4 November 2009 | ptb-8
This is a terrific jive/swing/tap-dance musical from Universal, made in 1942 as part of a set of teen pix mostly starring Donald O'Connor and Gloria Jean. Woody Herman and his amazing orchestra appear several times and their rendition of Golden Wedding particularly with a knockout acrobatic tap-dance group in an electrifying sequence, The Jivin' Jacks 'n' Jills, could easily have you leap from your seat as well. Basically a formula story of kids out-swinging the older generation and encouraging them to 'get with it'... in WHAT'S COOKIN the fuddy duddies are equally hilariously played by Billie Burke, Franklin Pangborn, Charles Butterworth and Charles Lane, adding genuine witty comedy via excellent shrewed casting. Also, with the kids is Leo Carillo mangling English in a pre-Desi Arnaz way. WHAT'S COOKIN is a delight, and contains truly exciting music and jaw-dropping dance sequences. Great fun all the way of its 70 minutes. Teenage Donald O'Connor in these snazzy Universal musicals is so funny, clever and charming. An opening sequence of a slinky tap dance number on a long staircase hilariously sets the tone.