16 February 2019 | boblipton
Nobody But Anna Neagle.... Well, and Ray Bolger & Helen Westley
Anna Neagle spots John Carroll, get him to kiss her, and rushes off, while he goes to a circus show with Edward Everett Horton, where Miss Neagle is the star. The two fall madly in love and decide to get married. First though, he takes her to meet his wealthy, snobbish family... with the usual disastrous result.
It's one of the movies that Herbert Wilcox produced and directed his future wife in for RKO, and it largely tosses away the original show script. Miss Neagle dances enchantingly with Ray Bolger, who also gets a great specialty number at the end. Helen Westley, as Carroll's much-feared aunt has the standout role, a hilarious variation on her usual harridan. However, the chaotic ending is more frantic than funny.
It's based on Marilyn Miller's smash show, which played for more than 500 nights in its original run. The standard that came out of it is the Jerome Kern-Otto Harbach "Who?" and that number is used throughout the movie: not always, alas, to its advantage.
It's not a well constructed movie, but there were enough bright spots throughout to keep me thoroughly engaged