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

Thursday, June 19, 2014


REVEILLE WITH BEVERLY  (1943). Director: Charles Barton.

Beverly Ross (Ann Miller) wants to work on the radio in the worst way, so she connives to steal away Vernon Lewis' (Franklin Pangborn) morning program devoted to classical music and replace it with a pop music program. A wealthy man, Barry (William Wright) joins the Army at the same time as his chauffeur, Andy (Dick Purcell), and both bet on whether or not this new Beverly gal on the radio is pretty; she later confuses the two of them with one another. This was one of many wartime alleged morale boosters with a slim plot and many guest appearances by such artists as the Mills Brothers, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Crosby and his band. Irene Ryan has a funny turn as the secretary, Elsie, and Larry Parks plays a soldier named Eddie. Movies from this era either celebrated both pop/swing and classical/opera, with guest stars from various musical genres, or they do what this one does and turn it into a competition, chortling about how people prefer Bob Crosby to Mendelssohn. Franklin Pangborn is as wonderful as ever, cynically cast as the Mean Old Effeminate Classical Music Lover. With her perky, ruthless demeanor and out-sized cheeks, Ann Miller tap dances her way into infinity -- and not a moment too soon. Charles Barton directed many Abbott and Costello movies as well as The Shaggy Dog.

Verdict: No better nor worse than most of these things. **.

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