With the help of the singer and dancer Dixie Leonhard US-Entertainer Eddie Sparks wants to bring some fun to the soldiers during World War II. Becoming a perfect team they tour from North ...
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With the help of the singer and dancer Dixie Leonhard US-Entertainer Eddie Sparks wants to bring some fun to the soldiers during World War II. Becoming a perfect team they tour from North Africa to the Pacific to act for "the boys". Later they continue their work but when the author Silver gets involved into McCarthy's campaign and is being fired by Eddie, Dixie turns away from him, too. Written by
Bette's powerhouse performance sustains a somewhat lackluster film
Bette Midler proves that she can single-handedly make a film worth watching in FOR THE BOYS, an overlong but rewarding comedy-drama with music which chronicles the relationship between singer Dixie Leonard and comic Eddie Sparks (James Caan), a character clearly patterned after Bob Hope, which begins during a WWII USO tour and concludes in the present where the glamorously aging couple are being reunited for a television special. Bette received her second Best Actress Oscar nomination for her commanding performance here, She lights up the screen whether Dixie is upstaging Eddie in front of thousands of troops during WWII, cursing out sponsors during her and Eddie's television show, or tearing Eddie a new one when she thinks he is trying to steal her son away from her. As expected, she makes the most of her musical moments in the film with "Stuff Like that There" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" as standouts. Caan works hard in the role of Eddie Sparks, managing to make a pretty despicable character rather likable for the majority of the story. The only big mistake here was director Mark Rydell's casting of his real-life son, Christopher in the pivotal role of Dixie's adult son. Rydell's lifeless performance is a major detriment to an important part of the film, but for the most part, FOR THE BOYS is grand entertainment, thanks to the Divine Miss M.
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