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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 being raised by their father who insists on them learning music, to the split that just saw their careers rise even further. Written by
Paul Batey <email@example.com>
A few musical highlights but this is the pits for plot and acting...
THE FABULOUS DORSEYS is, as Maltin says, "a limp musical", largely because neither JIMMY or TOMMY DORSEY can act their way out of a paper bag and the screenplay is hardly an inspired piece of writing. The most ingratiating performers are JANET BLAIR and WILLIAM LUNDIGAN, supplying the love interest as members of the band, and at least add some necessary glamor to the proceedings.
SARAH ALLGOOD and ARTHUR SHIELDS are the Irish parents of the boys, who had a fighting relationship since childhood. The film depicts how this temperamental nonsense continued into their adult life as band leaders who argued about everything, especially music. Only after their father dies and Blair schemes a way to get the band leaders together again for a concert, does the story reach a reasonably happy ending.
We get snatches of some of their song hits, including the memorable "Green Eyes" and "Marie", and Bob Eberle and Helen O'Connell get to do their thing with a song, but the swing music isn't enough to compensate for a thin, contrived plot line. Furthermore, the print shown on TCM was pretty rough around the edges, no better than a third rate Public Domain print.
Summing up: The Dorseys deserved better than this.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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