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This modestly budgeted musical was extremely popular in the UK on its release in 1953, featuring a few good songs (including the memorable "Girl in the Wood") performed by the ever popular Frankie Laine and by that marvellous showman Billy Daniels who subsequently became a major attraction at variety theatres all over Britain. So why do the television broadcasters never give us the chance to see this very pleasant movie again?
This film was shown accidentally on Turner Classic Movies as part of a
series celebrating Margaret Rutherford's birthday. The film's title was
"Castle in the Air, formerly (Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder)" which is why
you may not have ever seen it listed! There was another film also
called "Castle in the Air" and also made in 1952 co-starring Margaret
Rutherford. TCM obviously confused the two films.
I'm sure that Rutherford fans were disappointed but the former "Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder" was an enjoyable light musical replacement. Frankie Laine and Billy Daniels and the real star, Charlotte Austin, all had good songs. I feel sorry for the fans of those singers who missed this opportunity to enjoy their performances! I suspect that TCM will air both films in the near future to make up for their mistake.
First of all, a couple of those 'critics' particularly the jasper
moaning about what he calls unmemorable songs. "Rainbow 'Round My
Shoulder," "Bye Bye Blackbird," hardly fit that category. There were
other good standards, and some of the less-known items were very, very
good. Also, the dance number in the playground was imaginative and most
Someone was yapping about Charlotte Austin's smile. It was beautiful, and so was she. Many others pale by comparison, especially some of today's phonies whose beauty comes from skilled make-up artists. Gene Austin's daughter was a beaut.
Someone said that Lloyd Corrigan was not as good as usual. What b.s. He played the same part he usually did, and just as enjoyably.
Two of the best singers in the business, Frankie Laine and Billy Daniels, are two more excellent reasons for trying to get your hands on this virtually unknown gem.
Once again, TCM pressed the confusion button and scheduled another picture with the same title (the title of this one was changed a couple of times). The other starred the great Margaret Rutherford and I hope to catch up with it some time.
For now, I'm happy about putting this one on instead. Forget the negative yapping. Guarantee - you'll enjoy every moment.
I came across this delightful film about 10 years ago. Long after Jonnie Taps was producing B musicals at Columbia Studios. I had always enjoyed Frankie Laine's singing style and have been attempting to collect his musicals. They all have good familiar songs and two have Billy Daniels who became more popular in England than in the U.S. I believe that it is the biggest role that Ida Moore has ever had. You get a glimpse of the Columbia screening room, recording studio and inside a sound stage. Released in Technicolor gives the film extra points and the fact that I live in Pasadena brought a smile on my face. I've been waiting for Columbia to release these B musicals on DVD.
While MGM was producing immortal big-budget musicals in Culver City, the producer Johnny Taps was churning out low-budget very forgettable "B" features like this 1952 one for Harry Cohn at the Columbia Pictures studio on Gower Street. Very pretty Charlotte Austin, the daughter of crooner Gene, is the star and never quite pulls it off the role. (Her career as a leading lady was short-lived.) Richard Quine, who had been a kid singer in Judy Garland pictures, is the contract director who keeps the silly story moving. (Quine went on to direct many of Kim Novak's early films for the same studio.) Perhaps the only plus is that the picture shows actual Columbia Pictures projection rooms and sound stages, and gives the viewer of feeling of what this famous Hollywood studio looked and felt like back then. Other than that, not much else to recommend other than the chance to see and hear 1950's nightclub performers Frankie Laine and Billy Daniels entertain.
The "4" rating is only for Frankie Lane's presence. He delivers a song
in his own inimitable style, but everything else about the film is
CHARLOTTE AUSTIN grins on cue and shows her pearly whites to play an affable girl with a very modest talent, a messenger girl at a studio who wants to break into show business. As a bubbly friend who wants to show her the ropes, BARBARA WHITING does her usual thing. The only touch of real class comes from ARTHUR FRANZ as a young executive who falls for Austin and wants to push her toward stardom.
Some unmemorable songs, some stilted acting (even IDA MOORE and LLOYD CORRIGAN are guilty of this), and what is meant to be a pleasant programmer is so full of the usual Hollywood clichés about show biz that it hurts. The trite script doesn't help. Ida Moore at least has a larger role than usual as a grandmother who disapproves of Hollywood, but she's better off when she has good comic material.
Only reason I watched this one is TCM changed their regular scheduling of a British comedy and substituted this instead!
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