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In the 1930s English film studios produced a number of sparkling musical comedies, using established stage performers such as Lupino Lane, Jessie Matthews, and Jack Buchanan. Meanwhile Hollywood (particularly Warners and MGM) was working the backstage musical to exhaustion, including the "Broadway to Hollywood" theme of family acts broken up by the ambitions of a talented member, while Fox explored the introduction of serious music into in its popular Durbin films. The early 1940s saw the dying throes of these sub-genres. The 1950s were the golden years of Hollywood musicals, with MGM in particular producing a stream of classic musicals, some of them based on successful operettas, others being film adaptations of the naturalistic type of musical introduced to theatres in the previous decade by authors such as Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Given this history, it is hard to imagine what madness seized Ealing Studios in 1957 in trying to ape the Hollywood musicals of 20 years earlier. Did they perhaps think that filming in colour would make all the difference? If so, they were mistaken. For us Britons, this film is squirmingly embarrassing. "Champagne Charlie" (1944), "Trottie True" (1949), and "Cardboard Cavalier" (1949) had also failed to impress as film musicals, but at least they tried to create a genuinely British style. "Davy" attempts to jump on a strictly American bandwagon which had long since pulled out.
The chief interest in the film for us now is seeing early appearances of Bill Owen, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Liz Fraser, and Bernard Cribbens, all of whom would become well known and loved, and feature in a number of "Carry On" films.
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