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 ... See full summary »
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>
As of this writing, the IMDb user rating for this unpretentious musical is an amazingly high 8.3 - higher than The Band Wagon also released in 1953. So what accounts for such a rating? Most of the songs are awful ("I'd rather have a pal than a gal, anytime" is an example), and the choreography is just so-so. But despite these deficiencies, The Girl Next Door is one of the most amiable entertainments from the '50s. The slight story is played with humor and warmth by the entire cast. The dialog is bright. The modest fashions and decor make this a fascinating time capsule - closer to early 50s suburbia than the highly stylized productions from MGM.
Although it's not about to supplant The Band Wagon from a critical standpoint, this film does weave a particular magic and has obviously won its way into a lot of hearts - mine included!
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