Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK (1944). Director: Charles Lamont.

After teasing the faculty in a theatrical sketch, Donald Corrigan (Donald O'Connor) is asked to take a brief vacation from Sperling Naval Academy. During this sabbatical he meets Glory (Ann Blyth), the latest in a line of show biz females from the same family, and tries to discourage the attentions of the adoring Peggy (Peggy Ryan). In the meantime, Glory's mother (Helen Vinson) and grandmother (Helen Broderick), both of whom were burned by, respectively, Donald's father (Patric Knowles) and grandfather, try to break up the budding romance between him and the adorable Glory. This is a trifle, but a cute one, with some nice songs ["It's Mighty Nice to Have Met You;" "Mother, Mother, Mother"] and swell performances. O'Connor is charming, Blyth is as cute as a button, Ryan is perky and talented, and Broderick nearly steals the show as the grandmother. Irving Bacon [Ethel's father on I Love Lucy] and Arthur Treacher are also in the cast, as are the 7-year-old whiz kid Joel Kupperman and (briefly) Mantan Moreland as a porter. Years later Peggy Ryan was Jack Lord's secretary on Hawaii 5-0. Blyth's most famous role, of course, was as Veda in Mildred Pierce.

Verdict: For fans of old musicals, O'Connor, and Blyth. **1/2.

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