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When this film first came out in 1950 it was like Babe Ruth hitting a
double. The score by Burke-Van Heusen is serviceable for Crosby, a
couple of nice numbers. In fact the best number in the movie is And
You'll Be Home, sung at a college assembly by Bing who is later joined
by the whole ensemble. Unfortunately it occurs in the first 20 minutes
of the movie so then it's downhill.
Bing plays a golf loving composer who's lost his muse and would rather spend more time on the links and at the track then working. His producer, Charles Coburn, hires Nancy Olson who is a graduating student from Bing's alma mater as a secretary to keep Bing's nose to the grind- stone. That has complications for Bing's steady, Ruth Hussey and Olson's inamorata, Robert Stack. Suffice it to say that everyone winds up with someone in the end.
It's a show business story, but not one like those Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney let's put on a show. We got some sophisticated folks in this story, not the usual kind who Bing hangs around with in the normal course of his films. A whole lot of the film action takes place in Bing's Park Avenue penthouse and Crosby looks a little lost there. He has some funny moments with Ida Moore, Tom Ewell, and Richard Haydn.
Of course a show is the highlight of the film and one awkward moment comes when Charles Coburn is amazed at some of the show business types Bing's obtained the services for a preview of his new Broadway show. At one point Coburn remarks to Crosby, "there's Dorothy Kirsten of the Metropolitan Opera" like he doesn't know who she is. But the audience probably doesn't. Still it looks so phony when the next performer they run into is Groucho Marx. No one thought of giving Coburn a line like "there's Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers."
Speaking of Groucho he and Crosby sing a duet of Life Is So Peculiar which Bing had sang earlier in the movie with Peggy Lee. The film should be seen for both versions of this number also.
If you love Bing as I do or if you want to see him sing with Groucho Marx and Peggy Lee by all means see this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you were around in the 1980's, you'll remember a sweet, cute little
old lady named Loretta Tupper who was best known for the Fruit of the
Loom commercials and jumping into the air after buying a car and
shouting, "Whoopdie doo for my Subaru!". She was so cute that you just
wanted to jump into the TV screen and hug her. Well, after seeing the
Bing Crosby musical "Mr. Music", I wanted to do the same thing for Ida
Moore, the cute-as-a-button senior who played the aunt of Nancy Olson.
Seeing her made me wonder if Tupper could have been her daughter. But I
This is the second of three movie versions of the play "Accent on Youth", first filmed in 1935 with Herbert Marshall and Sylvia Sidney, and basically a decent adaption of a dated play. Here, Bing Crosby is playing a Broadway composer more content with playing golf than writing songs for Broadway producer Charles Coburn's next show. Coburn hires Olson to be Crosby's secretary, basically handle all his finances and give him money as long as he's writing songs. Crosby and Olson have so little chemistry that you just know the writers of this film are going to have them falling in love even though he's already involved with sophisticated Ruth Hussey and she's the apple of college jock Robert Stack's eye. The script gets on the wrong foot when it reveals that the 46 year old Crosby wrote the fight song for his college only 14 years before. Was he on the G.I. bill? No mention of that....
Even more embarrassing is the way Crosby performs "And You'll Be Home", a sweet song which suddenly gets the entire student body at his alma mater singing along without sheet music or a bouncing ball on a screen behind him. If Frank Sinatra was considered old hat by 1950, certainly Bing was even more so. Practically every actor over 40 at this time got to romance a much younger woman on screen; Only Gloria Swanson (in "Sunset Boulevard") did the opposite. It is about at the time where Olson and Crosby beginning their own romance that the lovable Ida Moore comes on screen, and from there, every moment of the film is hers. Fortunately, there are a few moments for other singers and various guests; Peggy Lee, the Merry Macs, Marge and Gower Champion, opera star Dorothy Kirsten and even Groucho Marxx come in as Crosby and Coburn continue to try to get their show on Broadway. Richard Haydn (Max in "The Sound of Music") has a small role as a wealthy pal of Moore's, and actually directed the film. Musicals of the late 40's and '50's are a mixed bag, and unfortunately, this is one of the thinner examples of dated humor that audiences would soon get for free on a box in their own living room. "Life is So Peculiar" is a good song but nothing remarkable.
The third version of "Accent on Youth" is a better version called "Teacher's Pet" which starred the more believable team of Clark Gable and Doris Day. Que Serra Serra....
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