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  • "Oh, You Beautiful Doll" is rather underestimated 20th-Century Fox musical that can be best appreciated if you have seen or liked the similar Gay 90s musicals the studio churned out throughout the 1940s. I saw it for the wonderful June Haver who, along with Alice Faye and Betty Grable, is one of my favorite musical stars of the 1940s and early 50s.

    It's not that great -- but not ghastly either, if you take it for what it is: Another of Fox's glossy turn-of-the-century musicals that, despite its apparent banalities, may cheer you up thanks to the lively tunes and stars' charisma. "Oh You Beautiful Doll" features Haver as Doris Fisher, the bubbling, charismatic daughter of a famous opera composer Fred Fisher (S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall). Fisher, whose actual name is Alfred Breitenbach, is a straightforward, hard working musician who unexpectedly finds success at Tin Pan Alley when a happy-go-lucky song plugger Larry Kelly (Mark Stevens) steals Fisher's songs for some of the popular tunes of the day. Doris falls for Larry despite her father's protests. I was surprised to see that Haver seems to work well with Stevens, and their collaboration here is much more satisfying than their previous, soapy "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now"(1947).

    John M. Stahl's direction is quite routine, but the Technicolor & period setting are as usual glorious and lovely to look at. The songs and numbers are generally well done. The best numbers are "Peg O' My Heart", "Oh You Beautiful Doll", "I Want You To Want Me To Want You", "When I Get You Alone Tonight".

    Worth a look.
  • Lively 1949 musical with Mark Stevens and June Haver in the leads. Did Mark do his own singing here?

    The film is a tribute to those who wrote light opera and saw their music turned into wonderful vehicles for Tin Pan Alley. Such was the case here with S.Z. Sakall as the impresario.

    Interesting to see Charlotte Greenwood in a totally non-singing and non-dancing role in this film.

    Sakall tastes a climb from poverty to wealth as Stevens adopts his music to "modern" times. With a guilty conscience for not pursuing his opera, Sakall drops out, but is quickly found.

    The tunes sung are delightful.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Through several pairings at 20th Century Fox, blonde June Haver and hunky Mark Stevens proved to one and all that they were no threat to Betty Grable and Dan Dailey. June's pretty enough, can carry a tune as well as dance, but she lacks a real spark. Stevens, better in film noir and darker films, seems to be trying far too hard to be a musical leading man, lacking even the little spark that Haver has. And the plot? Don't even bother, because what's there is a shell of what had already been done since the dawn of sound on the moving pictures screen.

    This basically covers the romance of songwriter Stevens and songstress Haver, the daughter of a struggling opera singer (S.Z. Sakall), and other than the typical ups and downs and a few historical references, there's really little here. In fact, I hesitate to call this a musical, more than a romantic drama with songs and little else. As Haver's mother, Charlotte greenwood seems to be doing a variation of "I Remember Mama" and is completely wasted. Sakall overacts and shakes those jowls to death. After a while, this is pretty painful, nary a production number in sight.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The second pairing of Mark Stevens and June Haver in a tribute to a turn of the century composer. However, it's likely you will be most impressed by native Hungarian S.Z. Sakal. Your opinion of this film will likely most depend on your attitude toward Sakal. Some are mightily irritated by him, while others(such as me) love him most of the time. Apparently, he wasn't hated by many in the '40s and early '50s when he appeared in quite a few films. His presence here is the most dominating I've seen. He plays the historic Tin Pan Alley composer Fred Fisher, a few of whose songs are featured throughout. However, the title song, played ad nauseam, was NOT composed by Fisher! Also, it's Stevens' character who actually composes the popular tunes, adapted from Sakal's classical and operatic music! Of course, this is pure fiction, but it was a way to work Sakal into the script. Toward the end, Sakal decides he doesn't want any more of his compositions turned into popular songs. He prepares to leave NYC, but is tricked into attending a symphony featuring his popular songs, and changes his mind. Although both Stevens and June had singing talent, both were dubbed here. Ex-big band singer Gale Robbins is given the title song and another song to sing. As in this film, Gail also was typically cast as "the other woman". Check out "One Little Word" and "The Belle of New York" to see what I mean. Gail was Stevens' main performer before he met June. But, during the transition period, June is very jealous, thinking Stevens still favored Gail as a romantic partner, despite his denial. Hence, there are several ups and downs in their relationship, as is often the case in such musicals. This is very similar to the plot in "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" when June was trying to displace characters Lulu, and then Fritz, as Stevens' main musical performer and romantic interest.

    Some of the songs include: "Come Josephine in My Flying Machine", "Peg O' My Heart", "Chicago", "I Want You to Want Me", and "When I Get You Alone Tonight"

    Stevens is rather bland, shy, and understanding, but Sakal more than makes up for this....June actually played the piano in one number. She was a local child star.

    Essentially, a remake of the 1940 B&W film "Tin Pan Alley", starring Alice Faye and Betty Grable, in their only film together. John Payne and Jack Oakie were the equivalents of Stevens and Sakal, respectively. Actually, I prefer the 1940 version, although it would have been nicer in Technicolor.

    Presently available on DVD and at You Tube.