A young dancer trying to make it in London during World War II discovers that people like her singing voice, too. Although she's at first reluctant to sing, she finally does and becomes a ...
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A young dancer trying to make it in London during World War II discovers that people like her singing voice, too. Although she's at first reluctant to sing, she finally does and becomes a star. She hooks up with a young musician who composes classical music and turns his nose up at this vulgar "popular" music, but she believes he can be a success at it and sets out to turn him around.Written by
Vera Lynn's film debut is the only one of her three wartime starring vehicles in which she actually sings her most famous song - and only briefly at the very end. Barely recognisable as the handsome woman she later became, Dame Vera is here harshly made up and dressed, ungainly in front of the camera and plainly no actress. (Compare her here with her guest appearance twenty years later as herself - which can be viewed on YouTube - looking ravishing in colour and in fine voice singing 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye' in the 1962 Danish wartime comedy-drama 'Venus fra Vestø'.)
The film is in places strangely disjointed. One character is barely introduced before being abruptly killed off offscreen in an air raid; and in a superbly photographed sequence worthy of Dreyer the uncredited child actor who is presumably her son is comforted by Vera before being packed off to the countryside. In an attempt to create some sort of narrative Vera is introduced as a dancer (although perhaps wisely we're not shown her dancing) and her initial disinclination to switch professions and become a singer is rather laboured for the next few reels while throwing in the usual clichés about her persuading a songwriting friend to "come out of the clouds", stop writing music for "stuffy old critics" and get With It until Vera then has to abruptly fill in for a workmate who fails to show up at Broadcasting House when the result is due to be recorded.
Quicker than you can say 'Forces' Sweetheart' she now has her own radio show and is rubbing shoulders with the likes of Alvar Lidell; but in acknowledgement of her then rather homely appearance we next get the other old cliché about her nursing an unrequited passion for rugged Scots Guardsman Donald Gray (who was given leave from the army to make this film, lost his left arm in France in 1944 and consequently became famous on TV as the one-armed detective Mark Saber during the late fifties).
In the mind's eye, George Formby's credit as Associate Producer conjures up an entirely different film in its own right, probably with Formby in the process wrecking studio chief Peter Gawthorne's office...!
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