25 October 2005 | Tom_Barrister
One of Universal's best "hep" movies
"Pardon My Rhythm" was one of the many "hep" musicals that Universal made during the war years of the forties. These movies, which were aimed towards the teen crowd, were about an hour in length and were generally short on story and plot, while being long on comedy and music. In the case of "Pardon My Rhythm", Universal managed to do everything well, and a lot of entertainment is packed into that hour.
The storyline is wild to say the least: a teen swing band competes in a contest. A band leader (Bob Crosby) notices the talent of the drummer (Mel Torme in his second movie) and schemes to hire him by using a singer (Marjorie Weaver) to lure him away. The drummer's girlfriend (Gloria Jean) knows that losing the drummer will ruin the teen band's chances of winning, so she launches her own scheme to disrupt the band leader's plan by having her father (Patrick Knowles), whose fiancée (Evelyn Ankers) is out of town, lure the band leader's singer away from the drummer. Sound complicated enough? It gets hairier from there. The story is actually well-written and well-acted, enough so that it could almost survive on its own and fill the full hour if no other entertainment were offered.
However, there is plenty of other entertainment. Songs include "Shame on Me" and "The Band That Brings You Swing" (sung by Jean), "Do You Believe in Dreams?" and "The Spell of the Moon" (sung by Weaver), "I'll See You in My Dreams" (sung by Crosby), and "Drummer Boy". All are accompanied by Bob Crosby's orchestra. While Mel Torme doesn't sing in this movie, he does a few spectacular drum solos and is a pretty good actor, too.
The movie is fast paced and well-done, and the ending gets so crazy that it's hard to follow everything. Gloria Jean is excellent, as usual, as are the rest of the cast members. Patsy O'Connor (who appeared in four of Gloria Jean's movies) is her usual hilarious self.
This movie is hard to find nowadays, and it's a shame that it isn't shown much (if at all) on television anymore. Anybody wanting a copy can buy one from Gloria Jean herself on her website. While IMDb rules forbid the posting of URL's, you can find the website by using a search engine with Gloria's full name of "Gloria Jean Schoonover".
If you like the old musicals, do see this movie if possible. It's well worth going out of your way for.