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  • This musical/comedy fluff was harmless fun for a nation at war. We get the troop's number one pinup gal, big band music, song and dance numbers, a cotton candy plot, and it's all in Technicolor! Anybody interested in the WWII era will enjoy watching this film, just imagine yourself as one of the boys in uniform or as Rosie the Riveter. The final musical routine with Betty marching with & drilling 2 companies of military women is well executed and must have been just what America wanted to see at the time. Remember: Buy U.S. War Bonds. Available at this theater.
  • Joe E Brown and Martha Raye were 2 veteran vaudeville performers, as well as film personalities, both known, among other things, for their unusually wide mouths. Both were primarily comedians, but neither is allowed to be funny in this '44 Fox Technicolor. Martha was also a singer and does get to do a couple of solos. She and Betty were last seen together in a film when they were both contracted with Paramount, playing sisters in the '38 B&W "Give Me a Sailor", costarring Bob Hope. In that delightful little domestic comedy, Martha was the star and Betty the supporting actress. Here, the tables are turned, with Betty the star performer and providing most of the comedy, along with occasional inputs from rotund Eugene 'bullfrog' Palette, who plays her office boss.

    Unusual for a Grable film, she lacks one of her usual leading or supporting men. Instead, her romantic interest is a rather faceless serviceman in the form of John Harvey. Actually, this was a rather common ploy in musical comedies during the later part of WWII. Other notable Fox examples include "Something For the Boys" and "The Gang's All Here". Perhaps the most extreme example is Warner's "Hollywood Canteen". The idea was to present a 'nobody' serviceman that servicemen could better identify with, as the leading lady's romantic interest.

    It sometimes happened in '40s musicals that specialty acts provided the most interesting musical, comedy or gymnastic act, and this is perhaps one of those films.The gaudy roller skating dance act by 'The Skating Vanities', accompanied by Martha's "Red Robins, Bobwhites, and Bluebirds" is certainly the eye candy highlight of this film, and a part of its flag waving aspect. The Condo Brothers also did a couple of nice tap dance numbers, and Betty's dance with Hermes Pan to "Once Too Often" is OK. Later, there is a Viennese waltz scene, with dancers in very fancy classical European dress, preceding and following Betty's rendition of a more contemporary "The Story of the Very Merry Widow".Betty also gets to do a couple other musical numbers, mostly two renditions of "Don't Carry Tales Out of School". The Charlie Spivak Orchestra provided most of the music.

    Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of this film is the finale overly long marching drill exercise, with rifles, executed by a sizable unit of WACs, with Betty as their competent drill sergeant. Would have been nice to have had some musical accompaniment, as in Warner's "This is the Army". I guess the message was: If we run short of fighting men to help win this war, we have plenty of fighting women to back them up!

    If you want to see the best Grable/Raye musical comedy, I recommend "Give Me a Sailor", as previously detailed. Betty looks even more beautiful at age 21 in that one. The emphasis is much more on comedy than music, with Bob Hope complementing Martha's comedy.
  • henry-girling21 December 2004
    This is a patriotic flag-waver of a film that could never be made anymore. The emphasis is on pulling together and supporting the armed forces, all in gleaming colour. It is a wartime film that says although the world is in a spin if we work together to beat the foe, things will work out fine in the end. It is sweet as a sugar coated pill, made to cheer the people up in World War 2. And who better to do that than blonde Betty Grable, lively and bright and charming. There are flashes in the film of the classic pin-up picture of her looking saucily over her shoulder.

    A formula film then but it does have some bright spots. Joe E Brown and Martha Raye being loud and cantankerous. The dancing Condos Brothers who tap dance like furies. The gorgeous technicolour. Charlie Spivack's band. The musical numbers are OK though the roller skating number and the marching sequence hilarious in the wrong sort of way.

    There is a real gem in the film, a number called 'Once Too Often', which is a sour song of love and betrayal, at odds with the rest of the saccharine mood of the film. Grable sings it well then dances it with the great Hermes Pan. In her split skirt showing those million dollar legs, she and Pan do a sexy routine together. It's the best thing in the whole movie.
  • ryancm8 September 2007
    Not bad, not good for a Betty Grable flick. Story, like all the Fox musicals on the 40's is silly, but sometimes silly can be charming. PIN-UP GIRL focuses on Betty of course and those "million" dollar legs. The story of a want-to-be showgirl who is doing steno work could have somehow worked better with more fluid writing. A couple of good dance numbers, but nothing spectacular. Nice to see old timers Martha Raye and Joe E. Brown, but Martha plays a real witch in this one and takes the shine off her comedic talent. Too bad. Story itself does not focus and what happened to her girl friend, Dorthea Kent, who is in the first part of the movie, then is dropped like a hot potato. Her presence was missed as she was a good side kick to Betty. If you're a Betty Grable fan, and you must be to be reading about this movie, there are others a lot better. Too bad they're not available on DVD. By the way, the DVD transfer is quite nice.
  • Splashy Technicolor musical with Betty Grable and Martha Raye has beautiful photography, Grable's incredible legs--although they're not featured as much as you'd think they'd be, considering they were what she was most famous for--and not a whole lot more. The musical numbers are for the most part uninspired, and the casting of unknown John Harvey as Grable's romantic interest was a big mistake. He's a bland, not particularly good actor who tries too hard to be the peppy "boy next door" type and has no chemistry at all with Grable. Dorothea Kent as Grable's sidekick is enjoyable but for some reason she vanishes about halfway through the film. Martha Raye, as always, gives it her best but the songs they stuck her with are, to be charitable, pedestrian and, in the case of "Yankee Doodle Hayride", downright stupid. Grable's "Don't Carry Tales Out of School" is boring--I have no idea why it's performed two different times in the film, as it doesn't get better with repetition. Raye's "Red Robins, Bobwhites and Bluebirds" is a juvenile time-waster and she looks almost embarrassed performing it--the lyrics are childish and the song makes virtually no sense. Just about the only number that has any spark at all is "Once Too Often", which Grable dances with the great Hermes Pan. It's not one of his or Grable's best, but compared to the rest of the numbers in this picture, it's a masterpiece. Joe E. Brown is an acquired taste, which I haven't acquired, but if you like him I guess this is as good a place to see him as any. The tap-dancing Condos Brothers are good, there's a campy but somewhat entertaining roller-skating number early in the film and a very bizarre and really out-of-place sequence at the end where Betty is a drill sergeant putting a female drill team through a series of complicated marching routines--it's almost surreal to watch her carrying a sword and shouting "Dress that line, there!" and "Hup, hip, hoop, harch!"--but even that dose of wartime weirdness doesn't do much for the picture. Overall it's a lower-rank, by-the-numbers effort from people who've done far better. Worth a look maybe just so you can say you've seen it, but other than that, there's not much reason to spend any time on it.
  • I've just seen Pin Up Girl for the first time and found it good in parts, but not brilliant.

    Betty Grable plays a secretary and is a singer as well. She says she's engaged to every service man she has signed her photo for. She does fall in love with a man who's in the Navy and after several misunderstandings, she becomes engaged to him.

    Despite being made during the Second World War, Pin Up Girl was shot in colour and it certainly is very colourful. There are some good songs and performances, although can be a little heavy going at times.

    One viewing is probably enough for this movie. Not too bad though.

    Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5.
  • Astaire & Rogers it's not. While it was somewhat entertaining fluff, it had few other redeeming qualities. The costumes were ridiculous, distracting and very unflattering. And unfortunately, there really wasn't anything significantly original in the storyline itself. The final number, while impressive in its precision, lacked variety and musical interest, and consequently became boring very quickly, as the same moves were repeated over and over again. One very notable exception was the performance by Frank & Harry Condos (as The Condos Brothers). Their dancing was exceptional and dazzling to watch. If you're looking for simple fluff and diversion - enjoy. Just don't set your expectations too high.
  • Perhaps back then this was seen as a bright and bubbly tribute to the Armed Forces everywhere, but surely BETTY GRABLE deserved better material for a musical with a title like PIN UP GIRL. She's pretty and pert as a secretary whose romance with a soldier goes from Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Wins Girl in timeworn Hollywood fashion.

    No help is the fact that MARTHA RAYE and JOE E. BROWN can usually be counted on to add gags and merriment to any film they're in. Here, they open their big mouths and nothing funny comes out.

    The songs are weak, lacking interest even for Grable fans--with one exception. A nifty little number called "Once Too Often" has Betty doing a slit-skirt, torrid dance number with Hermes Pan, the famous choreographer who worked with Astaire and Rogers on many of their most famous routines. It's the only musical number worth staying awake for.

    The climactic military number is a hoot, with Betty doing a parade of arms military drill that reminded me of my boot camp days.

    Summing up: This is one you can afford to miss.
  • notmicro30 October 2003
    Note that the legendary Hermes Pan is the guy dancing with Grable in the wild "Once Too Often" number. He was the guy who worked with Fred Astaire to choreograph and practice most of his dance numbers in the 30's Fred-and-Ginger films.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With the title of Pin Up Girl this film could only star Betty Grable. As the GI favorite in World War II only Rita Hayworth ranked up there with Betty and those legs.

    With a plot thin as a Gillette razor blade and a leading man who is the definition of bland Betty and the rest of the talented musical cast carry this one. But make no mistake she's box office draw.

    Betty is a USO hostess in Missouri and she and friend Dorothea Kent get the call to serve as typists in the Navy Department. But that's after first going to New York and appearing in Joe E. Brown's nightclub and scoring a big hit. Betty's also a big hit with John Harvey, medal winner from the South Pacific now on shore duty.

    But after getting a lecture from another desk bound sailor Eugene Palette, Harvey thinks Betty's just using him as a career booster. So what does Betty do? She puts on a pair of glasses and fools Harvey until the final moments of the film that she's someone else. It does work for Clark Kent and as I remember also for Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman.

    But with all those numbers from folks like Martha Raye, Charlie Spivak's Orchestra, the Condos brothers, but most of all Betty who really cares about a truly silly plot. Pin-Up Girl cleaned up at the box office, made a lot of money for Darryl Zanuck and 20th Century Fox.

    The last number with Betty drilling the WACS was a thinly disguised attempt to hide her pregnancy. She hated the number and everyone else did including me.

    No deep thoughts here, just sheer entertainment.
  • MOscarbradley15 February 2018
    "Pin Up Girl" is a very typical wartime musical from Fox, not in the front rank but pleasant enough nevertheless. There's not much in the way of plot and what plot there is is ridiculous but it looks good in glorious Technicolour and it has Betty Grable, Joe E Brown as well as the great Martha Raye. None of the songs are particularly memorable and John Harvey isn't much of a leading man. Otherwise it's a passable enough way to spend an evening especially when the Condos Brothers are tapping their toes.
  • A girl from the Midwest breaks into show biz, becoming the toast of returning servicemen, but has to disguise herself in the process.

    Not one of Grable's better musicals, but still has its share of entertainment. Grable's sparkling, of course, and the Technicolor is great, along with the costuming. The trouble is the tunes are forgettable, while the curtain-closer of girls doing close-order drill goes on about 5-minutes too long. I must say, however, the girls manage a precision that would be the envy of a company of Marines.

    Now no one takes the storyline of a musical as anything more than a rack to hang the musical hat on. Here, however, the storyline is kind of dumb when Lorry (Grable) fools everyone just by putting on eye-glasses! Now, I'm prepared to believe a lot for movie's sake, but not that the Grable figure or blonde tresses can be disguised just by putting on a pair of glasses. Then too, leading man Harvey is a nice guy, but a little short in the charisma department. On the other hand, there's the incomparable pairing of Martha Raye and Joe E. Brown, in a battle of comically over-sized mouths. Anyway, except for a couple flat dialog scenes, there's enough overall energy to lift the spirits of wartime audiences, while there's always the incomparable Grable for the rest of us.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am giving this movie a higher rating than a lot of people. I happen to enjoy all the dancing, plus the roller skaters.


    The worst part, IMO, was the end with the OVERLY LONG women's march led by Betty Grable. This got to be quite monotonous. Betty must have been totally exhausted at the end, giving all those orders and marching around for so long. Were these a bunch of women with uber-patriotic interest in World War II, or real WAACs/WACs? I realize that World War II was waning. Military personnel on leave still, according to this movie, were looking for lots of escapist entertainment while on shore leave. What this movie does not cover, however, was that IRL many of the women entertainers and hangers-on would get pregnant, with perhaps a disease or baby or two as part of the surprises. I realize that this is escapist fantasy, with no real sadness to be had.

    I was wishing that our recent wars included public fervor and nationwide participation as indicated in some of these WWII musical movies. There were the bond-money-raising, the couponing and rationing, the Rosie-Riveter mentalities, we-can-do-it pulling together of an entire nation. In the recent wars of 1990s and 2000s, where were the tap dancing roller-skating patriotic performers who instilled in the audiences a feeling of winning the battles for the good of the nation? Betty Grable was very sweet in this movie. I enjoyed seeing Martha Raye, Joe E. Brown, the Condos Brothers, Hermes Pan and the Skating Vanities. Viva the red, white and blue!!!

    I have a recent Bachelor of Arts Degree in American History from The Ohio State University. Believe me, I have studied and researched lots of wars and conflicts. I also specialize in the socio-cultural history of the people back home, including the actors and dancers who performed to make movies of this type in order to inspire the American people.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie has everything going for it – great cast, competent director and a screenplay originally prepared by Hollywood's top writing team of Robert Ellis and Helen Logan. Alas, the studio brought in Earl Baldwin to revise the script, when studio head, Darryl Zanuck, decided to use the movie as a boost wartime vehicle for Betty Grable. Now I know a lot of people love Betty Grable. She has lots of pep, I'll give her that, but for me, peppy is not a quality that appeals unless it's firmly based on common sense. And although Betty was strong on brain power in real life, on the screen she was almost always cast as an idiot. "Pin Up Girl" is no exception. This time, she promises to marry almost every serviceman who accosts her, even though she has no intentions whatever of doing so. This is her way of boosting the morale of the servicemen, but, as you and I know, it's an idea laced with peril, particularly if we take her stratagem a step further and realize that it's based on a latent idea that the servicemen will be killed in action. For me, this puts a shadow over the whole movie. And there were other things I didn't like. I mean, just about all the characters are idiots. How could anyone be so stupid that they couldn't recognize Grable, even though she might be wearing glasses and slightly change her hair style. This sort of stratagem will work on the stage, but it's unsuitable for movies – unless, of course, you make the character a twin. And alas, I thought the marching girls outstayed their welcome too. They repeat their moves at least ten times. Even five would been more than sufficient, especially as their uniforms are so unattractive. Joe E. Brown is disappointingly cast in an inconsequential role (he doesn't even get a chance to use his famous yell) and hero John Harvey as he himself admitted, lacks screen charisma (though evidently he came over extremely well on the stage). So, all told, this is a very disappointing movie riddled with problems. Available on an excellent Fox DVD.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Other than colorful dance performances and nice singing, the film doesn't offer much.

    The plot is rather contrived where Bette plays a real dish and ordinary thick-glasses secretary to confuse a navy man.

    The usually zany Martha Raye is not zany at all thanks to a lackluster script. Raye sings well, but that's about it. Her comedic talents were not given a real thoroughly going over here.

    Joey E. Brown is much younger looking here, but even he gives a restrained comical performance. Gone is basically rolling with his eyes or being able to be exasperated.

    The ending of the film is rather abrupt. Flashing the end after a dance routine leaves us with questions.
  • Betty Grable and Fox capitalizing (but not crassly) on the musical star's real-life pin-up status with WWII-era soldiers by casting her as a Washington, D.C. secretary who moonlights on the weekends as an entertainer with the U.S.O. Via some innocent and girlish, wide-eyed deception, she wins the heart of a Naval war hero who is led to believe she's a Broadway headliner. Grable doesn't sport the one-piece swimsuit she wears in that legendary pin-up, nor she does exploit her famous legs. Rather, she's displayed here as a nice, decent, small town lass who has somehow allowed several dozen soldiers to propose marriage to her (she doesn't take the offers seriously, so why should the men?). In between fabrications and costume changes, Grable sings, dances, and (most improbably) gets to play drill sergeant to a large company of WAC's in precision march. This last number is quite a mad capper for the picture, which maniacally represents a bygone era of nightclubs, canteens, novelty songs, and rollerskating dancers sporting red, white, or blue ostrich-feather fans. Martha Raye sings too (and gets to have a surprisingly catty side) before she and Grable's pal Dorothea Kent are both unceremoniously forgotten about midway through the film. ** from ****
  • "Pin Up Girl" is only a fair musical comedy. I say fair because the plot is VERY predictable and I've seen such plots many times. On top of that, the show has too many musical numbers...way too many.

    The show begins with two ladies, Lorry (Betty Grable) and Kay (Dorthea Kent) in New York. When they cannot get a table at a fancy restaurant, Lorry begins lying her head off--saying that they are supposed to have dinner with a famous war hero, Tommy Dooley (John Harvey). Unfortunately, the real Dooley shows up and Lorry keeps lying more and more instead of fessing up. She tells them that they are Broadways stars and that she is the leading lady named Laura.

    The next day, Lorry and Kay head back to Washington, DC, where they work at the War Department. Now considering there were 128123081340123 servicemen in Washington during the war, the odds are against Lorry and Tommy meeting again. Well, if you think this, you obviously know nothing about movie clichés! In fact, it turns out that Lorry is a secretary and she is assigned to work with Tommy!! But, in a 'clever move', she puts on glasses and quickly convinces him she is NOT Laura (sort of like Clark Kent). Considering Grable's famous figure, it's utterly mystifying how the guy even noticed she was wearing glasses!! Lorry agrees to help the lovestruck Tommy to find this dream girl! Now if this plot sounds pretty stupid, then you'd be absolutely correct. It's utterly ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is that such a bold-faced liar would end up with the guy by the end of the film--but you know that she will--even with Molly (Martha Raye) trying to break up this romance, as she wants Tommy for herself.

    In addition to a formulaic and cliché-ridden plot, the film features several songs too many. In particular, the Broadway style song and dance numbers make the film very stilted. Naturalistic songs that are sung between the leads are not in this one--just stage-bound ones that seem to make the plot grind to a halt. The only thing I really liked about this silly film was seeing Dorthea Kent playing a 'normal' person--too often in her films her style was VERY broad, nasal and annoying. Here, she is pretty good.

    So is this film for you? Well, if you simply adore old musicals and/or Betty Grable, then perhaps. However, there are many, many musicals of the era that are much better--with better casts, songs and plots.
  • writers_reign8 September 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is arguably the worst movie Betty Grable ever made once she became a star. It is, of course, quite possible that in 1944 it would have filled a gap in a world hungry for escapist entertainment but today almost nothing earns any praise from Grable herself, who does what she can with a lacklustre script and score to the usually reliable Martha Raye, Joe E. Brown and Eugene Palette in support. B. S. Pulley, later to feature prominently in Guys and Dolls as Big Julie is also on hand albeit uncredited as is June Hutton who is featured with the Charlie Spivak orchestra. James V. Monaco and Mack Gordon have done much better work than this although they did turn in a complete score. This one is best forgotten.