Beverly Ross moderates an 5:30 am radio show with swing music, dedicated to the local servicemen. Two buddies of her brother have a chance to meet her and both fall in love. One of them is ... See full summary »
Reveille With Beverly is one of Columbia Pictures all star war time contributions for the boys in the service. But not having a really big studio with a lot of contract players like MGM or Paramount, what was Harry Cohn to do.
The answer is take your stars from that other medium, that of swing music. Ann Miller plays a young lady named Beverly who works the telephone switchboard at an easy listening radio station. She'd like to break into radio on the air, but the boss Tim Ryan won't give her a break. Besides he's not into current musical tastes.
But the resourceful Beverly gets her chance when she gets the hypochondriacal Franklin Pangborn who plays classical music in the wee small hours around dawn into thinking he's down with something terrible. She subs for him and plays the current swing bands and the rest is history. The new draftees at a nearby army base like her music so much the program is dubbed Reveille with Beverly.
Of course there's a silly subplot involving a pair of draftees who used to be millionaire and chauffeur who are rivals for Ann Miller. These two parts are played by William Wright and Dick Purcell in a plot situation that is totally ripped off from Abbott&Costello's Buck Privates. They are a bit friendlier than Lee Bowman and Alan Curtis from the Universal classic.
But all of this is just so we can get to hear such bands as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Bob Crosby and Freddie Slack's respective orchestras. The Mills Brothers are also on hand. And a young singer who had just left the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra sings Night and Day with an all girl band. Frank Sinatra and the rest of the acts were brought into the film by Ann Miller as she introduces the record and it starts spinning and the screen dissolves into a performance by the performers.
So other than a toe tapping finale by Ann Miller this certainly was doing one of those all star extravaganzas on the cheap. Ann's number was clumsily introduced into the proceedings since at no time during the film was it mentioned she had any dancing talent. But Ann's fans bought tickets to see her dance so I guess it was understood there would be a dance number.
Reveille with Beverly is a great piece of World War II nostalgia and definitely for fans of swing music.