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

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I WONDER WHO'S KISSING HER NOW (1947). Director: Lloyd Bacon.

Surely the life of performer and songwriter Joseph E. Howard was more interesting than this? Mark Stevens enacts the role capably and with charm, although he might seem a tad bland to some. June Haver plays his "kid sister," who was raised with him but is actually unrelated, and has an unrequited passion for him. Martha Stewart and Lenore Aubert are two women with whom he gets involved both professionally and romantically.

The movie is pleasant and easy to take, but there is no real drama in it, and no particular comedy, either, despite the presence of William Frawley (Fred Mertz). Gene Nelson is a featured dancer, but has few if any lines. Florence O'Brien makes an impression as the saucy, non-deferential maid, Marie, as does Lewis L. Russell as Milford. Reginald Gardiner is okay as a playwright. Sexy Martha Stewart didn't amass too many credits and Aubert's most famous role was as Sandra in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Besides the title tune, Howard's most famous composition is arguably the snappy "Good-bye, My Lady Love." This was one of the period tunes that Jerome Kern used in Show Boat which was not composed by Kern. A highlight of the film is the "Glowworm" number which, via rich orchestration, turns the simple melody into a veritable symphony.

Verdict: Minor-league musical. **1/2.

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