Thursday, February 19, 2015
PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE
"Money has always been very mysterious, and on the first of the month, very elusive."
A sister act that is actually comprised of three unrelated ladies is the cornerstone of this kitschy musical comedy. Abby (Lucille Norman) is in love with Vince (Dennis Morgan), but can't put up with his gambling, while Ted (Gene Nelson of So This is Paris) is carrying a torch for Abby, while June (Virginia Gibson) in turn is pining away for Ted. Meanwhile the more practical Carol (Virginia Mayo of Smart Girls Don't Talk) decides the gals should move to Les Vegas and each find themselves a millionaire. By the time "Cuddles" Sakall shows up as the ever-lovable and often cloying honorary uncle, who runs a casino-hotel, you know the movie will be a positive mass of cliches. The cast is at least enthusiastic, there's brilliant Technicolor, and several nice song numbers, such as "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" (years before Tiny Tim made it popular again), "With a Song In My Heart," and "Jealousy." Unfortunately there are also some tunes which I believe were written just for the movie -- "A Necessary Evil" and "Mambo Man" -- which are truly wretched, although Gene Nelson does some excellent dancing for this and other numbers. Tom Conway [The Atomic Submarine] gives a fine comic performance as a banker who at first disapproves of his cousin, Ted's, upcoming nuptials. Wallace Ford is strictly irritating as a grubby business associate of Sakall's. Lucille Norman was a professional singer with a gorgeous semi-operatic voice; she made few appearances in films. Virginia Gibson had a longer list of film and TV credits. The big finish takes place at the "Helldorado" festival -- you can miss it.
Verdict: Amiable enough if rather treacly. **1/2.