9 February 2015 | melvelvit-1
Threadbare Fox musical with an entertaining cast
Penniless promoter "Smoothie" King (Spencer Tracy) and his ex-con sidekick Limey (Herbert Mundin) team up with a crooning newsboy (Sid Silvers) and a warbling beauty contestant (Pat Paterson) to try and crash Hollywood. They're all on their uppers and live together in an abandoned miniature golf course but thanks to some light-hearted impersonation, blackmail, and forgery, the girl becomes a star and it's back to the drawing board for the boys...
Spencer Tracy was on the way up and John Boles on the way down when they made this Fox musical chocked full of forgettable songs and lame comedy but the Tinseltown background and a romp through the Fox backlot manage to turn this threadbare musical into an amusing time-waster. Harmless Hollywood stereotypes abound (Boles as a "Norman Maine"-style matinée idol, Thelma Todd as a bitchy movie queen, and Harry Green as an "ethnic" studio head) but there's some very un-PC caricatures as well. The "Jewish jokes" consist of smoked salmon, Silvers' big nose, and Green's endless kvetching -and when Tracy gives Green a near heart attack, the movie mogul clutches his chest and cries, "Get me a cheap doctor!"
There's a tepid two-sided triangle between Boles, Paterson, and third wheel Tracy wasting time between tacky production numbers like "Turn On The Moon" and "Waitin' At The Gate For Katie" but pretty little Pat Paterson (looking a bit like fellow Brit Constance Cummings) proves no threat to Alice Faye, who was just beginning to make her mark in Fox musicals at the time. Pat probably didn't care as she'd soon become Mrs. Charles Boyer and retire from showbiz.