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

Thursday, April 23, 2009


JUKE BOX RHYTHM (1959). Director: Arthur Dreifuss.

So Princess Ann (Jo Morrow) has come to New York to find a coronation gown and she winds up getting into a wild swing thing with handsome Riff Manton (Jack Jones, son of Allan Jones). Riff is the son of down-on-his-luck Broadway producer George Manton (Brian Donlevy), who is keeping time not with Riff's mother (Marjorie Reynolds) but with a hotter blonde (Karin Booth) -- for shame. Then we mustn't forget former junk man Balenko (Hans Conreid) who fancies himself the greatest fashion designer in the world. He thinks Riff and the princess are "just like that" and asks him to somehow get Her Highness to look at his designs. But will the princess' uppity Aunt Margaret (Freida Inescort) allow it?

So let's see. We've got Freida Inescort of Return of the Vampire, Brian Donlevy of the Quatermass films, "Mr. Livermore" of I Love Lucy (Hans Conreid), Edgar Barrier of The Giant Claw, Fritz Feld of a zillion features (almost always playing the same role and doing it well) and the son of Allan Jones -- all in the same movie!

Jack Jones [dig that groovy haircut!] can act and has a pleasing personality, so it's a wonder his movie career didn't go further. Jo Morrow (who also appeared in 13 Ghosts) is decorative [she's the ginchiest!] and competent. Donlevy and Conred are fine, which is to be expected. Inescort adds a touch of class to the proceedings, which are perfectly amiable and utterly forgettable.

Low point: George Jessel shows up, tells bad jokes, and sings -- very badly!

Verdict: You probably won't dig it the most but some might think Jones is "the most"! **.

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