A smooth-talking old "colonel" finagles his way into luxurious living and tries to smooth the path for his lovely and talented niece as well.A smooth-talking old "colonel" finagles his way into luxurious living and tries to smooth the path for his lovely and talented niece as well.A smooth-talking old "colonel" finagles his way into luxurious living and tries to smooth the path for his lovely and talented niece as well.
A lightweight, snappy little entertainment, quite enjoyable. This is just over an hour and was the second movie in a double feature at the time, and is the equivalent to a decent television show these days. Fun, well-enough done to watch, and not too ambitious. A Republic pictures comedy with a lot of good laughs.
The story is simple--a cigar counter girl with a terrific singing voice wants to be noticed by the bandleader in a big hotel. Her shyster uncle comes into town and connives her success. And then the cards fall down, at least briefly. No great tragedies here, except maybe for the poor torch singer who lost her job thanks to the new talent.
The leading woman is Ruth Terry, and she actually can sing. She gives a nice bluesy performance of "Love Me or Leave Me." It's about 41 minutes in if you want to at least check that out. (Seriously--I don't mean she's Billie Holiday, but it's a highlight of the music in the movie.)
The leading man here is probably Bob Livingston who did a lot of B-movie westerns, and he's handsome and at ease as band director, if not really convincing. More impressive (and central to the plot) is the better-known character actor Alan Mowbray, who plays the devious uncle to comedic perfection. Around him in many of his funny scenes are some lesser lights along the same lines--a sidekick as straight man, a woman who owns the hotel and knits a lot, and the hotel manager, who overplays his part but will make you laugh.
And then it's over and all is well and you'll feel just fine about it. It's 1945, after all, and the war is ending with lots of angst about the state of the world, and this is the ongoing filler that kept things going, a kind of flip side to the dark film noir surge that was just getting going.
- Jul 11, 2013