Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. They soon have several hits on Broadway but De Sylva's personal ambition leads to ...
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Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. They soon have several hits on Broadway but De Sylva's personal ambition leads to friction as the other two increasingly feel left out of things. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Ernest Borgnine is oddly cast as a super-angry guy who co-stars in a musical!
I have no idea how accurate this bio-pic is about the musical writing team of Lew Brown (Ernest Borgnine), Buddy De Silva (Gordon MacRae) and Ray Henderson (Dan Dailey) is, I have no idea as information about these guys' personal lives is scant on the internet. However, I strongly believe it's mostly fiction because that was the norm for films like this in Hollywood during this time. Besides, I find it very hard to believe Lew Brown could be this angry all the time! He did die from a heart attack...so who knows? Not surprisingly, the film only focuses on a small portion of their lives--from the time they teamed up in the 1920s through their time in Hollywood and Broadway.
Much of the film is your typical 1950s musical--with some incredibly irrelevant and artsy dance numbers that are dream sequences (sort of like shorter versions of the HUGE one in "An American in Paris") and some traditional song/dance numbers. In between, there is story...but often this takes a back seat to the songs.
Did I like it? Not much. It's reasonably well made and the trio wrote some very familiar tunes that are sometimes enjoyable. But Borgnine's one-note performance wasn't enjoyable and the other characters seemed underdeveloped...though not as badly as Borgnine's. MacRae had a nice voice and was a heel. Dailey played the piano and was bland. I really wish they'd eliminated a few songs and focused much more on the story...but that is personal taste and the 1950s musicals often were more music than story. Compared to these other musicals, this one is just okay...and the Jolson sequences are, not surprisingly, dated. Seeing a guy who's obviously not Jolson and hiding it by ALWAYS having him in black-face was kind of silly...and tacky.
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