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Tony Marvin is a laid back but incredibly successful promoter and fair-haired boy for J. P. Todhunter's pineapple company located in beautiful Hawaii. He gets the company to sponsor a contest in which the winner gets a Hawaiian vacation and is obligated to write articles on the islands which, when published, will constitute a publicity coup for the company. Unfortunately, Georgia Smith, the winner, feels lonely and isolated in the Islands and wants to return to the States. With help from buddy Shad Buggle Tony tries to romantically divert Georgia without letting her know his true motivation.Written by
Crosby And Ross Sing, Burns And Raye Joke, But Watch Out For The Pig!
Waikiki Wedding delivers a bit more than you would expect from one of Bing Crosby's musical trifles of the 1930's. A couple of hit songs, some dynamic dance numbers, and a lot of genuinely funny, if somewhat broad, gags from rustic Arkansas comedian Bob Burns and big-mouth comedienne Martha Raye. Burns and Rae get riotous support in their department from a certain pal of theirs we'll get to later.
This very likable, laid-back musical comedy is set in romantic, tuneful Hawaii, never mind the cast never actually got any closer to said Pacific isles than the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden. If the lavishly constructed sets looked like Hawaii, who cares. The huge cast of Hawaiian natives were all natives, all right. Well, at least two or three were genuine Hawaiians, but the others were all natives -- of Mexico, Latin America, and well...Chicago, maybe. Who cares, it was such great fun! Great music, great singing by Bing and minor leading lady but major singer Shirley Ross, and the "Hawaiian" chorus. Accademy Award nominated dance direction with a terrific foot-stomping number on tom-toms by a well-constructed, Latino-looking babe. The aforementioned broad humor by Burns, Raye, and a platoon of wacky character actors led by George Barbier and a bespectacled Leif Erickson, demonstrating that he had more than a serious side.
This little movie coughed up two hit songs: Accademy Award-winning Sweet Leilani, written by Harry Owens and sung by Bing and chorus, and Blue Hawaii, written by Ralf Raigner and Leo Robin and sung several times by Crosby, Ross, and chorus. While Sweet Leilani got the honors in 1937, Blue Hawaii has proved the more durable, going through several revivals the next three decades, and remaining popular even today. Miss Ross only got one solo song, A Little Hula Heaven, in which to really show what a good voice she had.
Bob Burns' folksy, humorous philosophizing and Martha Raye's mugging slapstick will not be appreciated by all, especially those too sophisticated to have a good belly laugh. I liked Burns, but then I'm a hick, too. I tried not to like Martha, but I found myself laughing at her anyway. But the funniest and most charismatic character in this enjoyable picture was, without doubt, Burns' pet pig Wolford! Yours truly usually hates cutesy animals in movies (see my review of We're Not Dressing), but with two exceptions: pigs and chickens, both of which are funny no matter what they are doing. This little Wolford guy was a riot all the way! Surely that porker must have been the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Arnold Ziffel. As you listen to Bob Burns and watch the antics of Wolford, you may start feeling like you have gone to Green Acres.
But never mind, there is a lot for everyone in this entertaining, well turned out Crosby musical comedy Waikiki Wedding.
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