The Boys from Syracuse (1940)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Musical, Romance

The Boys from Syracuse (1940) Poster

The action takes place in Ephesus in ancient Asia Minor, and the story concerns the efforts of two boys from Syracuse, Anthipholus and his servant Dromio, to find their long-lost twins who,... See full summary »


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1 November 2013 | TheLittleSongbird
| Not great but jolly good fun
The Boys from Syracuse had a fair bit going for it. It had a great cast, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart have penned some of the greatest songs of musical theatre and it is based on The Comedy of Errors, a riotous and very clever Shakespeare play. The film is good fun, but it does fall short of greatness. Allan Jones does sing beautifully but is a little too wan and strained in the lead role, there could have been more music seeing as it is so good and the film did seem too short. The Boys from Syracuse is a nice-looking film considering the budget, though because of the source material and story it is one of those films that could have been more effective in colour. The songs are just lovely, especially Falling in Love with Love, that and This Can't Be Love are popular and for good reason. The comedy is witty and in particularly Martha Raye's case very funny, while the story still has its spark, the film goes at a good pace and the staging of the songs are both fun and sensitive. The performances from the cast are good, the best performance being from Martha Raye, her sense of comic timing is a joy to joy and there is a real sense of Broadway brashness in it too. The same goes for Joe Penner as well and there are elements of his distinctive comedy style. Eric Blore, Charles Butterorth and Allan Mowbray give great camp supporting turns and seem to really be enjoying themselves. Overall, has its flaws but jolly and spirited, not a great film by all means but a fun one. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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