• bkoganbing23 August 2008
    8/10
    "Your Silvery Dreams, Will Bring Love Beams"
    On Moonlight Bay proved so popular with audiences looking for entertainment and tales of what they thought was a simpler era, that By The Light Of The Silvery Moon was almost demanded to be made. Repeating their roles from the previous Warner Brothers hit were Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Billy Gray, Leon Ames, Rosemary DeCamp and the trenchant Mary Wickes as the indispensable maid of the Wingfield Family.

    The last film was set in 1916-1917 and ended with Gordon MacRae going off to World War I after graduating college with Doris Day promising to wait for him. The armistice has happened and its 1919 and the dough-boys are returning home, in MacRae's case to Indiana.

    Of course there are a few bumps in the road including Russell Arms who's been trying to score with Doris while Gordon's away. And a French actress who's taking a lease on a theater that banker Ames's employer has had title defaulted to. Through some dumb errors worthy of an Astaire-Rogers film everyone thinks Ames is stepping out with Maria Palmer playing the actress.

    No original songs were written for this film set in 1919. The songs were all in keeping with the period when the Roaring Twenties Jazz Age hadn't taken hold yet. The earliest copyrighted song from the score is Just One Girl which Gordon does with a nice little buck and wing thrown in. It's my favorite number from the film.

    If you liked On Moonlight Bay there is no reason you won't like By The Light Of The Silvery Moon. Doris and Gordon certainly made some beautiful music together.
  • Paul Terry5 January 2007
    9/10
    A lovely film, but one oddity
    I saw this again recently on British TV. It's a great film, with plenty of nostalgia, nice period atmosphere, and the lovely Doris Day. One slight oddity, though: her boy-friend returns from World War 1 in time for Thanksgiving (23rd November?), and says the Germans surrendered the day his unit got to Paris (11th November), so he must have got on a boat back to the States & been demobilised pretty quick to be home in less than 2 weeks (unless it took a year for that to happen!). Nonetheless, I recommend this very much to anyone interested in the Golden Age of American film musicals, the decade from 1945 to 1955, and the wonderful stars who beguiled us with their gentle escapism.
  • LP Spurlock (lpspurlock)3 December 2001
    Great holiday(s) film and great songs
    I happen to be a fan of Doris Day's so I tend to watch anything of hers I can manage to snag on television or rent from the video store. When I saw this, I was not disappointed. It was cute, funny and some of the songs in the movie were great (like Be My Baby Bumblebee..haha). Gordon McRae, as always, has a wonderful voice and it was nice to see him paired up w/ Doris. Billy Gray as Welsey made me chuckle with the turkey scene..and Mary Wickes as Stella the housekeeper even threw in a few lines that made me chuckle as well. I love watching it any time of the year, but it happens to air around the holidays more..which actually appeals to me. It's nice to be able to relate to a movie especially when it is based around the same time of the year that you are experiencing at that moment. If you have a chance to see it, I would definitely recommend it.
  • JLB-44 September 1999
    I want to swoon, to my honey I croon love's tune
    I like this film. It was well done with Doris and Gordon in the lead as small time sweet hearts. I watch this every Christmas! It gets me in the mood for ice-skating! I love the songs. The plot involved a small town family and how the children think their father is having an affair with an actress. The father is the same father in Meet Me In St. Louis. JUST WATCH IT!!!
  • MartinHafer14 July 2006
    8/10
    Wonderful followup film
    This is the second of two movies about the same characters. Doris Day and Gordon MacRae play young newlyweds who are separated by WWI in this turn of the century inspired by the stories of Booth Tarkington. The story is told from her point of view and her home life with her mother, father and bratty brother are central to the film. Of the family members, the most memorable is Billy Gray ("Bud" from FATHER KNOWS BEST), as he is a terrible little brat that is a lot like Dennis the Menace and the Problem Child all rolled up into one.

    While this film is so similar to the first that you might just mix them up in your mind after you see them, the movies are so pleasant and fun that you really don't mind. A wonderful romantic slice of life movie with a wonderful blend of comedy and heart.
  • mark.waltz19 April 2014
    7/10
    The corn is as high as Doris Day's eye...
    Warning: Spoilers
    A turkey named George threatens to steal the scene here in this Thanksgiving holiday musical which is a follow up to the earlier made "On Moonlight Bay", based upon Booth Tarkington's Penrod stories, itself a remake of a few movies which Warner Brothers made in the 1930's. It is also one of those rare movie sequels which is even better than the original. The film starts off in fine form with that delightful wisecracker, Mary Wickes, narrating directly to the audience who everybody is (just in case you forgot or hadn't seen "On Moonlight Bay"), but telling the audience not to be so nosy when it comes to revealing her own identity. It's just after the end of the first World War and soldier Gordon MacRae is on his way back (with a song on the train of course...) to claim his girl Doris Day from the nerdy neighbor who safeguarded her while MacRae was away.

    Brother Billy Gray is a detective in training trying to save turkey George from the wrath of the Henry VIII like butcher while parents Leon Ames and Rosemary De Camp prepare for their 20th anniversary. A misunderstanding concerning a visiting actress has Day, Gray and Wickes in a tizzy (treating Ames like a pariah rather than a patriarch) and town gossip (started by telegraph office operator Minerva Urecal) is spreading, leading to the ice-skating scene finale where the entire cast joins together in singing the title song.

    Innocuous fun, this gives the beloved Wickes one of her best roles and endeared her to audiences even more who had loved her ever since she told Monty Woolley off in "The Man Who Came to Dinner". Day is combination tomboy (initially seen in overalls fixing a car) and lady (she certainly knows how to tone down her feistiness while singing a love song with MacRae), then bombastic in the outrageous on-stage set "King Chantacleer", a campy production number set in a hay-stacked barn with chorus boys dressed up as a variety of foul.

    Day and MacRae get to help Wickes and DeCamp prepare for Thanksgiving dinner while singing "Ain't We Got Fun?", giving Wickes an amusing moment where she tangos with MacRae, and MacRae serenades passerbys while singing "Just One Girl", his declaration of love for Ms. Do-Da Day. Another musical highlight is the sappy sweet "Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee", a ditty which may gag some listeners with its hokey lyrics, but is funny and amusing for people who appreciate all styles of music.

    Winter never looked so pretty with its Norman Rockwell like photography, and nostalgic viewers may long for a simpler time with sleigh rides, old fashioned Thanksgivings and Ice Skating on ponds with all your neighbors (no matter what their age) on skates. Day and MacRae, in their last screen appearance together, are as classic a screen couple as Fred and Ginger, Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson and Betty Grable and Dan Dailey, and really should get more credit and appreciation in the historic annals of the movie musical.
  • Neil Doyle1 January 2007
    6/10
    Has the charm of an old-fashioned holiday card...
    BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON is a continuation of "On Moonlight Bay", the previous flick featuring DORIS DAY and GORDON MacRAE as sweethearts during the early 1900s who get to croon some pretty wonderful songs of that period. It's strictly family stuff, nostalgic and as prettily pictured as a postcard of an Americana that never really existed except in Hollywood's imagination and Norman Rockwell paintings.

    The delightful supporting cast has LEON AMES (who was also Judy Garland's father in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS), MARY WICKE (as the sharp-tongued housekeeper), ROSEMARY DeCAMP as the patient wife and RUSSELL ARMS as Doris' nerdy other love.

    The wholesome story (from a Booth Tarkington tale) has Doris' bratty brother letting his childish imagination running away from him when he suspects his father is having an affair with a French actress.

    The skating ring sequence closes the story on a happy note--and after a nice bunch of songs by Day and MacRae (including "Be My Little Baby Bumble-Bee", "If You Were the Only Girl in the World" and "By the Light of the Silvery Moon"), you'll feel yourself back in those innocent times wishing life could imitate the movies.
  • christopher lyons14 September 2006
    ..and what about this young lady's feelings..?
    I have seen this film along with On Moonlight Bay many times on TV, not when they originally came out in the cinema, I wasn't a big fan of musicals then and I can't say I'm a big fan of Doris Day, but these two films are so uplifting and fun they are excellent to watch. It's something to do with the balance of light drama/comedy to songs, the songs don't intrude and seem to help the plot along. If I had to choose, it would probably be this film out of the two because of the great feel good factor with everyone enjoying themselves at the end out at the pond. My favourite scene is right at the end when Leon Ames seems to be the only one who hasn't got a clue what's going on, and says to his wife ..."and what did you think.... and she's just as puzzled as he his and the music comes up.........
  • zapkvrsc9 June 2003
    I've just seen it again
    For about the millionth time and it's right up there with The Sound of Music. I love Doris and I love Gordon. There is such a chemistry between them that shines through on the screen it is remarkable. I really can't decide which is the better of the two, By the light of the silvery moon or On moonlight bay. Sheer brilliance.
  • healing-225 September 2007
    10/10
    If you were the only boy in the world..
    If I have to make a choice between all the movies Doris Day has made, I cannot make that choice. She is my favorite and that is because of my mother. We used to sing several songs in the kitchen doing the dishes, or making food. Lots of my friends who are the same age as me, don't have that feeling with the movies of Doris Day. But when I see those movies, it is making me relaxed, happy or sad sometimes. Most of all I like the way she is singing the songs with such a emotion, you cannot find in every singer. I wish I could sing that way or dance like in Calamity Jane. Unfortunately they don't make that kind of movies anymore, but we have the most of those movies on DVD bought her in The Netherlands. Great singers, great actors, love it
  • SimonJack5 May 2014
    9/10
    Hilarious happenings in sequel comedy-musical
    Warning: Spoilers
    "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" is the natural follow-up to the 1951 film, "On Moonlight Bay." Warner Brothers must have known early that it had a hit on their hands with the first film, to have it end the way it did – begging for a sequel. And, thankfully, the whole troop from the first film could be cast again to pick up where life with the Winfield's left off.

    This second film has some more interesting situations that lend to the humor. The first involves thanksgiving dinner and private-eye Wesley's pet turkey, Gregory. The second involves a French actress, Renee LaRue (played by Maria Palmer), who's coming to town to put on a stage show. Another is a hilarious scene at the ice skating pond toward the end. Listen carefully for the announcer at the pond – that's the voice of Merv Griffin. Then there's the wedding of Marjorie (Doris Day) and Bill (Gordon MacRae) that one or the other of them puts off and then on again. That happens a few times in the movie.

    As in the first film, the cast is superb – each actor does a wonderful job. I think Leon Ames did a banner job in the personality changes of his role. And, I agree with other reviews that have noted Billy Gray's portrayal as Wesley. I like the way the script created situations of interest for him, and how he portrayed them. It brings back memories of how I too liked to play detective and private eye as a boy, and found other things of interest. Movies don't show those kinds of things anymore, but I see my grandkids with similar interests and pursuits. I suppose the hands-on, self-exploration interests of kids growing up – especially boys, is giving way today to the electronic information age and games of fantasy.

    Again, Doris Day and Gordon MacRae have some wonderful songs. They made four musicals together, and they were as perfectly matched as any couple of singers over the years. One other very good pairing for singing with Doris was Howard Keel in "Calamity Jane," the same year that this film was made.

    MacRae went on to star in more musicals, including two lavish Rodgers and Hammerstein films, "Oklahoma" in 1955 and "Carousel" in 1956. As musicals declined after the 1950s, MacRae did occasional movies and TV appearances. I saw and heard him sing the national anthem before a Midwest college football game in the early 1980s. Gordon MacRae died at age 64 of cancer of the mouth and jaw.

    This is another wonderful movie for the whole family. Life, culture, manners, pursuits and interests were quite different in those days. Most people didn't have housekeeper cooks though. But everyone could dream. And we today can enjoy the humor, romance and fun of those times long ago, that we get a taste of in "Silvery Moon."

    For a comic parting, here's an exchange in one scene about the turkey. George Winfield: "For the last time, that turkey does not belong in this house." Wesley: "Well, if he's good enough to be 'on' the table, he's good enough to walk around it."
  • edwagreen31 July 2010
    9/10
    Silvery Beams for the Silver Screen ***1/2
    Warning: Spoilers
    An excellent taste of Americana with our changing society again the subject based on Booth Tarkington's writings. We must remember that Tarkington went way dramatic in 1942' memorable "The Magnificent Ambersons."

    Though this is a musical, change in society is the theme touched on as well as women getting involved in politics.

    The tunes are absolutely delightful and Doris Day and Gordon MacRae made an excellent team.

    Leon Ames is memorable as the father and veteran actress Rosemary De Camp is her usual complacent self here.

    Special kudos to Billy Gray, the younger brother, who was really 15 years of age when the film debuted in 1953. Gray looked much younger than that.

    The film is helped by the confusion and misunderstanding that prevails. We can thank our usual town gossipers for that.
  • moonspinner5531 December 2006
    5/10
    Follow-up to "On Moonlight Bay" provides the same recipe as before...
    Bemused old-fashioned corn from Warners, pleasantly set in small town America over the Thanksgiving holiday. A sequel to 1951's "On Moonlight Bay", the film continues the love story of Doris Day (in her tomboy period) and soldier Gordon McRae, as well as Doris' trouble-making little brother Billy Gray, and father Leon Ames (who finds himself involved in a scandal). Extremely pleasant, but a little lax. Director David Butler and his likable cast don't push the saccharine, they stay somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and Mary Wickes is a blessing as the sarcastic maid. However all these elements and characters were better (and fresher) the first time around. ** from ****
  • George Redding2 August 2016
    9/10
    bring such movies back
    Warning: Spoilers
    The cast and the beautiful scenery make this movie so endearing. It is one of those I could see over and over. Doris Day is a cute tomboy is this movie, and is her pretty self. Gordon McCrae is the pleasant man with his strong singing voice. These two seem to shine out more than the others. Mary Wickes is her comical self as the comically unpleasant housekeeper. Billy Gray, who would later play in the popular TV series "Father Knows Best" was, here at an early teen-age stage the "young detective" in the family. Leon Ames, as he was in so many other movies, was a stereotype father, here by the name of George Winfield. The sweet and lovely Rosemary DeCamp was excellent in her role as the mother named Alice Winfield; Billy Gray and Doris Day play the children of the family. Gordon McCrae plays the part of the soldier returning from WWI who wants to marry the Winfield girl, though not until he's more financially settled. In this movie, the setting of which is a small town in northern Indiana in 1918, a play is going to be held by a French actress and her repertoire company, sponsored by the bank where George Winfield is an officer. In the play there is a line which, though not vulgar, is objectionable; the line in the script is taken from the script and George places it in his pocket. Then, he asks his boy to take his clothes to the cleaners, and while the boy is emptying the pockets finds the script. And it is done on the day of the Winfields' twentieth anniversary, of all times.(!) It is enough to say that this "starts the ball rolling." The final scene is at the local ice skating pond on a cold winter night by the light of the silvery moon. The movie is wholesome, has a very talented cast, and the Technicolor is beautiful. In many ways it is, I feel, one of Warner Brothers very best.
  • wes-connors30 July 2010
    7/10
    The Most Warm-Hearted Tunes Under the Moon
    Following World War I, and "On Moonlight Bay" (1951), shapely tomboy Doris Day (as Marjorie Winfield) plans to marry returning soldier sweetheart Gordon MacRae (as William "Bill" Sherman), but he gets cold feet. The pair have misadventures and misunderstandings until Ms. Day finds Mr. MacRae back on his feet again. Day's family from the earlier film returns, imaginative little brother Billy Gray (as Wesley), father Leon Ames (as George), mother Rosemary DeCamp (as Alice), and housekeeper Mary Wickes (as Stella) return. Day and MacRae sing a bunch of standards (very well). Piano teacher Russell Arms (as Chester Finley) and French actress Maria Palmer (as Renee La Rue) provide innocent romantic fluff. "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" is an immaculate production; it's sweet and old-fashioned, with music to match.

    ******* By the Light of the Silvery Moon (3/26/53) David Butler ~ Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Billy Gray, Leon Ames
  • writers_reign17 January 2007
    7/10
    Back Home In Indiana
    Warning: Spoilers
    Nobody ever accused Hollywood of being slow to cash in on success and just as Jolson Sings Again followed The Jolson Story as night follows day so On Moonlight Bay was succeeded by By The Light Of The Silvery Moon a couple of years later. It's more or less the mixture as before except that this time they get much more mileage out of Billy Gray misinterpreting an innocent note. On one hand these two movies are a great antidote to the in-yer-face and let-it-all-hang-out fodder of today's Hollywood whilst on the other there's a double helping of saccharine on offer but then again at least it isn't sugar. if you're feeling nostalgic this one pushes the right buttons.
  • jacobs-greenwood15 December 2016
    6/10
    Sequel to On Moonlight Bay (1951), with Doris Day and Gordon MacRae
    Warning: Spoilers
    Based on Booth Tarkington's 'Penrod' stories, this sequel to On Moonlight Bay (1951) reunites much of its cast to portray a delightfully dated version of post World War I small town America; a family musical comedy directed by David Butler with a screenplay from Irving Elinson and Robert O'Brien that stars Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Billy Gray, Leon Ames, Rosemary DeCamp, and Mary Wickes (among others). Songs featured include "Ain't We Got Fun", "King Chanticleer", and the title song, which is also reprised for the finale.

    Day plays tomboy auto mechanic Marjorie Winfield, who waits for her doughboy sweetheart Bill Sherman (MacRae) to return from the war. Though not formally engaged, everyone in rural Milburn has expected them to get married shortly after being reunited. Gray plays Marjorie's barely teenaged brother Wesley, who fancies himself a detective as much as he likes playing with his dog Max and his pet turkey that's intended for Thanksgiving dinner. Ames and DeCamp play their picture perfect parents, and Wickes is the longtime maid Stella that's practically part of the family. While Bill was away, Wesley's bespeckled nerd piano teacher Chester Finley (Russell Arms) escorted (supposedly nineteen year old) Marjorie to all the social functions. Though she thinks of him as no more than a friend, Chester would love for Marjorie to be his fiancée. When Bill returns from Paris with a more mature outlook on life - he now thinks that having a nest-egg and a firm financial footing is necessary before rushing into a wedding - Marjorie is temporarily upset to the point that Chester hopes to find an opportunity. But the lovebirds' separation is short-lived, Bill gets a job working at Mr. Harris's bank where Marjorie's father is vice president, and the two begin planning a surprise for the Winfields' twentieth anniversary.

    To move the story along, there's a misunderstanding about a letter written by Mr. Winfield which involves an attractive French actress Renee LaRue (Maria Palmer) - whose troupe is coming to town to perform a play that might be a bit too risqué for Milburn without some censorship - such that everyone thinks Ames's character is guilty of having an affair with the woman. Of course, everything is resolved in time for a happy ending.
  • JohnHowardReid1 October 2016
    7/10
    Enjoyable Doris Day entry!
    Warning: Spoilers
    Penrod (renamed Wesley Winfield in this update) has less to do in this one, although he still provides a catalyst for the film's main pieces of action (the turkey dinner and the actress chestnut which was much funnier when Wallace Beery was taking rumba lessons from Carmen Miranda), and even has a dream sequence more elaborate than that in On Moonlight Bay. Penrod's decreased footage has been taken up by Doris Day. I'm not complaining.I like Doris Day. She even has a production number – the agreeably staged and sprightly sung, "King Chanticleer". Butler's direction is a mite smoother than Del Ruth's and the color photography is nice and bright here. But the screenplay lacks flair and is plainly a bit of a bore. Dead dreary old Leon Ames and Rosemary DeCamp help make the scenario even more sluggish. Gordon MacRae manages to put over a song rather well, but he's otherwise a bit of a bore. However, many of the support players are on top of their material and I especially liked Leon Ames' delightful rendering of "Bumble Bee".
  • cstotlar-15 August 2013
    8/10
    Wonderful Nostalgia
    I saw this when it first came out and left the movie theater singing one of the songs! In fact it was nostalgic even back when it was made and that was intended. It's the story of yet another generation even farther back. The music is wonderful, of course, and Booth Tarkington's characters got the royal treatment from Doris Day and Gordon McRae. This was a sequel to "On Moonlight Bay", for me a heavy-handed job by Roy Del Ruth that sinks rather than floats. The casting in the film is perfect! This is the sort of musical where the music just "happens". There are no drum rolls or tell-tale cadences to inform the audience they're into something "important". How refreshing to see one of them again.

    Curtis Stotlar
  • weezeralfalfa25 March 2018
    10/10
    The further adventures of the Winfields will surely please
    The, at least, equally entertaining sequel to the story of the Winfield family, in "On Moonlight Bay". Most of the major characters are played by the same people who previously played them. However, Russell Arms replaces Jack Smith, as the character Hubert, now called Chester. Leon Ames reprises his role as family father, begun in the rather similar MGM hit: "Meet Me in St. Louis". The story takes place in Milburn , Indiana, as WWI is ending. Rosemary Decamp is the mother, while Doris Day and Gordon McRae are the sometimes lovey dove song birds, who become reunited upon Gordon's release from the army, with the end of the war. Their marriage plans, however, are still controversial, as the story develops. The songs are generally more memorable and more frequent than those in the prior "On Moonlight Bay". Also, Doris stars in a memorable musical skit. Billy Gray is the 12y.o. scene-stealing brat brother of (supposedly) 18y.o. Doris. Mary Wickes again is the family maid and cook, and introduces the family members at the beginning. Poor Chester is the nerdy, if pleasant, longtime wannabe boyfriend for Doris. Probably from a rich family, he is father Ames' choice. Despite being a good piano player, and decent singer, and song writer, Doris generally finds him boring and often too stuffy. But, with the on again, off again, nature of the Doris + Gordon romance, he never gives up hope......At the film's beginning, Doris, with grease-smeared face, is under the family car fixing something: an indication of the tomboy side of her personality. In "Calamity Jane", released the same year, she was an even more extreme example of a tomboy, finally learning to be feminine at times, in order to please her boyfriend, as in the present film. Later, Doris has to fix Gordon's car, stalled in the boonies, as he has no idea what is wrong. .....The family Thanksgiving turkey, thanks to Billy Gray's meddling, creates an embarrassing situation at Thanksgiving dinner......Miss Renee LaRue, wants to rent a theater owned by the bank that father Ames works for. A written communication between them is hijacked by delivery boy Billy Gray. He creates a complex of imaginary scandals that dominates the last half of the film, and is only resolved in the ending. An addition, he has become obsessed with Sherlock Holmes-style detective work. At one point, Miss LaRue is fingered as his imaginary Dangerous Dora, with hilarious results......A family outing in a horse-pulled sleigh, to celebrate the 20th wedding anniversary of the parents, turns up a few surprises, as they end up at a favored skating pond, with the film's ending in sight. .......Songs with lyrics sung include: "I'll Forget You", "Just One Girl", King Chanticleer", "If You Were the only Girl in the World", "On Moonlight Bay", "Ain't We Got Fun", and "Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee", the latter supposedly composed by Chester, who plays and sings it.......I don't want to reveal any more details. Just see it if you can., Presently, it comes with "On Moonlight Bay, in a 2 DVD packet. Gordon and Doris went on to star in several more pictures together, including "Tea for Two".
  • kz917-131 August 2017
    6/10
    Wacky Gossips Galore!
    Doris Day and Gordon MacRae star in this film about a soldier coming back from war and the impending nuptials soon to follow. The nuptials get put on hold and from there the calamities begin. Everyone buts their noses into everyone else's business, wrongly assumes things and then spreads the falsehoods to more town folk. At some point this became an increasing annoying plot point. The music does save it, but the viewer will most likely get frustrated at some point.
  • dougdoepke12 August 2017
    Highly Entertaining
    If Day and McRae don't make the perfect G-rated all-American couple, I don't know who does. It's a generally delightful 100-minutes, though I could have used more of their glowing close ups—they do light up the screen. Musical highlights include the classic title tune and "Ain't We Got Fun"; plus, the just for fun "King Chanticleer" with its clever staging and the delightful "Be My Little Honey Bee". Of course there has to be a story line to hang the musical hats on. Here it's a love note that's mistakenly attributed to Day's father that undermines family solidarity. It's a little heavier than I like, but guess what happens by the end.

    Anyway, pesky little Billy Gray gets a lot of screen time along with his pet turkey. However, TV's "Father Knows Best" will soon civilize him and maybe his squawky turkey too. But pity poor Russell Arms as the inept extra man. But not to worry, he'll get a good singing role on TV's popular "Your Hit Parade". Then furnishing some bite amidst the happy people is wisecracking Mary Wickes as the cook. She also gets to break the proverbial "fourth wall" by speaking directly to viewers in a movie prologue.

    Anyway, even playing a tomboy Day has never been sunnier, whether fixing stubborn car engines or waltzing across a ballroom. Nor has small town America and its communal events appeared more ideal. In short, it's Technicolor 1950's America in fine musical form.
  • TheLittleSongbird17 July 2017
    9/10
    A musical delight
    It is not often that a follow-up is every bit as good and actually on the same level as its predecessor, but 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon', a follow-up to the immensely charming and warm-hearted 'On Moonlight Bay', manages it.

    Both are among Doris Day's best musical films and in the top end of her filmography. Anybody who is a fan of Day and Gordon McRae (have always loved Day and consider McRae immensely talented) will get huge pleasure from both and will find it difficult to decide which is better. Like 'On Moonlight Bay', the story in 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon' is very slight. Again, like 'On Moonlight Bay' it doesn't feel that big a problem with everything else executed so well.

    Visually, 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon' captivates. The Technicolor styling is superb and rich in colour, the production design is lavish and leaves a warm and cosy feeling from head to toe.

    The songs are terrific and the treatment of these standards truly enchant. Standouts are the title song, "Be My Little Baby Bumble-Bee" and "If You Were the Only Girl in the World".

    'By the Light of the Silvery Moon's' writing is witty and warm-hearted and few will mind the slightness of the story with it warming the heart so much, being so consistently entertaining and making one feel so cosy and relaxed with its innocence. The ice skating sequence epitomises all this.

    Day sings beautifully and has such an endearing and fresh approach to her acting, while McRae is a dashing presence with his warm baritone voice being one of the best and most beautiful on film. Their chemistry once again is irresistible and a huge part of the film's appeal.

    Leon Ames has the memorability factor, Rosemary DeCamp is a sympathetic presence, Billy Gray makes a potentially annoying character appealing and Russell Arms charms as a nerd. Mary Wickes' sharp-tongued but well meaning housekeeper is particularly fun.

    Overall, a musical delight. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • HotToastyRag3 February 2018
    4/10
    Not any better than the first movie
    If you were that one person in the world who enjoyed watching On Moonlight Bay, you'll be glad to hear they made a sequel! By the Light of the Silvery Moon continues the romance between Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, as well as Doris's family dynamics, led by Leon Ames and Rosemary DeCamp.

    Just as in the first movie, the title song is the main one plugged throughout the film, with a few very silly songs sprinkled in-between. It has just as watery a romance as the first movie had, and you'll find yourself groaning several times throughout Doris and Gordon's corny, campy scenes. It just goes to show you that two stars with beautiful smiles and beautiful voices can be shepherded into several lousy movies together. It's too bad, really, that none of their five onscreen pairings were very good. You're better off watching Oklahoma! and Romance on the High Seas instead for a fun, but separate, Doris and Gordon marathon.