A showgirl returns to her New York home to visit her alcoholic mother, where she catches the eye of a Broadway producer.A showgirl returns to her New York home to visit her alcoholic mother, where she catches the eye of a Broadway producer.A showgirl returns to her New York home to visit her alcoholic mother, where she catches the eye of a Broadway producer.
In her autobiography, "Doris Day: Her Own Story" (published in 1976), the actress describes her early years as a contract player for Jack Warner and the heated disputes she had with the autocratic movie czar over miscasting and bad scripts. But in "Lullaby," there is virtually no script to complain about. It's mainly a revue, and thus, not a movie in the traditional sense. But what a revue! From Ray Heindorf's jazzy rendition of the old title tune (from "Gold Diggers of 1935") over the opening credits, to the Prinzs' inventive choreography, this movie clicks along in high gear from one showstopper to the next.
Day also recalled in her memoirs that "Lullaby" contained, by far, the toughest dance routines of any film she ever made. One especially challenging scene called for her to perform an intricate series of steps on a huge staircase--while weighted down in a gold-lame dress. At first, she balked, warning the crew to have an ambulance waiting after the first take. With encouragement from the director David Butler and others, however, she did manage to successfully complete the number.
"Lullaby of Broadway" is not the best of the Day/Warners musicals--that distinction goes to "Calamity Jane" (1953)--but it's as good as the rest. With Gene Nelson as Day's love interest, Billy De Wolfe as a vaudevillian-turned-valet, and the irrepressible S. Z. Sakall as a Broadway "angel."
- Apr 29, 2004