A hat-check girl at the Stork Club (Hutton) saves the life of a drowning man (Fitzgerald). A rich man, he decides to repay her by anonymously giving her a bank account, a luxury apartment ... See full summary »
A hat-check girl at the Stork Club (Hutton) saves the life of a drowning man (Fitzgerald). A rich man, he decides to repay her by anonymously giving her a bank account, a luxury apartment and a charge account at a department store. When her boyfriend (DeFore) returns from overseas, he thinks she is a kept woman. Written by
Herman Seifer <email@example.com>
The movie, included as a character Sherman Billingsley the owner of the real stork club. During the movie, he talks to Danny, Judy's fiancée telling him that his wife and two daughters were the only women in his life. This is contradictory to the real life Sherman, who had a longtime affair with Ethel Merman. See more »
You know I think he's a bit screwy, he thinks a girl named Ruby Stevens is Barbara Stanwyck!
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The first forty minutes of the movie is delightful with Barry Fitzgerald playing a millionaire in disguise who turns hatcheck girl Betty Hutton's life upside down. The last ten minutes are also fine with a cute and satisfying ending. Its the forty-five minutes in-between that gets bogged down. The biggest problem is the subplot with Don Defore. Defore plays an ex-marine returned from the war and the leader of an orchestra looking for a job. He is passionless and dull in both roles. He rejects long time girl friend Judy (Hutton) because he finds her in a wealthy apartment wearing rich clothes and assumes (incorrectly) that she got the goodies by whoring around. This might have made him noble in 1945, but now he seems like a "holier than thou" male chauvinist. One feels like telling the distraught Judy that she was lucky to get rid of the creep. Unfortunately, she has to feel guilty for having had good fortune without the help of her "man". She spends the rest of the movie trying to win him back.
The other problem is that Betty sings just four musical numbers and only two ("Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" and "Square in a Social Circle") are in her inimitable jitterbug-swing style. These two numbers are the highlights in the film. Andy Russell, a rather lifeless Bing Crosby/Frank Sinatra type crooner is given three numbers, including a duet with Hutton, which just slows the film down.
In sum, the delightful performance of Barry Fitzgerald and the comical energy and singing talent of Betty Hutton start the movie in a glowing fashion and eventually get us over the finish line, but the middle part is dated and a bit wearisome.
I think the movie is worth seeing for two scenes - Hutton's dynamic delivery of "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" and her jarring scene where she welcomes her soldier boyfriend back from the war, saying "Move, Danny, Move, Do Something," I think at that moment she captured some of the extraordinary happiness that people felt about the war ending at that time.
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