Bill wants to join the Army, but he's 4F so he asks a wizard to help him, but the wizard has slight problems with his history knowlege, so he sends Bill everywhere in history, but not to ...
See full summary »
When Jen starts her new job as a nurse at the 'Easy Love Care Home', she is surprised to find James, a 25 year old man living and working in the building. James and his three, elderly best ... See full summary »
Oxford Professor Richard Myles and new bride Frances are off on a European honeymoon. It isn't your typical honeymoon though, for they are on a spying mission for British intelligence on ... See full summary »
Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »
The Andrews Sisters
A reworking of the movie Three Blind Mice (1938) based on the play of the same name, which in turn led to another remake Moon Over Miami (1941). This remake is set during the turn of the ... See full summary »
H. Bruce Humberstone,
When a naval officer's wife breaks her ankle and is laid up, her husband takes over running the household by employing military regimentation and disciple, which leads to a number of amusing situations. (Comedy, 85 mins.)
Perpetual-optimist "Dreamy" Smith aspires to quit his job as newspaper publicity drudge and sail the world. But life--and his editor--conspires against him. Not only does the car he intends... See full summary »
WWI flyer Eddie Rickenbaker remembers his life which brought him from a car salesman, race driver and pilot in WWI, to an important person in the early years of civil airline service, after... See full summary »
Look at the number of actors on the IMDB cast list who had their scenes deleted (Roy Rogers, yet!), and you'll smell trouble: It's not typical for a big, expensive Technicolor wartime musical like this one to clock in under 80 minutes. Sure enough, it's a disjointed, haphazard musical fantasy, though full of talented people behind the scenes, notably Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill. The songwriters bring a little pep to the story of a 4-F wannabe soldier who finds a magic lamp inhabited by an inept genie, who keeps putting him into the wrong century. The historic events visited feel terribly random -- the American Revolution, Columbus' voyage, Puritan New England -- and make one curious about what sequences were omitted. It's a cute idea -- the screenwriters, Morrie Ryskind and Sig Herzig, were Broadway veterans, and one suspects they originally conceived this as a stage musical -- but it's spun out with little real wit, and an aggressively uninteresting supporting cast fails to mine the minimal humor in the script. MacMurray, normally not a song-and-dance man, reveals a pleasant baritone but hasn't much to play, and he looks distinctly uncharmed by either of his leading ladies, though he did in fact marry June Haver. There's one celebrated sequence, a 10-minute mini-opera-bouffe called "The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria," where Bill (MacMurray) convinces Columbus' crew not to mutiny, since America needs to be discovered. (A wonderful couplet describing America's bounty was disallowed by the censors: "The girls are delightful/ Their sweaters are quite full.") Suddenly the whimsy takes off, and the singing's splendid, and the film feels as bizarre and pixilated as "The Wizard of Oz." It doesn't last, though, and then it's back to 20th Century Fox's back lot and more halfhearted jests about history and patriotism.
A try at something different, certainly, in an age where Hollywood musicals were mainly backstagers, and it has its moments. But mostly it's a missed opportunity. If the missing footage ever turns up, it might be worth looking at.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this