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F. Hugh Herbert
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>
The Girl Next Door is a surprising and fascinating film, partly for what it delivers, and partly because of what it indicates the future could have been for its star. The film opened quickly, and disappeared just as quickly, in New York, because its start June Haver had already entered a convent (she, of course, didn't stay there long). Not expected to be box office, the film, though, has some extraordinary moments, and the most surprising element of all is the work of June Haver. Although her voice is dubbed, her dancing is a complete revelation. Her work with Dan Dailey is superlative and shows maturity that she had never shown before. Indeed, her torch song indicates a Haver never seen before...and never to reappear. The cartoon networking is fun, and the dish number between Dailey and Billy Gray is a joyous scene. Haver also displays a wide range of emotions that indicate she had matured as an actress and was no longer the perennial ingenue. Even her figure is more eye-watchable than in previous vehicles -- including The Dolly Sisters. The film sags badly whenever Dennis Day is at hand, and even more sadly because he sings the one number that had a brief bit of fame - If I Love You a Mountain. His voice allows no emotion, and his expressions are devoid of any acting. His vis-a-vis, Cara Williams, is totally wasted. It's nice, though, that the film has hit DVD, because its merits are commendable. Certainly, it is professional work - with the sad exception of the scenes with Dennis Day.
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