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Dick Purcell is an American taxi driver who wants to become a singer promoting cheese products. Oddly he thinks the way to do it is to become a gondolier from Venice. Along the way he sings and woos a sassy secretary Alice.
Entertainers enter a political rally to get out of the rain and become part of the show. One of them (Powell) gives a speech in place of the besotted candidate (Walburn) and is chosen to be the candidate by backers he later exposes as crooks.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
If you can accept the premise: that an out-of-work crooner can be nominated for governor of a state on the basis of a single speech, there are some attractive moments in this film. Dick Powell moves beyond his ingenuous Warner Brothers musical style, and seems on his way to becoming the actor he later showed himself to be. Fred Allen replicates his sharp-tongued radio persona, and is able to provide most of the humor, even though he clearly did not have a charismatic screen presence even as real as that of Jack Benny or Eddie Cantor. The satirical treatment of small-state politics is rather heavy-handed, suggesting that there is nothing but self-interest involved. The songs are nothing special, but Powell delivers them in his usual off-hand yet convincing manner. For me, the most interesting and surprising episodes in the film were the two song and dance numbers by Ann Dvorak and Patsy Kelly. Having known Dvorak only as a performer in melodrama, from Scarface to Rebel Without a Cause, I looked closely, to see whether there was a double; but there were enough close-up shots to let one see that her dancing wasn't faked.(Whether the singing was dubbed is another matter). She was always an actress whose work I found compelling, though she never achieved top stardom at Warners; perhaps because Bette Davis was slated for some roles Dvorak might have played. Probably not a "gem", but a film many will enjoy.
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