Fifteen-year-old Katri Walenska jumps a Polish ship, swims ashore and enters New York illegally. The United States Immigration officials are alerted---the USA still had a functioning ... See full summary »
Anna Maria Alberghetti,
Whispering Smith was a detective on the Denver, Colorado Police Department in the 1870s. This show took case histories from Smith's adventures. George Romack was Smith's partner and John ... See full summary »
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A musical about a man, [START] Reb Randall [END], who rides into a frontier town looking for his brother's killer, but is surprised to find everyone in the town is celebrating his kin's death and, for that matter, gunplay in general. He eventually discovers the murderer and each man swears to shoot down the other in a gunfight. However, their girlfriends team up to put an end to the bloodshed. [EXPLANATION]Alfred Jingle got the wrong man! Written by
During a dance number Calaveras Kate pulls the gun out of the holster of Rafael Moreno and shoots at his feet to make him dance. Rafael raises his arms up level with his shoulders as he dances. However he begins to lift his arms immediately after Kate pulls the gun and before she begins to shoot. See more »
Red Garters receives deserved attention for its interesting visuals. The spare, stagy sets mostly feature two-dimensional building fronts placed against a brilliant red backdrop, with a few artificial trees and shining yellow dirt thrown in for good measure. The film has a stripped-down, cartoon-like quality that's enhanced by the camera-work, editing, and a general acting style that tends towards caricature. Frank Tashlin, who went from directing Porky Pig shorts to Jerry Lewis movies, worked on an earlier version of the project for a year qand half, and Red Garters shows his influence. As a visual experiment, it's fairly fascinating.
Unfortunately, as a musical, it's not that great. In fact, Red Garters is a downright preachy and annoying film by the end. Rosemary Clooney gets to use her wonderful voice on several songs, and for that we can all be thankful. Her singing is the best part of the film. But as much as I like Rosemary as a vocalist, she wasn't the most vibrant on-screen personality and can't really carry an entire movie. She was probably better suited for the kind of supporting role she had in White Christmas. Worst of all, her character is the one who preaches the most, and any film that can turn Rosemary Clooney into a grating presence is not a film for me.
In terms of song and dance, Red Garters doesn't offer much that hasn't been done better, or much better, somewhere else. The Evans and Livingston songs are pleasant enough, but you probably won't remember any of them the next day. At least Rosemary sings them, along with Guy Mitchell, who had a good voice. Nick Castle's choreography pales in comparison to Michael Kidd's work on another "Western" musical from 1954, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. And it's hard not to compare them. The best dancing in the film may be Buddy Ebsen's meager 20 seconds, which is a shame because he's one few people in the film with any zing. Though the actors are all okay, there's little chemistry between them, and little pizazz to this movie.
There are some funny moments here and there, but I found myself laughing less and less as the film progressively hammered away at its "message." Edith Head does fairly well with the women's costumes, thankfully, since there's not much else to look at in this film. I'm still not sure what she was trying to do towards the end with Joanne Gilbert's black dress and calico apron thing, but at least it diverted my attention somewhat from the moralizing finale.
For those offended by Hollywood racist portrayals, the token "Injun" in this film Minnie Redwing will probably be unbearable.
Finally, the vaunted visuals of the film only hold for so long. The sparse sets are, well, sparse, and they gradually become boring and a bit claustrophobic. I never thought I would miss Brigadoon or Yolanda and the Thief, but, Lord, if I didn't find myself yearning for the Baroque details of other soundstage worlds.
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