Sing Hallelujah and Get Happy! Entertainment is on its way! The composers who wrote "Tea For Two" and "I Want to Be Happy" for "No No Nanette" also wrote a musical about the Navy in port long before Bernstein & Comden & Green got together for "On the Town". There weren't Jerome Robbins ballets or Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in uniform, no world war, just sailor on leave coming to see their girls. "Shore Leave", the original play this was based upon, was also made as the Astaire/Rogers musical "Swing Time" with songs by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. 25 years later, the Broadway version of the original musical was back on the screen (a 1930 film version has apparently vanished from the face of the earth) and filled with MGM's best musical contract players.
Tony Martin, Vic Damone and Russ Tamblyn are the sailors; Ann Miller, Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds are their girls. Miller tap dances (barefoot this time!) to "The Lady From the Bayou", indignant to the fact she hasn't heard from Martin in ions; Powell is hoping for an audition from producer Gene Raymond who has only one thing on his mind, and Reynolds is the plucky youngest of the trio who is just out for romance. She finds it inside a carnival haunted house in a dance with Tamblyn in one of the most underrated sequences from an MGM musical. Why it was not even briefly included in any of the "That's Entertainment!" films is beyond comprehension. Powell sings the beautiful "Sometimes I'm Happy" as only she could with her delightful soprano. Then, there's the very Italian Kay Armen along to sing the crowd-pleasing standard "Ciribiribin" and takes center stage in "Hallelujah!" at the finale.
There are so many wonderful moments in this "let's just have fun" musical comedy that there's really nothing to complain about. It's not "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers", but it's certainly no "Kissing Bandit" either. Such veterans as Walter Pidgeon (as Powell's father), Jane Darwell and Alan King pop up as well to make this an entertaining treat that is sure to delight you!
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