21 January 2012 | AAdaSC
Songs not needed
Deanna Durban (Miss Walker) tricks her way into starring in playwright Franchot Tone's (Paul Taylor) new play opposite famous actor Charles Laughton (John Sheridan). She has no acting experience, but while Laughton encourages her, Tone is keen to see her fail and removes his name from the performance's credits.
This film is a comedy that has several amusing moments, eg, Laughton's treatment of his butler Donald Meek (Martin), and his scene with Durban when he teaches her how to fake a faint properly. Charles Laughton is the powerhouse of the film with an over-the-top performance that works. The film is only let down by Durban's terrible singing of "Danny Boy". She has 3 songs, which she delivers in that high-pitched, operatic, warbly voice - two of them are okay but "Danny Boy" - just shut up Durban! The song is already crap and your rendition of it is really painful to endure. The film loses momentum at this point.
Anyway, the singing of "Danny Boy" provides an important stage in the plot as, after Durban has tortured us with this flop of a song, Laughton becomes sympathetic to her wishes and decides to help her. God knows why. The fact that she can sing is not an indication that she can act. So he behaves out of character and his sudden confidence in her makes no sense.
The film is essentially a romance that doesn't really convince but it is entertaining viewing. Whilst the songs in this film are not needed, the film is lightweight fluff that doesn't make a lot of sense but it has some funny moments and the cast all perform well.