Gangster's moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely ...
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Hypochondriac Danny Weems gets drafted into the army and makes life miserable for his fellow GIs. He's also lovesick when it comes to pretty Mary Morgan, unaware that she's in love with his... See full summary »
Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. ... See full summary »
Mary Rutledge arrives from the east, finds her fiance dead, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis' Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house in San Francisco in the 1850s. She... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Ventriloquist Jerry Morgan has to see another love affair fail. The reason: when the relationship reaches the point when it is time to discuss marriage, his doll Clarence becomes mean and ... See full summary »
Gangster's moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely bachelors? She gets more than she bargained for when the head of the institute Professor Hobart Frisbee starts to fall for her. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(Inside joke) When asked to play without music, Prof. Magenbruch (Benny Goodman) says, "You can't play without music." The others answer, "Well, Benny Goodman used to." Magenbruch then says he's never heard of Benny Goodman. See more »
Just after "Bubbles" finishes his "Bop-bop-a-rebop" routine the camera switches to another view. It is obviously a second take since his mouth is clearly saying 'rebop' but there is no sound. See more »
Enjoyable musical comedy (more so if you haven't seen the original)
This is a musical remake of the 1940 classic "Ball of Fire". The plot is almost the same, a gangster's moll crashes the residence of a bunch of professors who are writing an encyclopedia, and falls in love the the youngest one. This time they're a musical encyclopedia rather than a generalized one, which allows for a lot of musical numbers, some of them pretty enjoyable. It's a lively, superficial, colorful musical with some laughs to it, if you haven't seen "Ball of Fire" you'll probably have quite a good time.
But the film and especially the performances are vastly inferior to the original. Virginia Mayo is the same as she always was in musical comedies, a sort of generic leading lady/straight man. Danny Kaye is limited by his role, he's playing an uptight nerd and can't use his fabulous manic energy at all for most of the film (Gary Cooper was absolutely hilarious as the uptight nerd in the original, he was one good actor). The supporting performances are all pretty cartoonish, none stand out, but there are appearances by Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, and Lionel Hampton which you might want to catch.
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