For a number of reasons I was prepared to dislike this movie. But in fact I found it a pleasant diversion and at times even charming, especially the little "getting acquainted" stroll down New York streets. Crooner LaRosa steps into his acting role in surprisingly skillful fashion and in other circumstances might have had a successful lightweight career. But I don't think his early appeal ever really recovered from accusations that he had dodged service in the Korean War or from his highly publicized run-in with TV impresario Arthur Godfrey. Bubbly Phyllis Newman adds a lot of personality and charm. Too bad, in my little book, that she made a career on TV instead of in movies where that sparkle could have been spotlighted. Also, Conrad Janis makes an effective, smooth-talking show business agent and foil for LaRosa. In fact, I learned quite a bit about the business side of the old record industry from the intelligent, non-sappy screenplay.
To me, the musical acts are a matter of taste, but the revue does give later generations a chance to catch Danny & the Juniors' chart-topping rendition of "At the Hop", a true R&R classic. Yes indeed, R&R did pretty much replace ballads among teens and kill off popular TV shows like Your Hit Parade, a traditional Saturday evening staple. But it did revitalize a record industry clearly in need of new direction. Off hand, I can't recall a single popular ballad singer who made a successful transition to R&R, as LaRosa's character is trying to do here, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the movie remains an entertaining little window into a period when popular music was undergoing wrenchingly revolutionary change.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?