9 October 2004 | creightonhale
Contains a good Dan Dailey performance
I saw this movie several times on television back in the 1970s, so my comments come from a rather distant memory. This film was typical of 20th Century Fox's output of Betty Grable films during the mid to late 1940s. A remake of Paramount's and Hal Skelly's DANCE OF LIFE (1929) and a further remake by Paramount in 1937 called SWING HIGH, SWING LOW starring Carole Lombard, the story is all about an alcoholic burlesque performer, played by Dan Dailey, who brings down not only himself but also his wife, played by Grable. Jack Oakie, June Haver, James Gleason, and Richard Arlen (!) are also in it. The most vivid memory I have of the film is Dan Dailey's Oscar nominated performance. I remember being impressed by him and finding him both believable and sympathetic. His performance lifts the film above the average Betty Grable nostalgia vehicle. The two stars were always good together, even though the material was usually recycled and mundane, sometimes wallowing in nostalgia and overproduction. Most feel Dailey's nomination for the Oscar a travesty: he took the place that many feel belonged to Humphrey Bogart in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Bogart certainly deserved recognition for his work in that film, but Dailey's work here also warrants mention.
Directed by Walter Lang (of course), it's based on the play BURLESQUE.