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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

SUMMER HOLIDAY

Mickey Rooney and Marilyn Maxwell
SUMMER HOLIDAY (1948). Director: Rouben Mamoulian.

In this musical adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's "Ah, Wilderness!" Mickey Rooney plays Richard Miller, the teen son of a solid Connecticut family. Richard is always trying to stir the pot with his radical political ideas, even as his Uncle Sid (Frank Morgan) hopes to gain the hand of Cousin Lily (Agnes Moorehead) in marriage. Richard has a girlfriend in Muriel (Gloria DeHaven ) but out on the town with a friend he encounters hooker-hard showgirl, Belle (Marilyn Maxwell). Unfortunately, none of this leads to anything very interesting and eventually the flick becomes quite tiresome. Rooney is as good as ever, as are Moorehead, and Walter Huston as the boy's father, and Maxwell makes a minor impression as the showgirl. The songs by Warren and Blaine might be the type that need to grow on you, but on first hearing they don't linger in the mind. This as Eugene O'Neill as filtered through Andy Hardy! The same play was also turned into a Broadway musical by Bob Merrill called "Take Me Along" with Jackie Gleason playing Uncle Sid.

Verdict: Scene by scene this might mimic O'Neill, but there's something missing. **.

2 comments:

angelman66 said...

Hi Bill, hard to believe this lightweight film is based on a Eugene O'Neill play...I am used to the deep and heavy duty drama of Long Day's Journey and The Hairy Ape...

Wow, Mickey still playing a teen as late as 1948?

-C

William said...

He was ageless, ha!

Yeah, O'Neill's greatest play was Long Day's Journey, and thank goodness they didn't make a musical out of that!