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Edwin L. Marin
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>
Starlift is a pleasant and interesting throwback to those all star musical pictures that every studio was putting out during the World War II years. When you've got such stars as Gary Cooper, James Cagney, Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, and Randolph Scott, etc., in the film and with such people as the Gershwin Brothers, Cole Porter, Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn supplying the music, it's an easy to take film. And the plot isn't even in the way.
What plot there is involves two Air Force enlisted men, Dick Wesson and Ron Hagerthy, trying to meet Warner Brothers starlet Janice Rule using as a gimmick the fact that both come from Youngstown, Ohio and Hagerthy's father was Rule's dentist as well as half of the town's. The scheme works too well as Louella Parsons is soon putting them as an item in her column. Yes, Louella's in the film as well. She must have liked Warner Brothers or Jack Warner catered to her more than the other studio bosses because she also used this studio to publicize her Hollywood Hotel radio program back in the day.
But the rest of the plot also touched on the real life efforts of Ruth Roman also playing herself to get her studio and others to do shows at the Air Force bases for the servicemen and women going to Korea. Some of the names I've mentioned and others sing and perform in a show at Travis Air Force Base where a lot of this film was shot.
One specialty number was shot for the talents of Phil Harris who sing/narrates a ballad Look Out Stranger, I'm A Texas Ranger aided and assisted by Virginia Gibson, Frank Lovejoy and Gary Cooper. Yup, Cooper looked like he was having a great old time kidding his image.
This is the oldest of clichés when you say they don't make them like this any more, but they really don't because you don't have a studio system that has all this talent under contract. That's one thing about the demise of the old studio system we can mourn.
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