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Pretty Melinda Howard has been abroad singing with a musical troupe. She decides to return home to surprise her mother whom she thinks is a successful Broadway star with a mansion in Manhattan. She doesn't know that her mother is actually a burnt-out cabaret singer with a love for whiskey. When she arrives at the mansion, she is taken in by the two servants who are friends of her mother's The house actually belongs to Adolph Hubbell, a kind-hearted Broadway producer who also gets drawn into the charade. Hubbell takes a shine to Melinda and agrees to star her in his next show. Melinda also finds romance with a handsome hoofer who's also in the show. All is going well for Melinda except that she wants to see her mother who keeps putting off their reunion. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
I was only familiar with Doris Day from her later romantic comedies of the late 50's and 60's, many with Rock Hudson. I also was a fan of her T.V. Show and her great Hitchcock movie with Jimmy Stewart, "The Man Who Knew Too Much." This was the first of her early movies that I have seen, and she is simply sunshine in a bottle. She seems to be enjoying every minute of every scene. Her joy is infectious. It is hard to watch the film and not respond to her by cheering up, no matter how your day may be going. Her supporting cast are also delightful and seem to be enjoying themselves. It was great to see Gladys George repeating her "Shantytown" song which she sang to James Cagney in "Twentieth Century" 13 years before. Billy De Wolfe is total gay delight as butler. He explains that he is really an actor, but took the butler job because of a "crazy, mad desire to keep from starving." Anne Triola compliments him perfectly as his maid/fiancé and they do an hilarious duet together. S.Z. Sakill steals the show as the flirtatious Broadway angel who is using his wife's money behind her back to invest in shows so he can oogle the actresses. Finally, there's Gene Nelson as Doris Day's song and dance partner. I have never seen him before, but he is quite a good dancer. At the beginning a fan tells him that he's the best dancer in the world. "It's you and me against Fred Astaire," he says. He does dance in Fred Astaire's style and is about as close to Astaire as anybody is likely to get. Typically, the male leads in musicals are the biggest problems, unless,they're Fred Astaire, Gene Kelley, or James Cagney, they're usually good dancers who can't act or good actors who can't really dance. Here, we seem to have somebody who can do both. The double plot has a) Doris Day coming back to New York to see her mother who she thinks is a big star, but is only an alcoholic cabaret singer, and b)some Broadway entertainers trying to entice S.Z. Sakill to invest his wife's money in a Broadway show. Not too original, but great one liners keep it moving cheerfully along between about a dozen small scale musical numbers. The director wisely understood that with Doris Day singing, you don't need Busby Berkeley super-sets or super choruses. This is a must for Doris Day fans and a wide toothy smile for everybody else.
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