This musical biopic chronicles the vaudeville-to-Broadway story of 1920s' star Marilyn Miller (June Haver). From her start on the boards in Finley, Ohio, Marilyn sings and dances her way to... See full summary »
This musical biopic chronicles the vaudeville-to-Broadway story of 1920s' star Marilyn Miller (June Haver). From her start on the boards in Finley, Ohio, Marilyn sings and dances her way to Broadway stardom, frequently in company with her mentor, dancer Jack Donahue (Ray Bolger). Written by
Dan Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A splendid backstage look at a great Broadway star
"Look for the Silver Lining" (1949) is, admittedly, not renowned as one of the great Technicolor musicals of all time. It is not usually discussed in the same breath as "Cover Girl" (1944), "Easter Parade" (1948), or "On the Town" (1949). But "...Silver Lining" is nevertheless a first-rate musical entertainment, the only major biopic of the great Broadway star Marilyn Miller, and the one film to fully employ the bountiful assets of its star, June Haver.
Miss Haver began in films as a 20th Century-Fox contract player, appearing in small roles in "The Gang's All Here" (1943) and "Home in Indiana" (1944). She graduated to co-starring status, appearing as Betty Grable's sister (and stage partner) in "The Dolly Sisters" (1945). That was the role that established her as a bankable star, and she continued to perform, mostly in Technicolor, in Fox musicals for the remainder of the decade.
In 1949, however, June Haver was loaned to Warner Bros. for that studio's spectacular biography film of Marilyn Miller, 1920s' Broadway star par excellence. It was the role that Miss Haver would make her own. When she sings the Miller trademark song, "Who," she upstages Miss Miller (whose rendition is viewable on YouTube) and even invites comparison to Judy Garland's brief cameo as Miller in "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946).
Ray Bolger co-stars as real-life dancer Jack Donahue and very nearly steals the show... but Ms. Haver swipes it right back, with her winning performances of "Sunny," "Shine on Harvest Moon," and the title song. She also dances en pointe in one of the ballet numbers, and shares a love duet with Gordon MacRae, "Time on my Hands."
"Look for the Silver Lining" was the high point of June Haver's career, a career that could have lasted much longer but for her decision, in 1952, to enter a Catholic convent and become a nun. She was not strong enough to endure convent life and eventually left with permission. But instead of resuming her promising movie career, she married Fred MacMurray, who had been one of her leading men, and was content to be a housewife and mother to their adopted twin girls.
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