Jim Stauton Rogers ('WEndell Corey'), a Texas rancher turned international diplomat, take his young daughter,Elizabeth Rogers (Jane Powell), on a trip to Paris. He is concerned that his ...
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Jim Stauton Rogers ('WEndell Corey'), a Texas rancher turned international diplomat, take his young daughter,Elizabeth Rogers (Jane Powell), on a trip to Paris. He is concerned that his daughter might come in contact with her mother,Marie Devarone (Danielle Darrieux), a Parisian singer he met and loved more than twenty-five years ago. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Because of Vic Damone's contract with Mercury Records, he was not heard on the MGM Records soundtrack album. Consequently, two Damone-Jane Powell ballads from the Nicholas Brodszky-Sammy Cahn score - the Oscar-nominated "Wonder Why," also "I Can See You" - were rerecorded by both singers for their respective labels. In addition, Mercury issued a disc of "How D'Ya Like Your Eggs in the Morning?" featuring Mr. Damone with The Pied Pipers. In the film, Vic sang this sprightly ditty with Miss Powell and The Four Freshmen. Their soundtrack recording is among the "Romantic Duets From MGM Classics," released on CD by Rhino. A fourth Powell-Damone match-up (and also a Danielle Darrieux-Fernando Lamas teaming in the film), a cozy strain called "We Never Talk Much (We Just Sit Around)," was redone by Miss Powell with male voices on an MGM Records single. The flip side had Jane performing a number sung and danced by Miss Darrieux' in the picture, "L'Amour Toujours (Tonight for Sure)." "Wonder Why," the Powell-Damone rendition plus Jane's solo version, along with her three other commercial takes, can be encountered on a CD named "A Heart That's Free," issued by Flare, a British label. See more »
[Elizabeth has just met Andre, a Frenchman who speaks with an American accent.]
That's funny. You don't speak with a French accent.
My father is English, so I was educated in England.
But you don't speak with an English accent.
Why should I? I'm French!
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Probably my least favorite MGM musical from the '50s...as bland as the film's title...
RICH, YOUNG AND PRETTY is a perfect example of how not to film a musical. First of all, the script is a shambles, even if Sidney Sheldon did have a hand in it. The story is trite from beginning to end, Jane Powell's voice is completely wasted with forgettable songs, and I kept thinking how this was the sort of plot featured in so many Deanna Durbin films--but done with more skill and polish for Durbin.
As bad as the film is, there are a couple of compensations. First, Danielle Darrieux is charming and skillful in her role as Jane's mother, even tossing off a few songs in a professional manner. Her song partner, Fernando Lamas, has a rather thankless role but reveals a fine baritone voice for a couple of uninspired songs.
Wendell Corey sports a mustache and seems to be filling in for Walter Pidgeon, as someone else suggested. Nevertheless, his is a pleasantly foolish role and he plays it with style, even when forced to warble off key in a silly nightclub number.
For Jane Powell's fans, there is nothing distinctive about the songs she's given to sing. In fact, all of the best numbers are delivered by Danielle Darrieux who does well by them.
The whole plot is so irritatingly simple-minded, with Vic Damone giving his worst performance ever in a romantic leading role and never bothering to sound the least bit like the Frenchman he's supposed to be. Jane is a rich girl who doesn't find out until the film's last moments that Darrieux is the mother who deserted her father way back when. And naturally, in time for the last clinch, Jane's father decides it's okay for her to marry the Frenchman (Damone).
The artificial MGM settings are rigged to make us believe we're in Paris, but even that doesn't work. For an MGM musical of the '50s, this one is the pits. It's really a B-film wrapped up in A-film status but not making the grade.
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