6.8/10
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3 user 3 critic

When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948)

Vaudeville performers, Dailey and Grable, have marital difficulties when he hits the "Big Time", which are compounded by his drinking problem.

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(play), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Bonny Kane
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'Skid' Johnson
...
Bozo Evans
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Gussie Evans
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Harvey Howell
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Lefty Moore
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Storyline

Vaudeville performers, Dailey and Grable, have marital difficulties when he hits the "Big Time", which are compounded by his drinking problem.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vaudeville | based on play | See All (2) »

Taglines:

From Burlesque to Broadway !! 12 show-stopping song hits in the year's hit-topping musical !

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Musical

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Release Date:

10 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Burlesque  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second of four movies that paired Betty Grable and Dan Dailey. See more »

Connections

Version of The Dance of Life (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
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User Reviews

 
Masochistic musical from Fox...different from their usual output, and well-performed
2 May 2009 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Betty Grable and Dan Dailey fare quite well in this musical comedy-drama which, initially, appears to have come straight off the '40s-era assembly line at 20th Century-Fox Studios. Based on the play "Burlesque" by Arthur Hopkins and George Manker Watters, the atypically complicated plot concerns a married couple, stage performers in the 1920s, who are separated after the husband gets a shot on Broadway and the wife gets stuck behind on the road. The twosome remain devoted to each other until it leaks in the press he has been spending lots of free time with a pretty new co-star--the wife's nemesis! Grable wears a cockamamie hairdo throughout (and her only good song, "What Did I Do?", is hampered by poor choreography), though she's sweet in her backstage scenes, joshing with pals Jack Oakie and June Havoc, and playing flattered star to handsome admirer Richard Arlen. Dailey, on the other hand, received an Oscar nomination for his work, and it's easy to see why; walking a fine line between pathos and comedy, he's portraying a talented alcoholic, desperate to keep the peace while needing an outlet for his own frustrations (one senses he isn't so much insecure as he is a grown-up child who needs a firm, upstanding mother-figure to guide him). The picture doesn't really get into the masochism build into the plot's formula. Grable can see that her husband "Skid" is on the skids, floundering and helpless--his own worst enemy--yet Grable's loving responses to him are a tad bit insane. Sure, she's noble by lending a helping hand, but the movie-makers equate her kind gestures with a selflessness that goes beyond the call of duty. Betty isn't an enabler, per se--the point is made that her unconditional devotion will turn everything right again--but how many people actually bought this 'happy ending'? I didn't find it very convincing, but 1948 was really too early for Hollywood musicals to become dark and probing. For its time, this was probably just the tonic for matinée audiences hoping to shake the blues away. **1/2 from ****


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