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  • The most interesting thing I found out about Spring Reunion is that Kirk Douglas produced it. He also had the good sense not to star in it. Not that it's a bad film, but Kirk's career was on the way up and the stars of Spring Reunion were on the way down.

    Both Betty Hutton and Dana Andrews's careers crested during the Forties as leads in A films. In fact this would be Betty Hutton's last big screen film. Dana Andrews had slipped into the ranks of B films where he would be the rest of his career except for an occasional supporting part in a big budget film.

    Betty and Dana are a pair of thirty somethings in their hometown of Carson for their Spring Reunion of the class of 1941. He was the hotshot All American voted the boy most likely to succeed and she was the most popular girl of course.

    Life hasn't quite worked out as they thought it would, but as it is in these films they do find time to add to an unfinished romance. They also remember why things didn't end in marriage back in the day.

    It was nice seeing a whole bunch of other talented players as various types at the reunion. People like Jean Hagen, Gordon Jones, Richard Deacon, and Herbert Anderson are always a treat.

    Spring Reunion today would be a nice film for the Lifetime channel. Maybe someone there will do a remake of it sometime.
  • Nice little film about the ironies of life stars Betty Hutton and Dana Andrews as two former high school icons who were voted most popular and most likely to succeed. They meet 15 years later at a reunion, both unmarried and both leading aimless lives.

    Hutton still lives in her hometown, partnered with her father in a real estate development firm. Even worse, she still lives at home. She graduated in 1941 and her boyfriend was killed during WW II (so was her brother) and she's never gotten her life back on track. She pours her emotions into her work.

    Andrews (who broke his leg in the "big game") wanders from job to job but never seems happy or satisfied with anything. It's as if his life never recovered from the football field accident even if his leg did.

    Also at the reunion are the usual types, the blowhard sports jock (Gordon Jones) who still relives his glory days, the little mother (Jean Hagen) who feels trapped by a husband and four kids, and unsuccessful guy (Herbert Anderson) hoping to sell a few used cars.

    Oddest dynamic is Hutton's household, where her common-sense mother (Laura La Plante) feels estranged from her husband (Robert F. Simon) who seems fixated on his daughter as a replacement for the dead son. There's almost a sexual tension among the three adults, but since this is a 1957 movie, that is not explored.

    Things come to a head when Hutton and Andrews make the snap decision to get married and daddy goes into overdrive to stop the wedding. The harder he works to sabotage the wedding, the more alarmed mother becomes. Can Hutton and Andrews withstand the interference?

    1940s superstar Betty Hutton is just fine in her final film. She has a slightly shell-shocked look that fits the character. She also gets to sing a mellow rendition of "That Old Feeling." Dana Andrews is also quite good in his usual understated way. Robert F. Simon is appropriately creepy as the father, and silent film star Laura La Plante is very good (and looks great) as the mother.

    Jean Hagen and Gordon Jones are fine in the minor and slightly comic subplot. There's also Irene Ryan as the high school's Miss Stapleton, and Herbert Anderson, Dorothy Newmann, Richard Deacon, and Ken Curtis among the reunion crowd.

    James Gleason (billed as Jimmy) as a nice bit as a lighthouse keeper, George Chandler plays the soda jerk, Sara Berner plays the awful impressionist.

    This was the final film appearance for Hutton, whose big hits included ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, INCENDIARY BLONDE, THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK, and THE PERILS OF PAULINE. This was also the final film for La Plante, whose big hits included SHOW BOAT, THE CAT AND THE CANARY, THE LOVE TRAP, KING OF JAZZ, and SMOULDERING FIRES.
  • I watched this movie mainly because I really like Dana Andrews in films. Unlike many big name stars, he seemed like a real person and didn't play too many pretty boy roles. However, despite my liking his films so much, I was shocked at the casting decisions. The film is about a 15 year reunion for a high school. While Betty Hutton and Jean Hagen aren't that much older than the characters they were playing, Andrews was 48--making him a 33 year-old at high school graduation!! And to make matters worse, Robert Simon played Hutton's father and he was only a year older than Andrews! I know you need to often suspend disbelief when you watch a film, but this was ridiculous! Additionally, Gordon Jones and Herbert Anderson were awfully long in the tooth to be playing such parts.

    Now if you ignore the silly casting, the film itself is a nice little film, though certainly not one you should rush to see. While the film is set during this reunion, the underlying theme is life choices. Anderson has chosen to live life with few connections and he's lonely, while Hutton has stayed attached to her parents and longs to break free. Interesting and thought-provoking--but that's about it.
  • So much was riding on this film to re-invigorate Betty Hutton's film career that the "star" quality of Hutton in this "B" movie overwhelmed the production, making the actors supporting her really have to work to make their scenes memorable in any way. Most did well with the exception of Dana Andrews whose own career was all but on the way out. He is too withdrawn to have any chemistry whatsoever with Hutton who was really trying hard to reign in her own habit of dominating every scene. It's a nice script, an oft told tale of high school reunions but with a twist in that it often centered on the relationship between Hutton and her domineering father who seemed to want his little girl to ever remain a spinster. Anyone looking like Hutton made this spinster character a bit unbelievable.

    Others have mentioned Hutton's "cross eyed" moment when she sings "That Old Feeling," but the truth is, she broke character and started chewing up the scenery when the tune which started slowly began to swing. Having seen Hutton in concert in Vegas I can say with certainty that this "cross-eyed" moment was Hutton on stage, not the shy spinster she was portraying. Interesting that they let her loose like that but then, that was Hutton. She never failed to dominate the screen when she lit into a song. I loved it. It was the last song she would ever sing in a film and thank God she gave it the Hutton touch. It may have been the highlight of the film.

    Anyone interested in Hutton's career must see this film because it shows her in a more mature mode and she has a bang up scene with the actor playing her father near the end. This should have led to more roles but her own emotional problems began to surface around town and she never made another film. Too bad. Really, too bad.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    1950s romances have lots of common themes: no sex, lots of sentimentality, and happy endings. "Spring Reunion" is similar to dozens of other movies, with the exception of its sturdy cast.

    Maggie Brewster (Betty Hutton) lives in her hometown of Carson, California, and works in her dad's real estate business. Fred Davis (Dana Andrews) arrives in town for the 15-year high school reunion, igniting a romance with Brewster. Lots of old pros from the class of 1941 appear, including the valedictorian (Richard Deacon), the football star (Gordon Jones), the class cynic (Ken Curtis), the hockey team manager (Jean Hagen) and numerous other character actors playing stereotypical roles. Brewster and Davis naturally fall in love, and leave town together to enjoy their future.

    As many others have noticed, many of the actors are way too old to be portraying 33-year-olds. Hutton, Deacon, and Hagen are about the right age, but geez—everyone else looks like they're attending a 30-year reunion, or maybe even a later one. Andrews was 48, Curtis was 40, and Jones was 45 when this was released. Still, the cast is very good and elevates this film to a notch above standard 1950s romance movies. In particular, Jean Hagen shines in her limited role, but should have had more time on screen. James Gleason plays a kindly lighthouse operator.

    This is a good movie with a standard plot, and you'll enjoy it if you don't mind watching people in their mid- to late 40s play people in their early 30s. The standard mid-1950s storyline keeps this movie from being a lot better.
  • Answer: Because she crosses her eyes when she sings.

    That said, yes: Betty Hutton shows a few of the wild tics from her earlier days. But she gives a restrained, believable performance here. She looks great. We like and care about her character.

    It's the fifteenth reunion of her high school class. Her old pal Jean Hagen is in town for it. She's staying with Hutton's overly protective father and her glamorous mom, Laura La Plante. Wow: These two look like sisters as much as like mother and daughter! Who does she run into but high school football hero Dana Andrews. He's a little down-at-the-heels. He works but spends most of his time working on his boat.

    Andrews is also good. Hagen isn't given enough to do, which is a shame: She was a wonderful, versatile actress.

    Most of the other attendees at the reunion are vaguely sketched in and uninteresting played. But Hutton and Andrews make this a very entertaining movie.

    It opens with a theme song I found cloying and unappealing. This came out right before rock 'n' roll. Bigger-budget movies continued to use light music like Henry Mancini for many years after this. But if this had come out even five years later, the treacly theme song might well have been junked in favor of something by Bill Haley and the Comets.

    This is not to say that the music is all bad. The song Hutton sings at the school talent show (where she crosses her eyes) is fine. And she remembers Andrews as having come on to girls in school with a recording of a Chopin nocturne. We hear that Chopin, too.

    I enjoyed this movie and recommend it, not as a cinematic masterpiece but as an interestingly cast bit of movie nostalgia.
  • There is a reason this was the LAST movie Betty Hutton ever made. All of the thing you like about "Betty Hutton Movies" are simply missing in this film. It was a resounding failure with her fans of the day.

    Betty Hutton is one of my all time favorite actresses. She is one of the most adept comics of the golden Age of Movies. She can also sell a song like no body's business. There are some things she just cannot do-- unfortunately ALL of those things are present, in large quantities, in the movie.

    This was the first movie Hutton made in four years. She looks much older than her actual age - which is no doubt why she has to speak the same trite line of dialogue, "I am only 33 years old", in FOUR separate scenes. Her energy level is very very low. As is her mood no matter what scene she is filming.

    I love Betty Hutton, but there was clearly something wrong with her at this point in her life. She is totally missing the "spark" which her fans loved in her earlier movies. The only time the "Classic Hutton" was seen is when she sings a song at her High School Reunion.... and even this is obviously prerecorded and lipsynched.

    As a "generic movie from the mid 1950s" this movie is a real stinkeroo. The plot is so stale you expect to see mold growing on it. There is not one new idea in the entire screenplay, it appears to be recycled from scenes from really bad TV dramas of the period.

    There are reasons, however, to sit through this film. It was also Laura La Plant's last film. She was one of the most beautiful women of the silent era. She has a lackluster part as Hutton's Mother. La Plant is still beautiful in her early 50s. The Laura LaMont character from "singing in the Rain" is based on Laura La Plant. Interestingly, Jean Hagen, the actress who played the ditzy blond in the earlier movie, plays Hutton's sidekick in this movie.

    The supporting cast also features some of the most adept scene stealers from the age of classic television. Irene Ryan (Beverly Hillbillies),Richard Decon (Dick Van Dyke Show), Herbert Anderson (the Father on"Dennis the Menace") all have small parts.

    This movie is worth sitting through - as long as you understand ahead of time that it is not a "Betty Hutton Movie"
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is just plain flat. Well intended, and with promise. But it just fell flat. The question is -- why? 1. The characters here were returning for their 15th high school reunion, meaning they should have been about 32. Dana Andrews was 48, Betty Hutton was in her late 30s, so the latter was not so bad; but Andrews was simply way too old...and it shows. Either that or he flunked an awfully lot through elementary and high school.

    2. I have to admit, considering how old her character was and her marginal interest in men, it occurred to me her character may have been a lesbian or bi. Of course, that's not part of the plot, but it did occur to me. She had turned into a spinster living at home at that age! 3. The writers and directors didn't seem to have much an idea of how 30-ish people act. Of course, the directors were clearly second string.

    4. The public expected Betty Hutton to have some pizazz. She had none here, and a transition to this type of role was not smooth. Hutton movi9ng -- in a few years -- to the 1960s...somehow it just seems unthinkable. Much more a woman of the 1940s and 1950s. Perhaps that was part of why she left Hollywood.

    5. This movie was clearly done on the cheap. And it shows.

    6. The supporting cast was mostly uninspired. It was interesting to see Jean Hagen in something other than Danny Thomas' sitcom, although her acting was uninspired. Robert Simon is okay as the over-protective father. Laura La Plante, an actress with whom I was not familiar, did fairly well as the mother. It was interesting to see Irene Ryan in a role other than Granny on the "Beverly Hillbillies". James Gleason was good to see inn the next to the last year of his long career (and life).

    That's not to say that there isn't anything worth watching here. Dana Andrews, though too old for the role, was always an actor I enjoyed. He was certainly not at his peak here, and perhaps falling further into alcoholism, but something made his performance seem uninspired; yet I still enjoyed seeing him. Betty Hutton could have been a decent dramatic actress if the public had allowed it.

    In a sense, the plot line reminds me just a little of "Dear Heart", except here both stars were in the doldrums, where in "Dear Heart" it was more the female character. "Dear Heart" was done with class. This really isn't.

    Marginally interesting.
  • Expansion of Robert Alan Aurthur's "Goodyear Playhouse" TV drama from 1954 has unmarried Betty Hutton (in her final film) returning to her alma mater, Carson High School, for her 15-year class reunion. Turgid, corny second-feature, produced by Bryna, Kirk Douglas' company, takes the stance that 33-year-olds are over-the-hill (milking it for laughs, such as with the football star's aching back). Hutton (still single because no man has ever measured up--or is it she who hasn't measured up?) isn't allowed to have any fun; she has to scheme to spike the punch, and breaks a date with handsome Dana Andrews to hurry off to the beauty parlor. Viewers nostalgic for the era (1957, not 1941 when the cast supposedly graduated) might get some stray laughs out of it, but the picture is a musty underachiever. Hutton gives a plastic, let-me-out-of-here performance. *1/2 from ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is primarily a romantic drama, not really a comedy nor a musical, although several musical numbers are included, including Betty Hutton's rendition of "That Old Feeling" on the reunion stage, clearly directed at Dana Andrews' character: Fred Davis, whom she sometimes dated when they were in high school. Fred was voted 'most likely to succeed', while Betty(as Maggie) was voted 'most popular girl'. Well, 15 years later, neither has been married, nor has any serious prospects: unusual for such a handsome guy and beautiful woman. So, why? Fred has spent his time toying at odd jobs in various places, and lavishing time on his sail boat, which he keeps next to his house on the waterfront. He hasn't had the urge to settle down and raise a family, although he has returned to Carson for a spell. Maggie has spent her 15 years working with her dad as a real estate agent, traveling, etc.. He doesn't want to lose her help , thus discourages romantic prospects who want to take her elsewhere......Fred isn't much interested in the school reunion, but goes to please Maggie, who looks forward to it. Meanwhile, Maggie's married school friend Barna(Jean Hagen), minus her husband, is staying overnight at Maggie's parents house. At the reunion, she flirts with married ex-football hero Jack Frazer(Gordon Jones), who's being boorish, having brought reams of films of his old football games, which he expects others to watch. Seems that was the pinnacle of his life, so far. Barma and Jack, along with Maggie and Fred, go to Fred's house for some moonlight strolling along the beach. Fred and Maggie kiss a few times, then go for a sailboat outing, which almost turns disastrous, as it develops a substantial leak. Meanwhile, Jack doesn't get very far with Barma. Fred talks about going to San Francisco in the morning for a job prospect. Maggie frets about the prospect of leaving the family business, and whether Fred is truly ready to settle down. Nonetheless, in the morning, she announces to her family that she and Fred plan to be married.......I can't really recommend this film as being a must see, even for Betty or Dana fans. We can rightfully guess how it's going to end, both for Maggie and Fred, and for Barma and Jack, and getting there isn't exactly exciting, save for the leaky boat. It had been 5 years since Betty's last film, and she seems more mature, lacking the youthful hyperactivity and comedy that attracted audiences, along with her straight and clownish singing. Unfortunately, there wasn't really anyone else who was terribly interesting. This was the last Hollywood film for both Betty, and for blond Laura La Plant, who played Betty's mother, She was, in fact, 17years older than Betty. They looked very much like a well-preserved mother and daughter combination, unlike many film combinations.......As some others have pointed out, it's true that many of the men players were in their 40s, rather than the expected 33 years. But, most, including Dana and Gordon, still looked young enough to be possibly 33.
  • There's a reason there is only 4 or 5 reviews of this odd, stupid movie. It's because it's odd and stupid! Is this movie the actual cause of Dana Andrews and Betty Hutton's untimely deaths? I think it could be. This movie was too anal to even know where to begin how useless and worthless it was! Oh, I so pity the people who went the movies in the 50's to see this rot on screen, paying good money to see it. Let's hope the popcorn was good, right. Or at least, they found romance at the movie. Very bad movie. Senseless. Infantile. That is all. It was so bad, having just watched it on TCM, even Robert Osborne didn't say a word about it when it ended! BTW, my wife just said, "How can anyone review a movie from 1941! and Don't you have anything better to do?" LOL. Well, I suppose I could watch the Jodi Arias trial with her, but I already bet her $50.00 that Arias is going to walk! Why? Because any one idiot on a jury, in our diverse walks of life, can hold our justice system hostage and vote her innocent and because we unfaily require a unanimous decision, she is guaranteed to be freed. (It should be majority to find guilty and unanimous for the death penalty or otherwise, life in prison. That is all :~)