|Index||3 reviews in total|
"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.
Lively 1949 musical with Mark Stevens and June Haver in the leads. Did
Mark do his own singing here?
The film is a tribute to those who wrote light opera and saw their music turned into wonderful vehicles for Tin Pan Alley. Such was the case here with S.Z. Sakall as the impresario.
Interesting to see Charlotte Greenwood in a totally non-singing and non-dancing role in this film.
Sakall tastes a climb from poverty to wealth as Stevens adopts his music to "modern" times. With a guilty conscience for not pursuing his opera, Sakall drops out, but is quickly found.
The tunes sung are delightful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The second pairing of Mark Stevens and June Haver in a tribute to a
turn of the century composer. However, it's likely you will be most
impressed by native Hungarian S.Z. Sakal. Your opinion of this film
will likely most depend on your attitude toward Sakal. Some are
mightily irritated by him, while others(such as me) love him most of
the time. Apparently, he wasn't hated by many in the '40s and early
'50s when he appeared in quite a few films. His presence here is the
most dominating I've seen. He plays the historic Tin Pan Alley composer
Fred Fisher, a few of whose songs are featured throughout. However, the
title song, played ad nauseam, was NOT composed by Fisher! Also, it's
Stevens' character who actually composes the popular tunes, adapted
from Sakal's classical and operatic music! Of course, this is pure
fiction, but it was a way to work Sakal into the script. Toward the
end, Sakal decides he doesn't want any more of his compositions turned
into popular songs. He prepares to leave NYC, but is tricked into
attending a symphony featuring his popular songs, and changes his mind.
Although both Stevens and June had singing talent, both were dubbed
here. Ex-big band singer Gale Robbins is given the title song and
another song to sing. As in this film, Gail also was typically cast as
"the other woman". Check out "One Little Word" and "The Belle of New
York" to see what I mean. Gail was Stevens' main performer before he
met June. But, during the transition period, June is very jealous,
thinking Stevens still favored Gail as a romantic partner, despite his
denial. Hence, there are several ups and downs in their relationship,
as is often the case in such musicals. This is very similar to the plot
in "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" when June was trying to displace
characters Lulu, and then Fritz, as Stevens' main musical performer and
Some of the songs include: "Come Josephine in My Flying Machine", "Peg O' My Heart", "Chicago", "I Want You to Want Me", and "When I Get You Alone Tonight"
Stevens is rather bland, shy, and understanding, but Sakal more than makes up for this....June actually played the piano in one number. She was a local child star.
Essentially, a remake of the 1940 B&W film "Tin Pan Alley", starring Alice Faye and Betty Grable, in their only film together. John Payne and Jack Oakie were the equivalents of Stevens and Sakal, respectively. Actually, I prefer the 1940 version, although it would have been nicer in Technicolor.
Presently available on DVD and at You Tube.
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