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In the early 1900s, song plugger Larry Kelly chances to meet Alfred Breitenbach, poor opera composer...and his lovely daughter Doris, who falls for Larry. To improve their acquaintance, Doris conspires with Larry to turn her father's opera melodies into popular songs. Alfred, reluctant but needing cash, adopts the pen name Fred Fisher. Affluence results, but when Alfred realizes his opera is vanishing bit by bit, he wants to bring the career of "Fred Fisher" to a halt... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
"Oh, You Beautiful Doll" is rather underestimated 20th-Century Fox musical that can be best appreciated if you have seen or liked the similar Gay 90s musicals the studio churned out throughout the 1940s. I saw it for the wonderful June Haver who, along with Alice Faye and Betty Grable, is one of my favorite musical stars of the 1940s and early 50s.
It's not that great -- but not ghastly either, if you take it for what it is: Another of Fox's glossy turn-of-the-century musicals that, despite its apparent banalities, may cheer you up thanks to the lively tunes and stars' charisma. "Oh You Beautiful Doll" features Haver as Doris Fisher, the bubbling, charismatic daughter of a famous opera composer Fred Fisher (S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall). Fisher, whose actual name is Alfred Breitenbach, is a straightforward, hard working musician who unexpectedly finds success at Tin Pan Alley when a happy-go-lucky song plugger Larry Kelly (Mark Stevens) steals Fisher's songs for some of the popular tunes of the day. Doris falls for Larry despite her father's protests. I was surprised to see that Haver seems to work well with Stevens, and their collaboration here is much more satisfying than their previous, soapy "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now"(1947).
John M. Stahl's direction is quite routine, but the Technicolor & period setting are as usual glorious and lovely to look at. The songs and numbers are generally well done. The best numbers are "Peg O' My Heart", "Oh You Beautiful Doll", "I Want You To Want Me To Want You", "When I Get You Alone Tonight".
Worth a look.
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