It's a Great Feeling (1949)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Music


It's a Great Feeling (1949) Poster

A waitress at the Warner Bros. commissary is anxious to break into pictures. She thinks her big break may have arrived when two actors agree to help her.


6.4/10
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20 August 2007 | RJBurke1942
7
| Clever and witty self-referential spoof about Hollywood
Without a doubt, classic Hollywood made some great musicals. This film is not one of them. And, there have been much better comedies from Tinsel Town also.

The distinguishing and saving features of this bit of frippery are two fold: first, you'll go a long way before finding another film with so many uncredited cameo appearances by major studio stars of the time (only Mike Todd's Around the World in 80 days, made in 1956, comes even close); and second, this is a snappy and self-referential send-up of the perils and pleasures of working in Hollywood.

The downside is this: if you were born after 1960, you probably won't appreciate the cameos by the actors and directors mainly because they'd gone from the scene – duh – by the time you started going to movies. But, on the upside…well, if you liked Robert Altman's The Player (1992), then this movie may appeal also.

The story, of course, is hackneyed: girl, working as a waitress (Doris Day), wants to get into movies, meets struggling director (Jack Carson) whom nobody likes, but who just happens to have a big-time singing star (Dennis Morgan) ready to help...

Good grief – David Lynch turned that short plot synopsis into a horror movie called Mulholland Drive (2001), minus the cameos – but not the singing. How about that?

Anyhow, back to the dilemmas of Doris...

Okay, the story sucks but the dialog is great and Jack Carson was always the guy to deliver perfect one-liners perfectly. I lost count of the number of times the dialog poked fun at every aspect of Hollywood life. And, the sight gags with the many and varied cameos are spot on, the standout performances coming from Gary Cooper, Edward G. Robinson and – how could anybody miss her? – Joan Crawford. And, look, if like me you don't like Dennis Morgan's singing, just turn off the sound for a minute or two and grab your next beer from the cooler.

And, for the record, the cameos I recognized are: Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Micheal Curtiz, Errol Flynn, Sydney Greenstreet, Danny Kaye, Patricia Neal, Eleanor Parker, Ronald Reagan, Edward G. Robinson, King Vidor, Raoul Walsh and Jane Wyman.

Now, after you've seen this very syrupy and mild expose of Hollywood life – but it's a lot of fun – take the time to see what it's really like with Lynch's little plot of horrors, mentioned above.

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