Danny Churchill is a young heir who tries to help Ginger, an attractive postal worker in rural Nevada, save her father's ranch from closing due to being heavily in debt with some Reno ... See full summary »
Danny Churchill is a young heir who tries to help Ginger, an attractive postal worker in rural Nevada, save her father's ranch from closing due to being heavily in debt with some Reno gangster types for her father's compulsive gambling. Danny, with his college friends help, turn Ginger and her father's ranch into a motel for impending divorcees in order to get out of debit, while Danny courts Ginger, but tries to keep his past reputation a secret when his former girlfriend Tess, a spitefull gold-digger, relentlessly pursues him and his wealth. Written by
Considering that this was produced by the famously cheapjack and incompetent Sam Katzman, and is one of the 1960s MGM musicals often cited as contributing to the death of the genre, this halfhearted updating of "Girl Crazy" isn't as bad as I'd suspected. Plenty of Gershwin and a surprising amount of the never-good original book are left intact (though Herman's Hermits insist on singing "I'm biding my time/ 'Cause that's the kind of guy I AM," ruining the rhyme), and some amusingly incongruous guest stars -- Liberace, Louis Armstrong -- are thrown in. Heaven knows Connie Francis can't act, but she does fine by "But Not for Me" and "Embraceable You," and opposite her, Harve Presnell is strong-voiced, virile, and more at ease with acting than most tenors. There's a typical mid-'60s supporting cast featuring Fred Clark, Joby Baker, and Sue Ann Langdon (a good comedienne, but not here). Of course it's over-lit and underwritten and cheap-looking, but there's one honest production number for "I Got Rhythm," and the painted backdrops and fast-motion photography contribute some fun cheesiness. An amiable time-waster.
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