Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1944. Paramount Pictures. Screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, based on the play by Moss Hart. Cinematography by Ray Rennahan. Produced by Buddy G. DeSylva. Music by Robert Emmett Dolan. Production Design by Raoul Pene Du Bois, Ray Moyer. Costume Design by Raoul Pene du Bois, Edith Head, Mitchell Leisen. Film Editing by Alma Macrorie. Academy Awards 1944.
Moss Hart’s original Broadway play has been butchered to pieces by Hollywood in this lackluster musical. Ginger Rogers gets a fine starring role as a magazine editor perplexed by odd dreams that no end of psychoanalysis can seem to help her figure out. In the end, she finally unlocks her memories, which allows her to finally start dressing glamorously again and gain the confidence to be pretty (because putting Ginger Rogers in a business suit and glasses suddenly makes her less gorgeous). Unfortunately, with most of Kurt Weill’s beautiful songs cut out of the picture (including the centerpiece song, “My Ship”, one of the loveliest songs Weill ever wrote, which the characters keep talking about but then we never actually hear sung), the very shallow plot that borders on absurdity is nearly impossible to take; one would think the music would have made the whole thing much more forgiveable. Photography is beautiful, though, as are the impressive sets involved in her dream sequences.