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 <email@example.com>
What could have been a potentially interesting glimpse at a talent that has receded in the public memory is instead a garish collection of disconnected scenes.
To start the framing device of having George Jessel mounting a biography of Eva Tanguay is a wasted and contrived waste of time and should have been scuttled. Then the story such as it is tells you nothing of the real Miss Tanguay.
Mitzi is a talented girl, an excellent dancer and pleasing personality but she is given little too work with but she does wear feathers well. None of the male actors are given characters that make any sense. At least Oscar Levant gives his patented amusingly dry performance and gets a spotlight piano number which is the best thing in the movie. The leading man Bob Graham playing the fictitious Larry Woods is so bland he practically evaporates from the screen and makes no impact in the picture at all.
If you like flashy production numbers, staged by the legendary Jack Cole, than this has plenty to enjoy but if you want narrative structure along with them you won't find that here.
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