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Out-of-work swing band maneuvers a gig working for a political campaign, by drawing in and entertaining prospective voters at rallies. The candidate is really a stooge for a corrupt political machine, which discovers the band's handsome and appealing singer would make a better stooge. Meanwhile, romance blossoms between the band's singers. When election day approaches, the band's singer wants out of the campaign, but the machine threatens to smear him and his pals in the band if he quits. Written by
Probably the most demands on Perry Como as an actor in his brief sojourn in Hollywood was this watered down remake of Dick Powell's classic Thanks A Million. Sad to say that has not been made available and it is a pity. Thanks A Million was a sharp and witty satire on the American political system how a crooner gets himself good and used by a corrupt political machine when they dump their candidate and nominate him for governor. The same material is used, but without the bite.
Instead of the radio crooners of the Thirties the music is now the swing music of the Forties supplied by Harry James. He's got a pair of attractions with his band played by Vivian Blaine and Carmen Miranda and a press agent played by Phil Silvers. He hires Perry Como as a male singer and the group accepts a touring gig with a political candidate who has a drinking problem and is played by Edgar Buchanan. One night when he's in his cups, Como goes on and wows the crowd. At that point the political bosses switch to use him as their stooge.
The musical score is nothing to write home about. Perhaps if Perry had a big hit from this he might have stayed a little longer in Hollywood. Not much more though. That relaxed attitude that made him welcome in so many homes in the 50s was not hiding any great acting talent like his contemporary graduate from the big bands Frank Sinatra.
Even Carmen Miranda was somewhat subdued in If I'm Lucky.
Hope that some day you get to see Thanks A Million so you can compare.
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