19 January 2017 | Michael_Elliott
Reynolds and Fosse Steal the Film
Give a Girl a Break (1953)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
A Broadway show is about to open but the main star walks out over a disagreement. The producers go into a panic but decide to hold an open audition. Ted Sturgis (Gower Champion) wants his ex-wife (Marge Champion) to get the part. Leo Belney (Kurt Kasznar) wants his discovery Joanna Moss (Helen Ross) to get the role while Bob Dowdy (Bob Fosse) wants his amateur (Debbie Reynolds) to get the part.
GIVE A GIRL A BREAK isn't going to be mistaken for a masterpiece but if you're a fan of the Musical genre then it's certainly worth watching and especially since you've got some famous faces before they were well-known. This here was meant to be a showcase for the Champion team but the film ended up bombing and the two of them were pretty much done with the movies. Of course, when viewing this today the main focus will be on the Reynolds-Fosse connection.
In my opinion those two legends are the main reason to watch this as they actually make for a pretty cute couple and both of them turn in fine performances. This is especially true for Fosse who really delivers a believable performance and I thought he was extremely entertaining int he role of the producer who is often pushed around. Reynolds is as beautiful and charming as ever and there's no question that very few couple pull off that small town girl better. The rest of the cast members were okay in their parts but there's no question that they take a back seat.
The biggest problem with this film is that there's really not that much of a story. We basically have the competition thrown in so that we can get various dream sequences, which usually lead to a variety of dance numbers. In all honesty, I thought the dance numbers were decent but there's certainly nothing great here. I'd also argue that there weren't any great musical numbers either. It seems MGM was wanting to show off what talent they had on hand without giving away any great moments or musical numbers.