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Donald Elwood meets after the war his former USO partner, Kitty McNeil, who is now a rich widow with a little child. She tries to evade her paternal grandmother, who wants her to live in a way according to the customs of her dead husband's class. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
This film was hurried into production to take advantage of Fred Astaire's availability, part of the agreement MGM signed with Paramount in order to get Betty Hutton on loan to do "Annie Get Your Gun" at Metro. It is such standard fare that it pales when one thinks of Hutton's great triumph earlier in the year with "Annie." She and Fred Astaire were poorly matched given his sophistication and her frenetic singing and dancing. If only the musical comedy had some decent songs it could have gotten by on those alone. Unfortunately, there are few songs and they are mostly unforgettable, save Astair's dance routine on, over and under a grand piano and with a hat rack. There is a comedy song and dance number, "Them Thar Dudes" in which the two stars dress up as a couple of western dudes - both with fake mustaches - and sing and dance a fun and funny number. However, Astaire looks positively pained having to slum as low as this while Hutton steals the song because it is up her alley. There is an embarrassing number for Hutton when she starts singing a love song while her dress - in the rear - gets overheated. This film shows how brilliant Hutton was when she was given good material. The most accessible, direct and embracing singing voice of her time, Betty Hutton always surpassed her material when singing but, as with this film, was given to slapstick and overacting when clearly a director did not have control over her. Such is the fate of this film.
The film is engaging because it has at its core the old "mother running with her child from the evil relatives while the Knight is on his way and may or may not make it in time" plot. Because of the material Hutton comes off as Hutton while Astaire suffers badly, saved the minute he begins to tap his feet or open his mouth to sing. Two legends in a mediocre film make it a must see if you are a fan of either or both of the legends.
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