23 April 2011 | boblipton
Great Leroy Prinz Choreography
This color remake of the landmark 'Gold Diggers' series of musicals of the 1930s is a pretty limp effort, despite individual bits that are excellent. 'Cuddles' Sakall is present for his usual Bavarian doubletalk, partnered, for some reason, with Wallace Ford playing a knife-throwing dessert rat. Dennis Morgan, tailing off in his Warners' career, plays the other guy. Basically this is a typical Warners musical of the era: a lightweight, retread plot and songs lifted from the catalogue. All it misses is Doris Day and she turned down the script.
The real point of this movie is the dance numbers, featuring lead Gene Nelson with choreography by Warners' stalwart dance director Leroy Prinz. Nelson never really became a star, but he was as fine a dancer as any, averaging much more athletic and balletic than headliners Astaire and Kelly; his signature step was a leap onto a table from the floor. Prinz directs him perfectly with monochromatically colored lights that allow him to act and move without words. 'Birth of the Blues' is the real highlight of the film.
Alas, aside from those moments, it's pretty much of a rote production. See it once for the dance numbers and be done.