2 September 2014 | kevinolzak
Elyse Knox and Lon Chaney
1949's "There's a Girl in My Heart" may have been a Poverty Row musicomedy, but served as a reunion of sorts for several players popular during Universal's wartime heyday, several of which were winding down their screen careers: Lee Bowman ("Buck Privates"), Gloria Jean ("Never Give a Sucker an Even Break"), Peggy Ryan ("Here Come the Co-Eds"), and in particular, the stars of "The Mummy's Tomb," Elyse Knox and Lon Chaney. Allied Artists (formerly Monogram) was the studio that produced this extremely rare title, utilizing one impressive street set representing the Bowery of 1899, with Lon Chaney channeling Lennie Small yet again, in the fairly sizable role of Johnny Colton, who leases a popular music hall run by shady Terrence Dowd (Lee Bowman), seeking to bilk his partner and the entire neighborhood to build a sports arena. Claire Adamson (Elyse Knox) is the property owner, joining the show rather than selling out, more than a match for Dowd's charisma-free womanizing (Chaney's gruff but lovable Colton lets his fists teach him a lesson). Director/producer Arthur Dreifuss, a former choreographer himself, does a fine job on a minuscule budget, Gloria Jean sings, Peggy Ryan tap dances, Iris Adrian ("Horror Island") puts in a brief appearance as well. Most delightful of all is Elyse Knox, already the mother of two (still two years away from giving birth to son Mark Harmon), really strutting her stuff on stage in what turned out to be her final film. It's just a shame that such a harmless little musical should be so overlooked for so many years, but it is at least available.