This semi-film within a film opens in the office of producer George Jessel, who never saw a camera he couldn't get in front of, who is holding a story conference to determine the screen ...
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This semi-film within a film opens in the office of producer George Jessel, who never saw a camera he couldn't get in front of, who is holding a story conference to determine the screen treatment for the life of Eva Tanguay, and Jessel is unhappy with what the writers present him.He tells them to look up Eddie McCoy, Eva's one-time partner, for the real inside story on the lusty and vital Eva. Eddie's version is that he discovered her working as a waitress in an Indianapolis restaurant in 1912, wherein singer Larry Woods and his partner Charles Bennett get into a fight over her and both land in the hospital, and McCoy convinces the manager to put Eva on as a single to fill their spot. She flopped, but McCoy arranges for Bennett to be her accompanist, and she went out of his life. The writers look up Bennett, now head of a music publishing company, who says McCoy's story is phony, and it was Flo Zigfeld who discovered Eva for his Follies. Then Jessel's staff comes up with a letter from... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The musical comedy biopic gets the Rashomon treatment in this faked-up biopic of Eva Tanguay, one of the great stars of turn-of-the-century vaudeville. Mitzi Gaynor, as always, gives a great performance and it's a pity that, with the exception of the movie version of SOUTH PACIFIC, she was always Fox's B musical star, doing whatever they gave her. The musical numbers are all overdone, as if choreographer Jack Cole is mocking the form; the semi-strip-tease to jazzed up Mozart (I'm not making this up! It's the most out-of-place dance number outside of Sally Forrest's weird one in EXCUSE MY DUST) and other numbers that recall LADY IN THE DARK -- all very modern for the era and absolutely bizarre in context.
Oscar Levant plays the piano magnificently a few times and David Wayne gives a typically graceful performance in support.
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