|Index||3 reviews in total|
Decent if unremarkable, this putting-on-a-show musical is typical for a Lippert production of the era: good talent in front of and behind the camera -- that's Ben Kline, Tom Mix's old cinematographer serving as dp on this one -- and a shooting schedule that can probably be measured in minutes. Still, there are lots of interesting cameos and acts appearing, including a starring turn by Spade Cooley, a now forgotten singing cowboy -- if you know him there is a good chance it is because he is mentioned in James Ellroy's books -- who gives a nice relaxed performance as, well Spade Cooley. It was intended as the bottom feature on a double bill and does the job well enough. This one is for fans of the singing cowboy genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Beginning in 1917 just as the First World War is starting for America, we see life in Waltzland, a dance hall where waltz is king. Years later as Waltzland falters the owner gets Spade Cooley and several other western acts to appear in a TV special in order to help save the place. This 65 minute film has long unneeded opening as a set up for what is essentially a "let's put on a show plot. For the most part its just music and acts either in rehearsal or as part of the TV show. The music and acts are quite good, however the lets save the dance hall material is low grade TV sitcom material, and while okay, distracts from the music. Is it a good film? Its okay. its watchable, if unremarkable, and the sort of thing that will probably never show up on TV, unless Turner Classics decides to do a festival of variety films.(Roddy McDowell appears as himself plugging his daily radio show)
I agree that the plot slows things down, but it is not that long. Once
they get into the acts this is first-rate fun, sort-of a quickie
flickie Ed Sullivan type thing. Almost all of the acts are worth
watching. I especially liked it because of Spade Cooley, the western
swing leader on the west coast where he outdrew Bob Wills who had
things sewed up in the midwest and South.
In real life, Cooley was no angel - shot his wife in front of their 10-year-old daughter. While in prison he went out now and then to entertain, I guess, some lawmen, keeling over during a sheriff's get together. He was not easy to work with so the stories go, but the end product was outstanding. By the way, and you will notice the resemblance, he served as a stand in for Roy Rogers a couple of times.
The Ginny Jackson in the screenplay was his wife and Cooley himself was a producer-writer of this little fun piece.
Hordes of familiar faces appeared through the flick, but the main thing were the artists, acrobats, etc., including some boogie Latin by Chuy Reyes, and an appearance by the Sons of the Pioneers minus Rogers and Bob Nolan, but with two other western notables, the wonderful Ken Curtis and Shug Fisher.
If you don't want to tax your gray matter, if you just want to have some fun, grab "Everybody's Dancin'," which, by the way, is part of an eight-package deal of similar offerings by VCI. Yay for them. One more thing, the accompanying short subjects are fun, although one of them didn't show up. Can't have everything, but this short movie does.
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