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>
Top talent, good story and extras make for a fun movie
Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly reigned as the male masters of dance in movies through the mid-20th century. Theirs were the large-scale production numbers and solo creative routines that dazzled audiences in many very good to great musical films. But a number of other very talented "hoofers" did a good share of entertaining as well. Donald O'Connor, Danny Kaye, Jimmy Cagney, Mickey Rooney and Dan Dailey come to mind. Besides dancing, they had singing voices and could act. The one who could do the best job of the latter was Dan Dailey. This intrepid happy camper could turn from a comedic role to a serious one with seeming ease.
Dailey also had a persona about him that made audiences feel comfortable and cozy with his dance scenes. He seemed relaxed and natural in his movements. Usually those were with a romantic partner. In "The Girl Next Door," June Haver fits very nicely in that role. The Betty Grable look- alike had good dance and singing skills, so theirs was a very good match.
Other actors in this film gave top performances as well most notably Dennis Day, Cara Williams and Billy Gray as Dailey's son. The movie has a good plot, and Dailey and Gray have a couple of very good and amusing father-son skits. While there are no hit parade numbers in this film, the songs are all quite good. Haver has one very dramatic solo dance role and Dailey has a dream sequence. Finally, two animated comic sequences round out the humor in the film. Taken together, these qualities earn "The Girl Next Door" a high score for entertainment and enjoyment.
Dan Dailey had a lot of strain and turmoil in his life. But he seemed to leave it at the stage door. He believed strongly in family life, yet he was married four times. He fought alcoholism early in his career, and his only son committed suicide in 1975. Dailey died three years later of anemia when he couldn't recover after a hip fracture from a fall. He was just 64. Dailey was well-liked by people on his movie sets, and he brought smiles and cheerfulness to rehearsals. His musicals especially, should still entertain people for decades to come.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?