27 May 2005 | Tom_Barrister
Interesting "hep" movie
Originally titled, "School of Jive", this movie is one of the standard "Hep" musicals that were popular with the young crowd during the WW2 years. It features the popular Gloria Jean, Donald O'Connor, and Peggy Ryan in a swinging, breezy, upbeat production that runs at a frantic pace for the full 63 minutes.
The plot is simple: Teens, in a school that teaches the arts, would rather perform popular music of the day. They overcome their stuffy highbrow sponsor's objections by performing a Swing musical instead of the classical work that's requested. Of course, the kids' version is a big success.
The movie features jazz and swing music, and popular bands of the era appear. A lot of the dialog, while dated to that day and age, is nonetheless entertaining. O'Connor and Ryan are their usual energetic selves and, of course, perform their zany songs and dances. Gloria Jean is charming as always and sings beautifully. Several other kids and adults perform as well, including a very talented six-year-old Elinor Donahue (who later played Betty in "Father Knows Best" and has many other TV and screen credits).
I haven't seen this movie on TV for over 25 years, and it's hard to find a good copy of it. However, you can buy a quality copy of it from Gloria Jean herself at her website. IMDb policies forbid the posting of URL's, but you can find her site by using your favorite search engine and her full name of "Gloria Jean Schoonover".