My title is a quote from 'Cuddles' Sakal, who is showing his Irish coworker Dennis O'Grady(James Barton) his prized Hungarian sausages(wurst). For once, this inimitable old fuss body Hungarian refugee plays a Hungarian, and appears periodically throughout the film as a background character, mostly fruitlessly attempting to inject a bit of humor. Dennis is the father of 3 marriageable, or nearly so, girls, played by June Haver, Marcia Jones and 17 y.0. Debbie Reynolds. The latter is barely recognizable, as June's tag along younger sister, in her first Hollywood speaking role, giving no hint of her potential, realized a few years later in "Singing in the Rain" : still very much a work in progress even then.
Papa O'Grady, along with Sakal's character, are driver/conductors for horse-drawn trolleys in NYC. He used to be a vaudeville performer, until his wife partner, Rosie O'Grady, died. He claims she died from overwork as an entertainer and hence forbids his daughters to think about becoming a musical entertainer. Problem is Patricia(June) obviously has such an ambition and has to sneak her forays into the theater distinct. Meanwhile, eldest daughter Katie is secretly married to a returning soldier from the Spanish -American War, whom she soon tells she is pregnant. Pat happens to encounter Tony Pastor(Gordon MacRae), owner of a vaudeville theater, who invites her to become a singer/dancer, while strongly hinting a romantic interest in her. Problem is he has to improvise a story about who he is and what he does to pass the severe criteria of Papa O'Grady, in a comedic scene. After tentatively approving him, papa suggests a possible union with eldest daughter Katie, rather than Pat, unaware that she is married and pregnant! After he finds out the truth about Katie and Pat, he disowns them. But , he finds he is miserable without his daughter's company and cooking. Tony and Pat have a falling out over Pat's concern about her father vs. her commitment to Tony's show. Tony also insults her dancing partner, played by Gene Nelson, who consequently announces his intention to soon quit the show. Everyone is mad at each other at this point. But, as this is Christmas season, they gradually make amends , and even papa is invited to take part in the long winter-themed finale.
This was the second and last pairing of June and Gordon, as well as June and dancer(primarily) Gene Nelson. Gordon and Gene were contract players for Warners, whereas June was on loan from Fox. June is her usual smiling effervescent self, when given the opportunity, and Gordon's singing was quite impressive for the limited material provided. June's acting was also good, while Gordon's tended to be a bit wooden. He had a more extensive presence than in his first pairing with June, which was also his first Hollywood musical.... Gene got his new Hollywood start as June's dance partner in "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now". In the present film, he got much more dance time, he and June making a great -looking dance team, as well as performing several of their own dances. He and Gordon would be rushed into a series of musicals, mostly with Warners' up and coming musical star Doris Day. The first; "Tea for Two", also costarring Sakal, was released later that year, and is generally regarded as more entertaining than the two films in which Gordon and June costarred. For one thing, several well recognized standards were included, instead of the less memorable songs provided in this film. Also, Gene's mostly solo dances were more innovative and exciting to watch.
Except for her last Fox musical with Dan Dailey, June was typically cast with one or two other female musical talents, with or without musically -talented male stars, as was the pattern for most Fox musicals of the late '30s through early '50s. This is in contrast to her two Warners' films, where she was the sole female musical star, cast with distinct singing and dancing male stars.
The comedic highlight of this film is provided by an unheralded man & woman comedic acrobatic routine: very Charlie Chaplin-like. Otherwise, the humor mostly relates to Papa O'Grady's unraveling relationships with his daughters. James Barton(papa) was an old time vaudevillian, as he plays here. He also played a similar character in the Betty Grable film "Wabash Avenue", also released in '50. He probably gets as much (too much!) screen time as June in this film, certainly more than leading men Gordon and Gene. We could have done without his drunk period, over his daughter's disobedient romantic shenanigans. Jane Darwell("Grapes of Wrath") fruitlessly tries to provide a bit of humor as neighbor Mrs. Murphy, heckling papa.
Gordon's character's name: Tony Pastor, is the namesake of the generally recognized founder of the vaudeville show format. However, the real Tony was in his 60s at the turn of the century. We might imagine this Tony to be his son.
Should not be confused with the prior Fox musical "Sweet Rosie O'Grady", starring Betty Grable. Is currently available as an on-demand printed DVD.