Ted, Doug, and Angie are three ex-G.I.s who vow to meet again at a New York bar on October 11, 1955. They all show up on the appointed day, but quickly find that their friendship isn't what it used to be. However, a program coordinator wants to bring the three men together again on a live TV show. Circumstances are further complicated by a group of gangsters who are after Ted.Written by
Dolores Gray's overblown musical number "Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks!" is meant as a satire of the excesses of 1950's TV variety shows in general (and NBC's Dinah Shore Show in particular). Shore was known for her excessive ebullience and her habit of constanyly blowing kisses to the audience. See more »
Early in their reunion, where the guys are sitting together and awkwardly fumbling for something to talk about, one asks the others who they think will win the World Series. The 1955 Series actually ended on 4 October, a week before the events in this film. (The Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees four games to three.) It should have been obvious to the filmmakers that the World Series of that era would have ended well before 11 October, no matter who was playing or how many games it went. See more »
I was fortunate enough to see this film on the huge screen at the restored deco Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD (now part of the AFI), so I took full advantage of the Technicolor & Cinemascope (especially the 2-3 scenes where the camera pans back to show off the huge city set). The visual quality after almost 50 years is still pretty good, but the soundtrack was "wobbly." The film needs some restoration.
As others have said, the highlights of this film are the clever dance numbers, specifically:
the garbage can lid dance by the 3 soldiers (they also hop, crawl and dance around a stopped taxi, but nobody has mentioned that one),
the wonderful roller skating sequence by Kelly (since I'm tired to death of seeing the "Singing in the Rain" puddle dance, this is a refreshing change and an excellent sample of his skills!) He even parodies his "Rain" dance when he hops off & on the curb with his skates (folks, those are metal-wheeled skates - nowhere as smooth & speedy as the polyurethane ones of today) Somebody mentioned that the skating set features a big piece of the "Rain" set, but I don't agree - we're talking films set 30 years apart & I didn't see any similarities in the "Fair Weather" set
Dolores Gray's bizarre number "Thanks but no Thanks" where she rewards the tuxedoed men bearing jewels and affection (who literally vault, flip and tumble around her) with bullets, dynamite and finally a huge trap door where they all slide away
and Cyd Charisse's gym number "Baby You Knock Me Out"
(these last 2 numbers were featured on "That's Entertainment III")
It's interesting to see Michael Kidd, mostly known for his wonderful film choreography, dance onscreen. Wish there was more of it.
And Dan Dailey I hardly know, except for the film "There's No Business Like Show Business." He's the only actor of the 3 to let himself "age" in the ensuing 10 years, and it works. He does a very good job in the acting department too.
You can see why the film is not a lasting classic in league with "On the Town" and "Singing in the Rain" - it contains elements of bitterness & disillusionment between the 3 guys. They seem to get along best when they're either drunk or fighting bad guys. And the film - this is a sign of the times - glamorizes smoking (including by Dan Dailey's character, who says he won't drink or eat heavily b/c of his health, yet he "lights up" often), fixed boxing matches, gambling and drunken sprees.
Still, it makes an excellent "sequel" of sorts for "On the Town" and they should be paired together on TV or at film fests.
Also, Previn's tunes are not really memorable - they're OK.
The film also pokes fun at early TV - Delores Gray's show is a mix btw a variety show & something like "Queen for a Day" or "This is Your Life." Sponsors (in this case, laundry detergent)were a huge deal back then. Oddly, she's not paired with one of the guys as a romantic interest. Her diva act gets a bit tiresome however.
Cyd only gets 1 dance number, and there's no dance between her & Gene. Wish there were. They sparked a HUGE amount of chemistry in their dance number in "Rain."
Look out for familiar actors in small supporting roles, like Madge Blake (she was a radio gossip at the movie premiere in "Singin in the Rain" but most of you would know her as dotty Aunt Harriett in the Batman TV series), and the actor who plays the sports columnist at the gym is a character actor who has appeared in dozens of TV shows from the 1950s & 60s, besides movie appearances. And that's June Foray's uncredited voice in the animated Kleenzrite commercial - she did the voice of Rocky Squirrel, among many other voiceovers.
Still, I do recommend it, considering it is not shown very much, let alone in the letterbox format which is necessary for the integrity of the movie. Darn that pesky pan & scan! The ahead-of-its-time plot & the clever dance numbers make this film worth your while.
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