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  • Directed by top choreographer Michael Kidd, Merry Andrew makes for wonderful entertainment. By the late 50's,the golden era of movie musicals was practically over(Kidd himself starred in another great, late-period MGM musical-It's Always Fair Weather with Gene Kelly & Dan Dailey) Danny Kaye's film career was also in decline by 1958-amazingly 1956's The Court Jester was a costly financial failure, he never had another real hit and his film career was pretty much over by 1963. Merry Andrew isn't a typical Kaye vehicle (I wonder if it was even written with the star in mind?) There are no Sylvia Fine 'patter' songs and very little of the zany comedy at which the star excelled. Instead there are a handful of wonderful Johnny Mercer-Saul Chaplin songs, some great set-piece dance numbers courtesy of Michael Kidd and one of the most charming performances ever captured on film(from Danny of course) Danny Kaye is a treasure- without him this film would have been a minor movie, with him it's a classic.

    This film should be made available on DVD. Why has Danny Kaye neglected when it comes to DVD? So few of his films are available.
  • One of Danny Kaye's best, without the need to twist his tongue. The sheer innocence of life shines throughout this film. It needs to be added to the D.V.D. arena, as it deserves to be. It was an unexpected delight to observe, as a child, and to share as time passed on. Graceful as ever, be he swinging around with clowns, or dancing to the skills shared by Micheal Kidd, Danny is a joy to behold. It doesn't matter that this film was produced prior to my birth, for it stands on it's own values, as valid entertainment. It continues to prove that love and laughter remain timeless. Joshing along, and learning to sing with these adorable songs grew so easy, as well. There might be more to this little musical the second time around, for the next viewer, as well.
  • This is definitely my favorite Danny Kaye film. When I was a child, I was always amused by his antics. When I got older, his silly-ness was 'over-the-top' and completely lost on me. Except, of course, for MERRY ANDREW. It still shines.

    The circus provides ample fodder for his comedy. He is a fish out of water, completely lost in this simple world. The story is a down-to-earth, believe-able comedy of errors. A nice love story, an escape from his family's stodgy academic life, lots of music, and a happy ending. To me, less is more. KAYE didn't seem to try as hard for laughs in MERRY ANDREW and the relaxed performance was one of his best.....
  • I have posted comments before on Merry Andrew, but I don't think I will do any harm by mentioning either the same or different!!! I remember when I first saw this Delightful film in Sydney in 1958. I was sixteen at the time. I have caught it once or twice on tv. I just wish someone would buy the rights to release it on commercial video? Even though it's over forty years old, I would rather go miles to watch it again than some of the other shall we say more questional material at theatres or on tv. I'm fortunate to have bought the s/track & have the movie on tape. Summing up: Excellent & Supurb Family Entertainment.
  • A real nice, happy-go-lucky, entertaining movie with some catchy music and songs like the classic "Salud !" and Circus routines ! The scenery is also exhilarating ! Obvioously, the great Danny Kaye excels as the professor turned clown ! Also teaches a lesson that simple folk can be as full-of-life and character than sophisticated scholars if not more !! The Hypoteneuse song could help students remember the geometrical theorem as I have done for over forty years.......What a real, real pity this film is not available n DVD ! Please endeavor to resurrect it for the modern generation to watch and enjoy so we'll have a merrier world !
  • Danny Kaye used to do a routine (which I saw several times on his television series from the 1960s) where he would speak with a soulful Russian accent, and consider his plight: Should he live for art or "pinney mooney" (his pronunciation)? In MERRY ANDREW the question could be rephrased to: Should I live for love or "pinney archeology"? That imagined misquote sums up the plot of this amusing musical trifle. Kaye (Andrew Larrabee) is a house master and amateur archaeologist in a public school that is run by his tyrannical father Noel Purcell. He is engaged to Patricia Cutts, whose family has known his for years. Both of his older brothers are in education too, but Robert Coote and Rex Evans have managed to get jobs outside of the orbit of their father. As the film begins, Kaye's main problem is his easy and whimsical manner with his students rubs "old school" Headmaster Purcell the wrong way. But he is in a position to solve the problem of regaining his father's respect because he thinks that he knows the location of the site of a Roman temple to Pan, and that the statue of Pan may still be there.

    Unfortunately, when Kaye goes to the site it is occupied by a family of acrobats led by Salvatore Baccaloni. The family comprises of five brothers and Pier Angeli. They are going to be using the area for their circus for most of the summer - the very months when Kaye is on holiday from his house master chores and when the digging will be good. Kaye's only solution is to join the circus, and dig for the treasure when he completes the chores. But he and Angeli keep getting into each other's way, and slowly he becomes enamored by her. Her father, a man of ancient Italian spirit, understands the young people are in love and instructs Kaye that he expects him to behave like a gentleman. One night, while out digging, he falls into the ruins, as does Angeli (who is helping him), they spend the night in the ruin sleeping innocently enough, but the brothers find them the next morning and suddenly Baccaloni is demanding Kaye behave like a gentleman and do what is expected: propose. And Kaye does...only to return home that day and find Cutts and her father (Walter Kingsford) there. Kaye would have wanted to tell Purcell, gently, what happened. Instead, he finds he has to make a second marriage proposal. The reason: his discovery of the ruins shows his reputation as an archaeologist is made, so nothing SHOULD prevent their engagement.

    THe only disappointment is that the long anticipated statue of Pan is missing. Kaye was certain that it was there when he first fell into the ruin, but it is missing. In any event, Kaye has to now try to figure out how to get out of the embarrassing mess he is currently in.

    Then one of his charges from the circus, the chimpanzee, turns up. It delivers the Pan - which the chimp purloined. Kaye now has to return the chimp. But he also has to avoid Baccaloni and his sons, and Angeli, and he has to keep Purcell from recognizing there is a chimp in the headmaster's house (in Kaye's rooms).

    Confusing isn't it? But very funny, as is the resolution of the plot. The songs are not classic Kaye patter tunes, like "Anatol of Paris" or "Tschaikovski", but "Tikkity Boo", "Pan", and "Salud" have their charms The second time that "Salud" is sung it helps complete a joke at Walter Kingsford's expense - the activities of the scene ending in the reprise of "Salud" include Kaye and Purcell managing to douse Kingsford with toasting sherry, and as Kay finishes the tune Kingsford gets a third accidental dousing - all of which he accepts with a reverse aplomb, as though apologetic that he had the temerity to be standing where that sherry should have fallen!

    Purcell, always wonderful as tyrannical Victorian types, has a choice moment of bewilderment...he was not wearing his spectacles, although he did notice a chess move that his oldest son should have played to counteract Kaye's game (while he passed through Kaye's chambers). However it was Coote he saw, or was it a chimpanzee wearing Coote's smoking jacket?

    Then there is the moment that the five brothers, chasing the man who shamed their sister, confront a sixth brother in their midst. Who is the impostor...or were there always six?

    Perhaps not in the category of THE COURT JESTER or THE INSPECTOR GENERAL, but definitely a good comedy.
  • I first saw "Merry Andrew" on a ship crossing the Atlantic from London to Halifax in 1960. Its one of the first films I remember seeing as a child and it left a great impression. Danny Kaye was simply amazing (a true clown) and Pier Anglei was absolutely beautiful. I've seen the film a few times since on television, but would love to add it to my collection and so I wait patiently for its release on video or dvd.
  • galois25 March 2000
    Andrew Larabee is a teacher with an obsession. He thinks that the statue of the mythological Pan is to be found at an archaeological 'dig'. When he goes to the 'dig' to investigate, he discovers a circus in residence - and meets the beautiful and vivacious Selena, with whom he falls in love. Due to a misunderstanding, there is an enforced engagement between Andrew and Selena - and the date, chosen for their wedding, just happens to coincide with the date chosen for the wedding between Andrew and Letitia Fairchild, to whom Andrew has been engaged for the past five years!
  • This film is a must see. It, to my knowledge won no awards, it has no individual outstanding performances and the songs are not greatly remembered. What this film does have is a good story line and songs that are easy to sing to. The film is centered around Danny Kaye's character who is torn between duty to his family, the plans they have for him and between his desire to pursue his own interests and choose his own wife.

    The good but not exaggerated humor holds up well over 40 years after the film was released. I would imagine that anyone who has seen the film can't help but to go around singing `Tickity Boo' , `Pan' or `Salute' (I hope these are spelled correctly.) Perhaps what makes this film is so good is that it is not trying to be over the top in it's story line, acting or songs.

    This film is only aired every once in awhile on channels such as The Disney Channel. I hope the DVD will soon be released. I once saw the soundtrack for this film being auctioned on E-Bay, I missed the opportunity to purchase it but for those who like the songs they may want to look in on this sight occasionally and see if it up for auction
  • patlong31 March 2000
    One of the best family films I've ever seen. It was excellent in 1958 & still is in 2000. I wish they would make more family films like this. I would recommend this film to everyone. I hope one day it will be released on commercial video and the release of a s/track or cd wouldn't hurt either. I hope these comments explain my feelings about Merry Andrew.
  • This movie played an interesting role in my life at 15. Lay aside that I immediately fell in love with Pier Angeli (who wouldn't!?). No, don't lay it aside - I must have seen the movie 4 or 5 times while it was held over for three weeks. Yes, it was Danny Kaye and Pier Angeli; and the professional critics tend to underestimate it. Still, those who remember it from then tend to remember it with pleasure. Isn't there some way to make it available again for home viewing?
  • First off-- this is probably the review of a child, as I fell in love with this movie at 10 years old. Still, whenever its on TV, i can't help grinning from ear to ear. It is lively, colorful, sexy, tuneful and filled with wonderful actors. (First off, who doesn't dream of running away from oppressive relatives and joining the circus? Well that's what happens to archaeologist Danny Kaye who of course falls into lots of misadventures and falls in love with the wonderful Selena played by a gorgeous Pier Angeli. Pier Angeli is the charismatic and likable film actresses of the fifties and she steals your heart. (Learning later that Angeli killed herself in real life just always amazed me. What a waste.) Then there is Selena's father, and ringmaster, played by the larger than life Salvatore Baccaloni! Who couldn't fall in love with that name let alone that big bouncy actor? As Pier's Brother, there is the always wonderful Tommy Rall. And the whole thing is directed by choreographic (and way under-appreciated) genius Michael Kidd with his usual athletic fare. I love his choreography of Lil Abner, Guys and Dolls and 7 Brides for 7 Brothers! I give it two merries and hope it comes out on DVD one day..And let me explain the sexy comment. --Pier Angeli is a goddess! Her brothers in tights are hot too) Where do I sign up?
  • I saw this film with the help of a student back in the eighties, who had taped it and had heard me mention the Pythagorean Theorem Song. It's pleasant and funny. With a song about the Pythagorean Theorem, how can you go wrong? "Mr. Chips", it is not, but nonetheless it is an enjoyable film. Hope they bring it to DVD someday. I've practically worn out my 4th generation VHS tape, showing my geometry classes the "Pythagorean Theorem Song".
  • gkeith_117 September 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers. Observations. Opinions.

    Angelina steals the film. She finds the missing object. She wears men's clothes. She plays chess. Is she played by a male, by any chance?

    Kaye is superb. The blowup costume is hilarious.

    I enjoyed seeing Tommy Rall, he of Kiss Me Kate and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He looked great in his acrobat costume, and as always his physical moves and dancing are excellent.

    Pier Angeli was wonderful. Her acrobat costume was divine, and she had the figure to wear it.

    Everyone else I totally enjoyed.

    I study the history of the circus, plus circus films. Watching this film, I was thinking about Water for Elephants being such a serious film with cruelty to humans and animals.

    I am a degreed historian, actress, singer, dancer, makeup artist, film critic and movie reviewer.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Danny Kaye made "The Court Jester" in 1955, and three years later made this, his next film. "The Court Jester" was a very funny and excellent film that showcased the varied and magnificent talents of Kaye. It was the last of a string of films that had Danny dancing, singing, falling, and quipping very funny lines with his quick tongue. While "Merry Andrew" still shows Kaye's kindness and agility in his circus antics, it's missing some of the best of Kaye's talents. Notably, his great ability to mimic and spout over-the-hill funny tongue twisters.

    While some of that may be chalked up to a lesser script, or subdued plot, it's worth noting that Kaye never returned to the full format of using his many talents. He was 47 years old when "Merry Andrew" was made, and the rest of his career would slow down and even convert to some serious roles.

    That's not to say that this and his remaining films were not good. Kaye is one of those rare actors in Hollywood (most of whom have many fewer films than the steady popular box office draws over the decades), who truly never made a bad movie. "Merry Andrew" just isn't on the level of "Court Jester," "The Inspector General," (1949) or any number of his earlier comedy-musical-romances.

    Still, this is a good film with a good story and one that most people should enjoy. Kaye still has his physical agility in a number of circus routines. While not loaded with funny dialog, the film does have some humorous lines in places. Here are a couple.

    Andrew, "He's always reminding me that when he was only six months old, he used to change his own diapers." And, another by Andrew, "Britannia rules the waves, but never waives the rules."

    One humorous exchange occurs between Andrew and Lord Elmwood (played by John Dodsworth). Andrew is set to start his archaeological dig on the grounds where a circus has set up. The owner of the land shows up and orders them all off because he will have bulldozers in the next day to begin clearing for construction. Lord Elmwood is an old school chum of Andrew whom Andrew then knew by the nickname of "Sticky."

    Andrew, "Give my regards to Millicent." Lord Elmwood, "Millicent?" Andrew, "Your wife." Lord Elmwood, "You're mistaken old chap. Have a wife, but not named Millicent." Andrew, "That's curious. I distinctly remember the girl… it was at the Hendley Regatta. You were staying at the Falstaff Inn." Lord Elmwood, "A nasty memory you have. But, with old school time and all that sort of thing. So, if you really crave an extra week…" Andrew, shaking his hand, "Oh, that's really kind of you, Sticky, my good man. I appreciate it no end." Lord Elmwood, "Oh, not at all. Constable! Constable! Call off your men."
  • Wonderful lyrics, whimsy and acting. Kaye at his finest. Story a takes on a bit of silliness, but that is irrelivant when contrasted with the music. A movie to enjoy clever lyrics, bouncy music, carefree story, and good humor.
  • patlong22 November 2000
    I consider Merry Andrew nothing short of excellent family entertainment. It is a pity that the video isn't available commercially, hopefully one day in the near future that will happen. However there was & I presume still is a soundtrack recording available. If anyone is interested in getting the recording, please contact me.
  • Michael Kidd's "Merry Andrew" is one of my favorite musicals. I like it very much. It's funny, it's simple, the musical numbers are good, and we even have the circus. A person who likes comedy and musicals shouldn't miss this film. Danny Kaye is very good in it.
  • Without even attempting a British accent Danny Kaye stars in a delightful comedy as Mr. Chips type school teacher who dabbles in archeology. Kaye is his usual henpecked character, totally dominated by his father Noel Purcell who even scares his more self assured brothers Rex Evans and Robert Coote.

    A long cherished assignment gives Kaye a chance to dig for a statue of Pan believed to be in the north of England. A traveling circus that is run by Salvatore Baccaloni with his daughter Pier Angeli as a high flying aerialist happens to be on the site of his dig. But when they face down the common enemy of the local lord who wants to have a dairy farm there now, Kaye's dig permit trumps all and he wins the gratitude of the circus folk. He wins even more from Pier Angeli.

    Merry Andrew gives a full expressions to Kaye's many talents. The school and the circus setting give him an ideal venue for those comic and singing talents. Some really classic Kaye is involved here. My favorite is him digging for his Pan statue and coming up right in the middle of the lion's cage during a circus performance. Later on of course the Pan statue is found, but you won't believe who finds it.

    This may all come to a sad end as Kaye is already slightly engaged to Patricia Cutts, daughter of one of the higher ranking teachers at Purcell's school, Walter Kingsford. Merry Andrew was Kingsford's final film ending a distinguished career on cinema. Kingsford is best known for playing Dr. Carew the head of Blair General Hospital in the Dr. Kildare series.

    As Kaye would have said in this film, the picture is Tickety-Boo. Not quite sure what the phrase means, but it's all good.
  • Up until I saw "Merry Andrew", I wasn't particular a Danny Kaye films and I didn't love his style of humor. So imagine my surprise when I saw this film and loved it!

    The story begins at a fancy boys school in Britain. Andrew (Kaye) is a teacher at the school that his family owns and despite being very good at what he does, the family really sees him as a bit of a disappointment. So, when the school holiday comes, he wants to go exploring for a lost statue so that he can impress them...and then receive their blessing for him to get married to the girl he's been dating for many years. Unfortunately, when he arrives at the dig site, he sees that a circus is on the property...and the local authorities want to revoke his right to dig there as well. Fortunately he works all this out and becomes beloved by the circus because they, too, can remain. But after some time, he begins to regret it, as he cannot find the statue AND the circus owner and his sons now expect Andrew to marry his daughter (Pier Angeli)....though he's already engaged. How all this works out i what makes the movie fun.

    I think the reason I like this film is that Kaye's performance is more restrained than usual and because he then is more likable. A cute and engaging film from start to finish.
  • harbor0771622 September 2019
    I grew up watching Danny Kaye as a young child. His movies are funny, I don't know how he remembers the lines to those songs and sings so fast! Wholesome, funny, memorable. Danny Kaye
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Subdued and not as kinetic as earlier Danny Kaye films. Andrew Larabee(Kaye)is an unorthodox professor of archeology at a British prep school for boys. While on a dig in Italy, the mild-mannered Andrew lets a carnival set up on top of his archaeological site. In spite of having a high brow fiancée back home, Andrew falls for an acrobat(Pier Angeli), who is also the carnival owner's daughter. By hook or crook, the smitten professor finds himself participating in the traveling circus as a clown, ringmaster and reluctant lion-tamer. Instead of going back to his dig, Andrew joins the carnival as it moves out to hit the circuit. Also in the cast: Salvatore Baccaloni, Patricia Cutts, Noel Purcell and Rhys Williams.
  • Here's a movie with an unusual team driving it. The director is a choreographer-- Michael Kidd. One of the producers is a composer-- Saul Chaplin. It's got Johnny Mercer as lyricist and he's at the height of his powers. The songs drop perfectly into the story, but even when they discuss such topics as the hypoteneuse of the right triangle, the lyrics sound as if they were what Mercer had always wanted to write about and was just waiting for the chance. As if the whole movie were written to accommodate the rhymes rather than vice versa.

    I fear we shall not see his like again. But I digress. The weakest song has got to be the opening song. Danny Kaye rides a bicycle around campus singing that "everything is tickety-boo" and it's over the top. It's beyond "lovable British eccentric" and well into "embarrassing for a grown man". A theme running through Danny Kaye's movies is that strength comes to innocence. But even innocence needs a little dignity, and having shown itself as saccharine-- the hardest criticism to shake off-- the movie takes a while to get its dignity back.
  • This is one of Danny Kaye's most amiable and sympathetic films, as he plays a very regular university teacher from Oxford and Cambridge, a regular becoming Mr Chips type, with a very autocratic father for a headmaster and two almost equally imposing brothers, who all do their best to help him get married, but with Danny Kaye at their hands of course they can but fail completely, while they anyway manage to make the best of it, including the lovely bride, and some may think Pier Angeli is a poor substitute for her. As a teacher his main interest is archeology, and by permission from his father he sets out to dig for a unique antique statue in old Roman ruins, at which site he finds an Italian circus. So he gets involved with the circus. All the hilarity of this film is with the circus, in which a chimpanzee plays a more important part than any human, and Michael Kidd's expert choreography adds an extra flourish to this film, as the main ballet number is really impressing while at the same time the absolute highlight of musical numbers. Danny Kaye made this film directly after "The Court Jester", perhaps his greatest triumph, and here the touch and presentation is more intimate, softer and more human, like stepping down a bit to more human concerns with children and all, while after this film he turned even deeper down into humanity by "Me and the Colonel" (from the Second World War) and the very down to earth "Five Pennies" based entirely on reality. So this as a film is an ace among aces and like all these four unsurpassed as such.
  • It's hard for me to work up much enthusiasm for this dull DANNY KAYE vehicle directed in uninspired fashion by Michael Kidd, who does manage to do some nice acrobatic things with dance once in awhile. But the dances (and the songs) don't do much to lift the film above the very ordinary.

    Maybe kids will be entranced by the idea of a grown man joining the circus--a man who is really a school teacher/archaeologist into Greek mythology and the statue of Pan. It's an odd concept for a musical comedy starring Kaye. Pretty PIER ANGELI has absolutely no chemistry with the overaged Kaye and their scenes together are clumsy to behold.

    I'm astonished at the positive reviews I see here on the IMDb board. The film is way below Kaye's usual standard in just about every way imaginable, providing him with some of the weakest material ever in the way of script and songs, none of which are the least bit memorable.

    Strictly second-rate stuff, even for admirers of Kaye.
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