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"All my life I've wanted you to sit on my lap but it's no fun if you're not conscious."
Fred MacMurray plays a guy who wants to do his patriotic duty and join the Army but he's 4F so they won't take him. To make matters worse, the girl he loves (June Haver) only dates soldiers. One night Fred frees a genie from a lamp and the genie grants him wishes in return. He wishes to be in the Army but the genie misunderstands and sends him back in time to join the Army of George Washington. From there, Fred bounces around in time to earlier points in American history where he sails with Columbus, buys Manhattan from Anthony Quinn, and hangs around with Dutch settlers who talk like Yoda.
Well this was an interesting little gem I'd never heard of. It's a pleasant Technicolor musical comedy with songs by Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill. Fred MacMurray is amiable and easygoing. Joan Leslie is lovable as the girl best friend that is, of course, perfect for Fred but he doesn't see it yet. June Haver does fine in a role that would be easy to hate in a more serious movie. Fred and June met while making this and were later married. The songs are cute but nothing terribly impressive. Wait until you see MacMurray dance. Don't quit your day job, Fred! The Christopher Columbus operetta is probably the highlight. Enjoyable wartime fantasy that's very light and charming. Fun but never quite as good as it seems like it could be. Still, if you're a fan of the stars or old-school musicals you should like it.
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