26 September 2019 | boblipton
Strauss In Swing Time
Jane Powell thinks her sister, Constance Moore, is starring on Broadway,. Producer Ralph Bellamy confirms this to her classmates at her posh school. When she goes to New York to visit, she discovers the truth: Miss Moore is starring in burlesque. Meanwhile, Bellamy is unable to cast his new show, a swing version of Strauss as arranged by Morton Gould.
Except for the burlesque connection -- alas, the camera cuts away before we get to see the good stuff -- this looks a lot like a Deanna Durbin musical from the late 1930s, with Miss Powell standing in for Miss Durbin. Miss Powell gets to sing a number of songs in a variety of styles, and Miss Moore cuts loose a couple of time, especially with the big finale, which is a lot of fun; the staging suggests R. Strauss DIE FLEDERMAUS more than Johann Strauss, but that's fine. Miss Powell shortly went to MGM, where she played this sort of role for several years; Miss Moore appeared in several movies for a couple more years, often in a specialty number; and Bellamy made one more movie that year, then was not seen on the big screen for a decade.
It's the type of story that was often done better for Miss Durbin, and clearly didn't serve anyone's career. Director Arthur Lubin stages the musical numbers pretty stodgily; even if they are set in a theater stage or where Morton Gould's orchestra is playing, there's little sense of the visual fantasy that most movie musicals provided.