26 August 2004 | bkoganbing
The End of Dixie Lee's career.
A previous reviewer warned fans of Burns&Allen not to expect too much from them. Though first billed, George and Gracie were definitely supporting players.
The story revolves about the love story of a carnival girl trying to escape her background and an idealistic young songwriter played by Dixie Lee and Joe Morrison respectively. Morrison had a pleasant tenor voice and no personality. But according to IMDb he's still alive at the age of 96.
Dixie Lee, born Wilma Winifred Wyatt, was far better known as the first Mrs. Bing Crosby. His career was rocketing vertically now and her's was coming to an end. She was a blonde and had a manner not unlike Alice Faye. Put over a song like Alice Faye also although no memorable
numbers came from here. In fact the song Love In Bloom which Bing had introduced the year before in She Loves Me Not is not even heard as background music.
Dixie's carny father is played by J.C. Nugent who played it as a kind
of unctuous and corrupt Senator Claghorn. This was a role that was tailor made for W.C. Fields, to bad he didn't do it. In fact
Paramount should have cast Bing Crosby opposite his wife. Morrison's part would have had to be rewritten so he's more in line with Bing's personality, but if it had been done, I suspect we might have had a classic.
Burns and Allen give the picture the merit it has in their moments. George is Dixie's brother and Gracie is his wife, if you can believe an exotic dancer. Watch how Gracie gets out of a speeding ticket, best moment in the film.
Dixie did one more film, cut a record with her husband of two songs from Swing Time, The Way You Look Tonight and A Fine Romance in 1936. She made occasional appearances on Bing's radio show at Christmas time. Mostly she concentrated on being wife and mother to four boys and unfortunately drank a lot.
Like Terry Molloy said, it could have been a contender.