Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1941. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Story by Fred F. Finklehoffe,Screenplay by Fred F. Finklehoffe, Elaine Ryan. Cinematography by Lester White. Produced by Arthur Freed. Music by Leo Arnaud, George Bassman, George Stoll. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Robert Kalloch. Film Editing by Fredrick Y. Smith. Academy Awards 1942.
Aimed at the audience who made Babes In Arms a big hit, this film is by no means a sequel, but the aforementioned Busby Berkeley musical’s main stars, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, have been reunited under Berkeley’s direction once more to put on a zesty “Let’s Put On a Show!” musical that has marvelous songs and an expectedly cornball plot. Broadway hopeful Rooney is singing at spaghetti taverns for tips until he meets the love of his life (Garland), a beautiful singer with a lot of talent to boot. They get the idea to raise money for a show that will help send inner city orphans out to the country for a little vacation, and so go about gathering their unemployed actors to make everyone’s dream come true. Garland starts to suspect that maybe Rooney is more after his own personal fame than the well-being of the young unfortunates, with other girls showing up to distract his amorous attentions. As per usual, Garland is too talented a singer for Rooney and Rooney is too talented an actor for the script; on the other hand, where else will you see him doing a perfect Carmen Miranda imitation? Garland’s songs include the title song, plus “How About You?”, “Mary’s A Grand Old Name” and a medley where she imitates classic singers like Blanche Ring. Enjoyable.