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Father Conroy (Crosby) has a parish which serves the acting and performance community. When one of his parishoners gets too sick to work, his daughter Holly (Reynolds) finds a job working for a dance club of questionable character, which is run by Tony Vincent (Wagner). Vincent never made the big time, and Father Conroy tries to look after Holly. There are many musical numbers, and the conclusion is a televised benefit show hosted by Father Conroy, and Tony must choose between Holly and national fame. Written by
Scott Jentsch <email@example.com>
At the time this film was made, there was actually a Catholic parish in the New York theatre district (maybe there still is), and since films rarely depict the religious life of anyone, much less theatre people, this was a potentially interesting background for a musical comedy-drama. Unfortunately it goes off in many wrong directions, and, surprisingly, Bing Crosby is not 100% convincing as the parish priest, despite his previous performances in the Leo McCarey films. A sanctimoniousness has crept in, and not just because this is a different character or a different director (quite different!). It's also a different Crosby.
There are some nice moments, some good tunes. But there's also a fakiness, like the whole thing is a million miles from Broadway. For some reason, this inability to sustain the illusion seems to be a hallmark of many Hollywood films of the late 50's and early 60's. They just don't seem to believe in what they're selling, or to be able to put it across, any more. Picture this same basic film, if it had been made in 1951, with more or less the same cast.
If you can lower your expectations, it's not altogether bad entertainment, but it's a shame it wasn't better, given the interesting premise.
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