Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod
Produced by: Robert Fellows
Written by: Dane Lussier, Allan Scott, Maurice Zolotow
Choreographed by: Hermes Pan
Cinematography: George Barnes
Words and Music by: Frank Loesser
Production Company: Paramount
Premiere: New York, November 29, 1950
Synopsis (from VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever 2001): A young widow tries to protect her son from his wealthy, paternal grandmother, while Fred dances his way into her heart. More obscure Astaire vehicle, but as charming as the rest. Needless to say, great dancing. (2½ out of 4)
If you like Betty Hutton, I think you would like this movie despite its flaws. If you don’t, nothing can save this movie. I personally didn’t mind Ms. Hutton, finding her humour dumb enough to be funny (for the most part). I also was amused by the contrast between her and Fred- in effect, a master of over-the-top slapstick and melodrama, paired with a master of subtlety and understatement- even if the difference resulted in absolutely no chemistry between the stars.
The movie has plenty of low points, but the high points are inspired: Fred’s breathtaking piano dance, for example, or Fred’s bedtime story of Jack and the Beanstalk, as told from the worldview of the investment manager. Fred also has a really great scene, sabotaging Hutton and giving the most deliciously evil look I’ve ever seen Fred give. It’s telling how one facial expression by Fred can steal an entire scene from a screaming, rampaging, singing, running, jumping, Betty Hutton.
There really is not much to be said about this movie. It made money, but so did “Follow The Fleet.” It has some really great moments, but so did “Second Chorus.” It showed Fred’s versatility and paired him with someone who had a different style, but so did “Blue Skies.” And those movies weren’t very good, either. So, overall, not a major contribution, but there’s always at least a few positive things about every Fred movie.
The final word:
Dancing value: 7/10
Acting value: 6/10
Entertainment value: 6.5/10
Overall Ranking: 26/31
Comments? Suggestions? Corrections? Additions? Send us feedback!