I understand that Paramount wanted to film this with the Rodgers and Hart score, but couldn't work out the copyright problems, so Burke and Van Heusen who wrote the between them the most songs for Bing Crosby contributed a very nice score.
I read Leonard Maltin saying that this movie, "fit Crosby like a glove" and I couldn't have put it better. No, it's not Mark Twain's satire, it's a Bing Crosby film and in 1949 Crosby was the most bankable star in Hollywood. For once Paramount used technicolor and Rhonda Fleming was never lovelier on the screen. This was a woman that technicolor was invented for.
William Bendix's Brooklyn origins kinda stand out, but it's to a good comic effect. The trio of Crosby, Bendix, and Sir Cedric Hardwicke have a rollicking good time with Busy Doing Nothing. Bing has one of his patented upbeat philosophical numbers with If You Stub Your Toe On The Moon.
The third song he sings Once and For Always by himself and with Rhonda Fleming. That song was nominated for best song, but lost to Baby It's Cold Outside.
Nice also that Bing managed to record the score for Decca with Rhonda Fleming and Bendix and Hardwicke.
One thing I like about this film is that it shows Crosby's comic talents without Bob Hope. I like the Road pictures, but Bing was a comic talent onto himself and this film better demonstrates than any other.
This is Crosby at the top of his game.
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