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  • I don't know what is wrong with Leonard Maltin, giving this 2 stars and calling it a big comedown for the stars. This is one of my favorite musicals starring Alice Faye and she has never been so beautifully filmed in technicolor. Her costumes, hair styles and hats, are gorgeous as is the way she is made up.

    Jack Oakie and June Havoc are joyous in their comic musical numbers. John Payne plays his ambitious, clueless, social climbing saloon keeper well enough. The opening number "Hello, Frisco, Hello" going right on into "You'll Never Know" is beautifully staged. Forever after this song was introduced in this film, it was Alice Fayes signature song and thousands of WWII couples danced and dreamed to it. Lynn Bari is also gorgeous as the rich femme fatale from Nob Hill that comes between Payne and Faye. But the story is secondary to the songs and stars.

    A real pleasure that I keep in my permanent collections of films of the Golden Era. 8/10
  • Charming period musical with Alice Faye as a saloon singer in love with social-climbing John Payne who has his eyes on Lynn Bari. The Barbary Coast is aglitter in Fox's brightest technicolor. The slim plot allows Alice to sing one of her most famous songs: "Hello, Frisco, Hello" which won the 1943 Oscar for best song.

    With a sparkling supporting cast including Jack Oakie, June Havoc, Laird Cregar and Ward Bond, it is probably the best film teaming Faye with one of her favorite leading men, John Payne. He doesn't get as many chances to sing as she does, but he was regarded as Fox's most dependable leading man in musicals and matches her every step of the way. But it's her wistful rendering of the title tune, photographed in loving camera close-ups, that shows what star quality is all about.

    Pleasant and tuneful, this is what war-weary audiences wanted back in 1943. A nice comeback for Faye who had been off the screen for a year.
  • One of the best musicals ever to come out of Fox and one of the top Alice Faye showcases. Never mind the plot, just set back and enjoy the sultry velvety voice of the most beautiful Alice Faye, the finest song stylist ever to come out of Hollywood .

    This beautiful film introduced the Academy Award winning song-"You'll Never Know" which Faye sings three times in the picture. This haunting song was reprised the following year by her in the wartime musical "Four Jills in a Jeep". It has been recorded countless times, however no one sings it like Faye. She pulls the heart strings in a professional fashion.

    If you are not familiar with Alice Faye, do yourself a favor and discover why she was the Number #1 Box-Office star over Bette Davis in the early 1940's. I highly recommend this lavish musical entertainment.
  • Of all Alice Faye's 20th Century-Fox musicals, "Hello Frisco, Hello" is probably my favorite. It is certainly the one that deserves to be called enchanting. The only other memorable Faye musicals that come to mind are "On the Avenue"(1937), "Alexander's Ragtime Band"(1938), "That Night in Rio"(1941) and "Wake Up and Live"(1937). "Hello Frisco" is a feast for the eyes and ears, breathtakingly photographed in Technicolor. The colors, the period costumes, and director Bruce Humberstone's nostalgic evocation of San Francisco's Barbary Coast at the turn of the century - are sublime. It also abounds in one gloriously tuneful song or dance number after another. There are lots to choose from including "Strike Up the Band," "Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?" and "Ragtime Country Joe", but Faye's memorable rendition of "You'll Never Know" is the best of them all. IT works as a perfect combination of Faye's sweet vulnerability and honesty. Faye's co-star John Payne is equally marvellous as Johnny Cornell. Contrary to a previous reviewer's remarks about Payne's stiffness, I didn't find him really that stiff. A bit stoic, maybe, but his Johnny Cornell is in perfect harmony with Faye's sweet Trudy Evans. And I can't imagine anyone else playing that role or doing a better job.

    In all, a Glorious delight.
  • Unlike many musicals from Warners and MGM, the scenes of stage performance in those from 20th Century Fox look as though they could actually be performed on a stage, with straight front shooting, and relatively little camera movement, except for close-ups. This approach works, if you have actors who can draw you in simply by their talent, Talent is abundant here, and the musical numbers are believably staged. Fortunately, there are many of these: enough to carry the hackneyed plot. After more than twelve years in films, Jack Oakie could still do comic dance and joke routines far superior to those of most; and is helped wonderfully by June Havoc, who should have received one of the co-star billings in the titles, instead of being listed second in the supporting cast. John Payne was the studio's dependable leading man, in both musicals and light drama. The beautiful Lynn Bari, who never broke through to star status, shines in the thankless role of the selfish society girl.

    But Alice Faye is at her best in her last major musical for Fox. It's easy to see why Archie Bunker occasionally referred to her as his feminine ideal. She is gorgeous in Technicolor close-ups. Here, as in other films she wears period costumes more convincingly than most other actresses, who seem to be dressing up for a costume party. Her voice was unique, and her delivery understated; unlike many of her contemporaries, she can still be heard on CDs. I didn't count, but she must have sung ten or more numbers, alone or with Payne. Oakie and Havoc, including an opening and closing rendition of her signature "You'll Never Know". In a years later TV interview, she commented that toward the end of her Fox career she was being replaced by Betty Grable, whose more overt sex appeal made her famous during the war years, but whose career as a top attraction did not last as many years as Faye's (about ten) What impressed me was that she made that comment without any tone of bitterness. Incidentally, this is not a criticism of Grable, who had a winning, self-deprecating personality in later years. In another TV interview, when she was asked how she became a star, she responded: I could sing a little, dance a little, and act a little, but I had great-looking legs. I can't help comparing these two ladies, both of whom had long-lasting show business marriages, and both of whom seemed to be nice persons, with some contemporary "stars".
  • Strong evidence of why Alice Faye was such a big star in the 40s. Good support from John Payne, Jack Oakie, and femme fatale Lynn Bari. Some critics, including Maltin, are down on this one, but they're wrong. It's a joy from end to end, and as easy on the eyes (in color) as Faye's voice is on the ears (especially in Academy Award winner "You'll Never Know"). Wish they gave Payne more songs to sing, but you can't have everything. Offhand, I don't know of a Fox musical of that era that's as enjoyable.
  • eddie-838 May 2002
    Totally delightful Fox musical in glowing Technicolor with many lavishly staged songs. (My particular favorite is `Ragtime Cowboy Joe') The only new tune is an Oscar-winner - `You'll Never Know' sincerely rendered by Alice Faye. On the dancing side there's a sneak-preview of `Starlight Express' with a number on roller skates proving that there's nothing new under the sun.

    It is easy to see why Alice was such a bright star for so long; she has looks, charm and a beautiful deep singing voice. On the other hand I've never really warmed to John Payne, I find him very stiff and he does nothing to change my opinion here. Laird Cregar overacts outrageously to great effect cast against his usual menacing or sinister type.

    `Hello, Frisco, Hello' is actually a reworking of 1935's `King of Burlesque' which also featured Jack Oakie and Alice Faye. What the film is not is any sort of feminist tract. We are expected to believe that Alice's character, beautiful and talented enough to conquer London's West End Musical Mecca, is incomplete without the love of Payne's Barbary Coast promoter, a cad who has previously dropped her callously to marry a socialite for her status in the community.

    However, nuances of character are hardly the thing in these Hollywood musicals and I can assure you that `Hello, Frisco, Hello' is a total treat.
  • Alice Faye's reign at 20th Century Fox, which overlapped with Betty Grable's, started earlier than Grable's and ended sooner - and on a sour note. Faye actually came with the old Fox Film Corp. when Zanuck founded 20th Century Fox and was at first a Harlow type, eventually developing into the Alice Faye moviegoers came to love. When she was given a dramatic role, in the 1945 "Dark Angel," the film was re-edited to favor Linda Darnell, and a disgusted Faye left Fox and never returned.

    Here she's on top in "Hello Frisco, Hello" also starring John Payne, Lynn Bari, Jack Oakie, June Havoc and Laird Cregar, a big, colorful turn of the century musical in the Fox tradition. Alice plays Trudy Evans, the linchpin in a group formed by the ambitious Johnny Cornell. Johnny isn't content with the Barbary Coast - he wants Nob Hill. After opening a series of clubs, he becomes interested in a beautiful widow (Bari) who can give him the respectability he wants. When she goes broke, he tries to buy her house. To the heartbreak of Trudy, who's been in love with him all along, the two eventually marry.

    There's one song after another in this musical, including Faye's beautiful rendition of "You'll Never Know," which became a smash hit. Faye's voice was so unusual - low, sultry and smooth, and it fits the music here perfectly. She is beautifully photographed and costumed as well. Oakie and Havoc provide comic support, and Bari is excellent as the woman who wins Johnny away from Trudy.

    The big problem with the film is the character of Johnny (Payne), who is a real louse and a user to boot as he strings Trudy along. Personally, I would have let him stew in his own juice but this is Hollywood after all. And the plot is so secondary to the wonderful music and stars. Highly entertaining.
  • My favorite Alice Faye movie, by far the best! Story was great, acting superb, and the music, well it's the music and the song "You'll Never Know" which rings in my heart forever! The comedy of Jack Oakie and June Havoc is hilariously funny, and I'll always remember Laird Cregar for his shining shanigans "buddy can you spare a dime". The pairing of Alice with John Payne was always good!
  • 1st watched 11/24/2001 - 7 out of 10(Dir-H. Bruce Humberstone): Toe-tapping, hit playing musical that doesn't have a plot line much different than many of this dancing/singing genre but it is played out so well by the stars involved that it keeps you interested. The songs have romance, humor, and hit quality chorus's that made me want to have the music itself(if it's available). This is supposed to have been the most popular war-time film and I can understand why although because a lot of people weren't going to the movies back then it's been relatively forgotten. I'm glad I was able to see this and it made me hunger for more of this type. Watch it if you can find it, it won't disappoint you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Alice Faye's heyday was from the mid 1930s to the early 1940s when she introduced a myriad of standards in that mellowed, honeyed voice of hers but Fox never seemed to do the right thing by her - maybe she was just too nice. There was always a newer, flashier star she had to share the limelight with - not always but it sure seemed like it!! Initially she served part of her apprenticeship playing second fiddle to Fox's biggest star Shirley Temple, then in the 1940s Betty Grable was getting the studio excited. Even when she did do a movie "On the Avenue" and got to sing a swag of songs she made popular, Madeline Carroll was in it to be paired with Dick Powell and Faye had to be content with a "sugar daddy"!! and when she was coaxed into doing a movie, "Fallen Angel", that she felt would take her career in a new direction suddenly sultry Linda Darnell's part was built up at the expense of her own. "Hello Frisco, Hello" was also a comeback - she was happily married to Phil Harris and had given birth to a daughter the year before - but this time everything worked out in her favour. In the two years she had been absent from the screen she had lost none of her public appeal or the ability to put over a song.

    With a medley of old time tunes the movie introduces the naughty, bawdy San Francisco of the early 1900s and a slick singing team from Sharkey's Saloon who sing "Lindy Lou", "Hello Frisco, Hello" and "You'll Never Know", hoping the act can push them into the big time but it only gets them fired. They start to put on free street shows ("Ragtime Cowboy Joe", "Sweet Cider Time"). Johnny (John Payne) is the wheeler dealer of the group and is able to put on a legitimate show due to "protection" money he is able to get from the saloons - they pay him and he keeps the street shows away from their premises.

    If any film was enhanced by Technicolor it was this one. The richness of the decor and the brightness of the costumes will leave you agog!! It would take a whole review to describe Alice Faye's costumes - her "Grizzly Bear" outfit includes a red ostrich feather hat and matching muff. She may not give an Academy Award performance but she looks absolutely gorgeous in these turn of the century gowns. It can't be all fun and games and Lyn Bari, as Bernice Croft, makes a beautiful "other woman" from Nob Hill. This is the crowd Johnny aspires to and of course comes unstuck.

    One of the highlights (for me) is Faye's "personality" rendition of "They Always Pick on Me". The songs (and beautiful costumes) keep coming - "Bedelia", "Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly" etc. Faye plays Trudy and Bernice's brother Ned takes a special interest in her, bringing a very interested English impresario to listen to her sing and whisk her off to the continent where she becomes the toast of London. Trudy returns to America to find all of Johnny's clubs closed - after marrying Bernice he turns his back on the Barbury Coast and pours all his money into bringing Grand Opera to San Francisco. Needless to say Trudy finds him down and out but with a little wheeling and dealing (involving Laird Cregar as a blustering prospector) he is put on his feet again for the encore of "Hello Frisco, Hello" and "You'll Never Know".

    Jack Oakie had been making audiences laugh since talkies first came in - his career was given a boost when Chaplin gave him the role of "Il Duce" in "The Great Dictator" but this movie saw him almost at the end of his career.
  • ctomvelu16 December 2011
    There's a reason for watching an antique like this, and that's Alice Faye. She was at the top of her form here, in what was to be her final Fox musical. Basic plot: John Payne is a vaudevillian with his eye on greater things. His troupe consists of Faye, Jack Oakie and June Havoc. The Gay 90s costumes are a riot and, I assume, reasonably authentic. I also imagine some audience members in 1943 might have lived long enough to remember the period in real life. Faye belts out an endless number of great tunes, including her signature song, "You'll Never Know." Payne is stiff as usual, but veteran comic actor Oakie and his predictable antics help make up for that. The plot is as thin as a piece of tissue paper, so enjoy the movie for its many and memorable musical numbers. With her deep voice and striking looks, Faye really shines here. One caution: It is slightly jarring to watch the "rag" number, as all the performers are white but acting as if they were Stepin Fetchit-type blacks. This old-time minstrel baloney is certainly not uncommon in old musicals. You can see similar numbers in even later fare such as "Holiday Inn" (Bing Crosby in black face!) and "Jolson Sings Again." The offending "Abraham" number in "Holiday Inn" used to be cut for TV viewing. But there wasn't much TV could do about "The Jolson Story" and "Jolson sings Again" without emasculating the movie, as Al Jolson rose to fame singing "Mammy" and other numbers in black face.
  • Wonderful music and sumptuous color mark this great 1943 film. The song You'll Never Know won the academy award that year and deservedly so.

    This is a sparkling musical where John Payne really shines as Johnny Cornell, a street hustler, who goes from rags to riches. While I thought that Clark Gable would have been fabulous in the part, Payne is quite good here.

    Alice Faye seemed to just get better and better. Continuing her tradition in "Alexander's Rag Time Band," she goes through a lot to get her man.

    Jack Haley and June Havoc give great musical support to Payne and Fay. Havoc looks just like Lucille Ball in several scenes. Hard to believe that just 4 years later, she portrayed Jewish secretary Elaine Wales in "Gentleman's Agreement." I guess that's what acting is all about.

    The devil here is Lynn Bari, a socialite from Knob Hill who is wiped out only to marry an up and coming Cornell and then take him for a financial ride.

    Of course, love conquers all at the end but you will feel so good after seeing this film. They just don't make musicals like this anymore.
  • THIS IS THE SECOND GREATEST MOVIE EVER, FALLING SHORT ONLY OF THE SOUND OF MUSIC!

    Alice Faye is a beautiful actress that should be admired. I strongly suggest that you watch it, no matter your age. I was 13 when i first fell in love with this film and i still love it at 16. It is the story of Trudy, a kind singer who is in love with her singing partner. "You'll never know" is a beautiful song that expresses the feelings of Faye's character with touching clarity. It is a beautifully made film with a great cast and wonderful music.

    It is a movie you will never forget. Go watch it! You won't regret it.
  • AAdaSC26 July 2009
    6/10
    Good
    Trudy (Alice Faye), Johnny (John Payne), Dan (Jack Oakie) and Beulah (June Havoc) share a song and dance act on the entertainment circuit. Dan and Beulah are partners while Trudy wishes for the same with Johnny. However, while he asks her for dates, he is more concerned about career. He comes into some money and starts putting on shows and he also meets a wealthy heiress Bernice (Lynn Bari). He marries her while Trudy goes solo to make her fortune in Europe. Their roles are reversed as Bernice bankrupts Johnny and Trudy's career takes off. Things come together at the end in the club that they started out in as everyone is re-united.

    The story isn't really important as the film is a collection of music numbers. And they are all pretty good, eg, the scene at the Rollerdrome. John Payne's character is difficult to sympathize with and difficult to read as you can't tell when he's romantically interested in someone or not.....maybe he has some form of autism...... or maybe he is just a bad actor................his actions and reactions are very unusual. Jack Oakie and Laid Cregar who plays Johnny's friend Sam are noisy and shouty and so the film drags when these two are on screen. I think the film needed more from June Havoc who is the best out of the cast.

    The story drags in parts but it is the colour, costumes and music numbers that pull this film into the good category.
  • One of Alice Faye's last and best costume period pieces, this has a great score of pre-World War I numbers and terrific performances by the four leads. Alice covered this ground before, but she always covers like no one else can.

    When Darryl Zanuck signed John Payne, I have always maintained that he was looking for another Tyrone Power who could sing. In the series of pictures that Alice Faye and Betty Grable and June Haver did with Payne, Zanuck got what he wanted. Payne had a pleasant singing voice and the roles he played are similar to what Power played, the hero/heel in stuff like Rose of Washington Square, In Old Chicago, A Yank In the RAF, etc.

    Jack Oakie and June Haver are a couple of very adept comedians and also look for the performance that Lynn Bari gives as the society woman Payne marries to further his career.

    Also the one song Alice Faye introduced that won an Academy Award is in this picture, You'll Never Know. That was back when that category meant something.

    Catch it if you can.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    the post saying the score is anachronistic is quite wrong.

    This is not San Francisco in the middle 19th century. It is San Francisco in 1915. Note that there are telephones, and they speak of the FAIR. The world's fair was held in 1915 in San Francisco

    In one scene a depiction of the famous FLATIRON building in New York is visible, this building completed in 1902.

    Early in the film a transcontinental telephone call was placed from New York to San Francisco. This event took place circa 1915 and was a famous part of the World's Fair.

    I think this film is a beautiful example of technicolor's magic and few can compare. The only person who won't like this film is someone who doesn't like to entertained.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This lavish early Technicolor provided great escapism entertainment in the midst of WWII. To me, it clearly provides the best roles for Alice Faye and Jack Oakie, two of Fox's most popular performers, in a musical. June Havoc, as Oakie's low class Irish girlfriend and vaudeville performer partner, is also good, as are various choruses and specialty acts. Loads of tunes, nearly all performed on stage. On the other hand, the association of self-made status seeking burlesque kingpin Johnny Cornell(John Payne) and snobbish cynical Knob Hill society matron Bernice Croft(Lynn Bari) casts a markedly contrasting negative aspect to the film.I'm sure there are and have been such people in the world, but their personality types, taken to the extreme in this film, greatly distracts from the otherwise feel good tone of the film. The marriage of convenience between these two obnoxious characters clearly is sick, as is the continuing emotional attachment of Faye's character to Cornell, despite his repeated rebuffs and double crosses. But that's part of the standard formula for Fox musicals:create some romantic and professional melodrama to fill in between musical scenes. Just, in this film, it's overdone in the extreme. Probably Payne's most likable versions of his standard role in his numerous Fox musicals were those in "Weekend in Havana", where he again costars with Faye, and again ultimately dumps his stuffy socialite fiancée for the earthy Faye, and "It Happened in Sun Valley", where Bari again plays his ultimately dumped fiancée. Despite the same outcome, Bari's character is much more positive in that film, as is Payne's and doesn't leave the audience turned off.

    The raucous Barbary coast district of San Francisco, where most of the action takes place, was a popular set for several films in the '30s and '40s, including "Barbary Coast"('35), "San Francisco"('36), and "King of Burlesque"('36), all in B&W. The present film is actually a remake of the latter, with Faye and Oakie playing their same roles. Bari was in it too, but as an uncredited chorus dancer.Ironically, the actress who played Bari's part in that film was Mona Barrie:spelled differently, but pronounced the same! These films also have some obvious similarities to the popular MGM semi-musical "San Francisco", in which Clark Gable plays a Barbary coast kingpin very similar to Johnny Cornell, though more sympathetic,and Jeanette MacDonald plays a role very similar to that of Faye, as the one performer who gives an air of class respectability to the kingpin's entertainment empire. Again, the plot involves tensions between the kingpin and Knob hill society, and a love-hate relationship between the stars. Even the theme song from that film was included in the present film as background for a chorus number. But, Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, composed the signature song for this film: "You'll Never Know", which is generally regarded as Faye's most memorable film song(Actually, I prefer Ella Fitzgerald's rendition).

    Not surprisingly, exuberant veteran vaudeville-styled Jack Oakie tends to steal the show, both on stage and between the scenes. His warm comic persona was essential to this film to counter the increasingly dark characterizations of Johhny Cornell and Bernice Croft, and to help cheer up Faye after one of her double crosses by Cornell. Payne,Oakie and Faye had a basically similar relationship in the prior musical "Tin Pan Alley"... June Havoc was a talented, but second tier, Fox performer during this period. She is easily confused in name with June Haver, also starring or costarring in several Fox musicals of this period, including "The Dolly Sisters", with Betty Grable...Laird Cregar has a small role as Cornell's burley confident, notoriously leading him astray as to the source of money to finance Cornell's business comeback.I haven't seen Cregar's more sinister roles in his brief Hollywood career, but his first significant Hollywood role, as Pierre Radisson's jovial sidekick, in "Hudson's Bay", showed his potential as an actor. Unfortunately, he instituted an extreme crash diet in an effort to shake his type casting as an overstuffed ogre, and apparently wrecked his GI, necessitating surgery, from which he soon died.
  • When you love a musical star, you're not going to care when they make the same movies over and over again with slightly different songs and plots, because you love them! If you love Alice Faye, you won't care that she made several movies with the same supporting cast taking place in the same time period with the same costumes. After all, she looks beautiful in ringlets and corsets!

    Hello, Frisco, Hello is distinguishable only for Alice Faye's signature song "You'll Never Know," which won both an Oscar and a Rag for Best Original Song. It's such a tearjerker associated with WWII, it's hard to remember the actual plot of the film takes place in the 1910s rather than the 1940s. Alice, John Payne, Jack Oakie, and Lynn Bari play vaudeville performers, and the very thin plot is merely a way to string along tons of songs performed in fun costumes. Personally, I think the film would have been more affective if it was a modern war romance, so Alice could really sing "You'll Never Know" to a wartime beau. This isn't my favorite of her films, but watching it for her signature song alone is worth it.

    And, if you really like this movie, you'll be glad to know you can see the exact same movie with two of the three stars; Hello, Frisco, Hello is a remake of King of Burlesque starring Alice Faye and Jack Oakie. See, musical stars really do recycle their movies!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's ironic that both Betty Grable and Alice Faye got to remake some of their old movies with changes of settings and slightly different themes. Grable remade "Coney Island" as "Wabash Avenue" and "Moon Over Miami" (itself already a remake) as "How to Marry a Millionaire". Seven years after "King of Burlesque" (1936), Faye remade the film in color, changing the setting from the vaudeville theatres of New York to the waterfront saloons of San Francisco. While "Hello Frisco Hello" is respectable in many different ways, it takes away the edge from its original source, mainly because the character played by John Payne isn't as interesting as Warner Baxter's. Faye herself has gone from a Jean Harlow tough cookie with a heart of gold to a total lady. She is wonderful in both films, but I like her earlier image a bit more. She has a fabulous song, the Oscar Winning "You'll Never Know", and the title song is a fun way to start the film. Even that other tribute to the California ciy on the bay is there, and it doesn't involve an earthquake or Jeanette MacDonald's powerful soprano pipes. June Havoc (the real Dainty June from "Gypsy") and Jack Oakie give nice supporting performances, with Oakie repeating his role from "King of Burlesque" in the exact same manner. The other songs are standards both obscure and familiar, and Faye puts them off as only a professional could. Lynn Bari plays a broke San Francisco socialite who briefly comes between Faye and Payne and is the epitome of bitchy coolness. The Fox technicolor is glorious, making the beautiful sets and costumes stand out amazingly well. Overall, if you can see the original version (not commercially available), don't miss it, then compare to this one to see a lighter take on the same tale.
  • Something went wrong between the drawing board and the sound stage in filming "Hello,Frisco,Hello". It's a big, splashy, colorful musical in the best Fox tradition but somehow it falls flat. Maybe it's the storyline, which is formulaic and ordinary and done many times before - boy meets girl, boy meets another girl, boy gets dumped and makes round trip to first girl. It also does itself no favors by portraying leading man John Payne as a status-seeking heel.

    It does have several things going for it, especially Alice Faye and energetic song and dance man/character actor Jack Oakie. And the Academy Award winning Harry Warren/Mack Gordon song, "You'll Never Know", which is worth the price of admission alone (This song was recorded at the height of a Musicians Union strike in 1943, and sung 'a cappella' by Dick Haymes and the Pied Pipers).

    Not to belabor a point, but this picture would have been better off as a film short with just the "You'll Never Know" number on it. It's really the only reason to watch it as it breaks no new ground. True, there are 29 songs listed in the credits but most are forgettable and none can approach "You'll Never Know". It is the main reason for my rating of 6.
  • This was an engaging musical, though I must admit that this is probably my least familiar genre. While I like the occasional musical, they aren't something I rush to see.

    John Payne and Alice Faye star in this Fox film. They are partners along with Jack Oakie and June Havoc and they hit the big time thanks to their musical talents as well as Payne's amazing business sense. It seems to everyone except Payne that Faye is in love with him, but the big dope never recognizes her for her decency and charm. Instead, he has the eyes for selfish Lynn Bari--mostly because she is rich and well-heeled and a place in society is what Payne wants most. However, the marriage is a bust and Bari does nothing except bleed Payne's bank accounts. Now destitute, poor long-suffering Faye returns to help him back on his feet as the movie fades.

    The story of a man too blind to see love and too proud to ask for help is familiar and I've seen it a few times already--so the plot was awfully familiar and predictable. However, despite this, it was entertaining and my wife, who hates old musicals, actually sat through the film and enjoyed it. Also, the choice of songs is excellent--with many old hits. Not among the very best musicals, but still very good. And, unlike me, if you love the genre, then this is a must-see film.
  • It doesn't matter a great deal since "Hello, Frisco, Hello" doesn't purport to be historically accurate, but I found it odd that a number of the film's songs are anachronisms. A few, particularly "You'll Never Know," were written for the movie, but the others are a melange of songs from the past, except a past that came after the film's setting, which is, roughly speaking, San Francisco in the middle of the nineteenth century. Yet Alice Faye sings "Ragtime Cowboy Joe", which wasn't written until 1912. Of course, the same thing happens in other movies. Many of the songs in "Singin' in the Rain" were written in the sound era but show up in the film during the silent era. But I can't be hard on the movie which introduced the beautiful "You'll Never Know" and allows its star to sing it more than once.