Marsha Mitchell, a traveling dress model, stops in a southern town to see her sister who has married a Ku Klux Klansman. Marsha sees the KKK commit a murder and helps District Attorney Burt Rainey in bringing the criminals to justice.
Air Force fliers Rick Williams and Mike Nolan attempt to meet film star Nell Wayne, with whom Rick shares a hometown but not much else. Fellow film stars Doris Day and Ruth Roman mistakenly believe Rick to be very close to Nell and arrange for him to meet her. The pair begin to form a match, especially after Nell, Doris, and Ruth arrange for Hollywood stars to perform for G.I.s in transit to and from the Korean War, at Travis Air Base. But Nell thinks Rick is getting ready to ship out to the war, when in reality, he and Mike ferry troops part of the way then return to Travis Air Base with returning soldiers. Nell is furious with Rick for letting her believe he was headed to a war zone, especially because the press has made a huge story of their romance. Meantime, a new program, Operation Starlift, has been set in place by the Air Force and the Hollywood studios, whereby stars are flown to San Francisco to perform for the outbound and inbound troops. Movie stars such as Randolph Scott,... Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Sort of like a Korean War era reworking of films like "Hollywood Canteen" and "Thank Your Lucky Stars".
During WWII, Warner Brothers made several films which were a combination of a showcase for the various talent at the studio as well as a chance to bolster the war effort. These films had very little in the way of plot and featured lots of cameos as well as singing and dancing. They were entertaining but rather shallow entertainment. Here with "Starlift", Warner has resurrected the old formula and updated it for the Korean War.
The film begins with two soldiers insinuating themselves into the lives of a couple famous Warner stars--Doris Day and Ruth Roman. The pushy soldier does this by pretending that his buddy is friends with Nell Wayne* and the two ladies offer to bring them back to their hotel to see Nell. There, the guys meet James Cagney and Nell--but Nell is confused--who are these guys? Well, by now, Ruth and Doris really like the two guys and although they DON'T know Nell, they agree to accompany them back to the base to meet the rest of the fellows. There, the stars agree to put on a USO-type show for the men. What follows are mostly song and dance routines as well as a disappointing plot involving Nell and one of the soldiers. I say disappointing because it went from kind of cute at first to strange and confusing--and unsatisfying. And, considering that the film is really just a showcase for their talent, this might explain the weakness of the plot.
By the way, among the man soldiers in the film you will probably notice Jack Larson. Jack played Jimmy Olsen in "The Adventures of Superman".
*I have no idea why Janice Rule is called 'Nell Wayne' in this film. Perhaps the studio was considering using this moniker for her but soon dropped it. However, apart from Miss Rule, the rest of the stars go by their own familiar names. I was a bit confused by this--especially since the film acted like 'Nell Wayne' was an established star and I'd never heard of her before this!
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