Stage-and-night club star Jeannie Laird (June Haver) buys her first home, and everyone who is anyone comes to her first garden party only to be blinded by smoke from next door. Jeannie ...
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Stage-and-night club star Jeannie Laird (June Haver) buys her first home, and everyone who is anyone comes to her first garden party only to be blinded by smoke from next door. Jeannie charges next door to bawl out her new neighbor and meets comic-strip artist Bill Carter (Dan Dailey). Bill has devoted himself to his strip, and raising his ten-year-old son Joe (Billy Gray) since the death of his wife. Joe bases his strip on the everyday happenings of he and his son and is proud of keeping it scrupulously honest. When Jeannie and Bill fall in love, young Joe is hurt, especially when Bill starts using a lot of the father-son time to be with Jeannie. Bill cancels a father-son trip to Canada, and Joe decides to write a letter to Bill's syndicate pointing out that the current plot line of the script being set in Canada isn't honest, since they didn't go. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Wow...Dad is sure a jerk in this one...though, it is still a sweet movie.
I am an odd person in that I like musicals BUT dislike them when they have a lot of songs or unnecessary song and dance sequences that slow down the plots. So, while I really loved the plot from "The Girl Next Door", I felt that a couple times the song and dance routines got in the way--particularly the fantasy sequences. Now this is NOT to say I disliked the film. I think it's actually highly underrated and don't exactly know why it isn't thought of as one of the better musicals. Perhaps it's because it starred Dan Dailey and June Haver--and they were not see as in the same level as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland and other top Hollywood names. Well, despite this, it is a very good picture...even with a song or two too many.
The film begins by showing us very quickly the life of the actress Jeannie Laird (Haver). Now, after wowing audiences all over the world, she has just bought a home and plans to settle down a little bit. She's still a working woman and loves acting, but now she has a house to call her own. But, on the night she's throwing a big housewarming party, she runs afoul of her neighbors--Bill and Joe Carter (Dan Dailey and Billy Gray). Fortunately, this minor tiff did not characterize the movie or their relationship and soon she and Bill are dating. The problem is that Joe LOVES all the attention he gets from his single dad--and he naturally resents anyone who might try to take him away from him. Unfortunately, Bill is a bit oblivious to this and it takes patience from Jeannie and some understanding from Joe to work through all this.
This is a very nice family film. The relationship between father and son seemed natural and sweet. Daily and Haver are exceptional, but the real star to me was Gray. While he'd played precocious and ill-behaved brats in a few previous films, here he was all boy--and I mean that in the best possible way. He seemed very natural and was in his element in the film. Overall, apart from one or two songs too many, the film has a nice story, excellent acting and is well worth your time.
By the way, this was Haver's last film, as she soon retired to be a nun. This didn't take, apparently, and a bit later she became Mrs. Fred MacMurray and never looked back at her film career. Also, get a load of the big kiss at the end--it's one of the best of the era!
If you see this on DVD, look for the special features--they are excellent!
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