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

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Gracie Allen encounters a lion in the South Pacific!

WE'RE NOT DRESSING (1934). Director: Norman Taurog.

"This is beginning to depress me." -- Uncle Hubert

Wealthy Doris Worthington (Carole Lombard) is taking a cruise on her yacht with a group of friends, two handsome princes (Ray Milland and Jay Henry) who are both courting her, her Uncle Hubert (Leon Errol) and her pal, Edith (Ethel Merman). Doris is attracted to a singing sailor named Stephen (Bing Crosby), but she finds him impertinent and he thinks she's a snob. When the yacht sinks, almost everyone winds up on a deserted island in the south pacific, where the husband and wife team of George and Gracie (George Burns and Gracie Allen) are doing research on the flora and fauna! Stephen declares that everyone has to pitch in and work for their supper, while he and Doris fight their increasing attraction to each other and he sings one catchy number after another ["Love Thy Neighbor;"  "Lovely Little Lady;" "May I"]. This doesn't have much of a plot, and the dialogue and lyrics aren't always winning, but the cast is game, although these will not go down as great performances for either Der Bingle or Lombard. Errol is his usual comical self, Merman is very amusing, and if you like Burns and Allen you'll enjoy their sequences in this movie. This is clearly a "Bing Crosby Picture" with the others sort of along for the ride, but on that level it's easy enough to take, if no world-beater, and it does have its charming and amusing moments.

Verdict: Amiable silliness with pleasant old tunes. **1/2.

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