the Andrews Sisters, Joe E. Lewis, and Donald O'Connor & Peggy Ryan. The film's thin plot has James ... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
The Andrews Sisters,
Joe E. Lewis
The rise and rise of the Fabulous Dorsey brothers is charted in this whimsical step down memory lane, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey play themselves in this vehicle for their excellent music. From ... See full summary »
Burlesque queen Doll Face Carroll is dismissed from an audition for a legitimate Broadway show because she's considered unrefined. Her boss/manager, Mike, decides that she can acquire some polish and also get plenty of publicity by writing her autobiography; he hires a ghost writer to do all the work but doesn't consider that Doll Face and her collaborator might have more than a book on their minds. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <DanNGM@aol.com>
The hit swing-novelty number from the Jimmy McHugh-Harold Adamson score, the wisecracking, very 1940s "Dig You Later (A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba)," was performed in the film as a duet by Perry Como and Martha Stewart. Como's best-selling single on the Victor label would supplant Miss Stewart with a vocal quartet, The Satisfiers, whose lead singer was Helen Carroll. Curiously, Miss Stewart was recording for RCA Victor at the time. See more »
Unremarkable but worth a look for curiosity's sake
Some good talent here, but all have done better and some are not used particularly well. 'Doll Face' is watchable, mostly for curiosity or for any musical fan who wants to continue to find more to watch, but while there are good things here one couldn't help feeling that it could have been better than it turned out.
'Doll Face' is nicely photographed, and has very professional-looking set and costume design. Would have preferred for it to be in colour, and numbers like "Chico Chico" cried out for it, but depending on budget and such not every musical or film can have the benefit of being in colour. It would have been more preferable but it made do, the film still looks nice enough (if not giving the wow factor) without it.
The songs are lovely and pass the memorability test, the highlights being "Walking in My Dreams", "Dig You Later" and "Here Comes Heaven Again" and all three are sung beautifully and performed with spirit. In terms of choreography, most not much to write home about but Miranda's big production number captivates in its energy. The cast are a very mixed bag, but faring best are a hilariously sparkling Carmen Miranda and vivacious Martha Stewart. Dennis O'Keefe also tries hard and does have moments of amusement.
On the other hand, Vivian Blaine is a polished but passionless lead, and while Perry Como looks handsomely and sings exquisitely (then again when did he ever not?) he's pretty bland and doesn't look very at ease. That is true with much of the male cast actually, the roles are underwritten and people may also object to the way they're written too, sexism has been brought up in a couple of comments and understandably (the male characters' attitudes towards women doesn't really hold up now and be a sour note for a fair few).
"Chico Chico" aside, the choreography is very routine aside, most of the numbers being so indifferently choreographed and directed, as well as confined, that the one with the most energy and the most cinematic-feeling feels over-produced in comparison. The story makes thin ice seem thick and feels plodding and dreary in the non-musical scenes, and was expecting more energy and wit from the script here which felt bland.
Overall, worthwhile enough curiosity but unremarkable and had a lot of room to be much better. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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