4 April 2011 | AlsExGal
Another optimistic little musical from the dawn of sound
I rate this one 9/10 when compared to other films of its genre and era. This is probably Alice White's best sound film in which she had a starring role. Alice plays Delight (Dee) Foster, a chorus girl living with two other chorus girls (Marion Byron and Sally Eilers) in a vaudeville rooming house. Dee loves Billy, the stage manager of the show she is currently in. Her landlady, a woman who appears to be in her 50's, has some strange advice though. She discourages Dee from getting serious about Billy, saying that in her day she was a looker herself on the stage and look where she ended up by following her heart. She advises Dee to go for the gold while she's still young, and that isn't Billy.
Meanwhile a rich French Canadian gangster (Fred Kohler as Perc Gessant) has gotten hooked up with a couple of card sharps who are pretending to be his friends until they can hook him for the big money. From the room where they are playing Perc gets a look at Dee in rehearsal and wants to meet her. He has the connections to get Dee a spotlight at a local nightspot. Also, one of the real flirts in the chorus, Blossom, is making eyes at Billy. Will things work out for our young lovers? Watch and find out.
This film has three very good numbers - "Jig, Jig, Jigaloo", "Wishing and Waiting for Love", and "Broadway Baby Dolls." "Wishing and Waiting for Love" is pretty much used as the film's soundtrack - it's a catchy little tune. "Broadway Baby Dolls" is a more impressive as a number than it is as a song, and "Jig, Jig, Jigaloo" is the best song and number. It has ridiculous lyrics and outlandish costumes with headdresses so tall and heavy they look like they're going to break some poor girl's neck if she turns her head too fast, but it's all part of the fun.
Alice has good support here with Sally Eilers and Marion Byron, great here with the clever Jazz Age one liners that come fast and furious. The three make a convincing trio of flappers. The film does have some suspense towards the end, but nothing heavy enough to detract from the flapper fairy tale flavor of the film. Even the gangster that pines after Dee turns out to be a nice guy - and they never tell us what he does that makes him a gangster in the first place so you can't help but like him. The only bad thing I can say about the film is that the soundtrack tends to overpower the dialogue at times, but that was a common technical problem in these early talkies.
Highly recommended for lovers of Dawn of Sound musicals.