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

Thursday, February 2, 2017


William Leslie and Constance Towers
BRING YOUR SMILE ALONG (1955). Director: Blake Edwards.

School teacher Nancy Willows (Constance Towers) leaves her job to go to New York and find work as a lyricist. Before you can say "are you kidding me?" Nancy just happens to discover that a composer named Marty (Keefe Brasselle) lives across the hall with his roommate, Jerry (Frankie Laine), an aspiring singer. Before long Nancy and Marty are writing successful tunes while Nancy worries about her fiance, David (William Leslie) back home and her developing feelings for Marty. Meanwhile Jerry becomes a big singing star. Bring Your Smile Along was a vehicle for Frankie Laine, who was very popular at the time. Aside from appearances in TV episodes, and one other movie besides this one, Laine generally played himself in pictures. He has a nice voice (despite occasionally irritating vocal tics), an appealing presence, and is not a bad actor for this kind of stuff; he makes a much better impression in this than he did playing himself in the earlier Sunny Side of the Street. Towers was introduced in this picture (this was also the first film for director Blake Edwards, who would make one more film with Laine) and is as lovely and adept as ever. Considering her fine singing voice -- she appeared on Broadway with Yul Brynner in a revival of The King and I -- you would think "Nancy" would have pursued a singing career instead of work as a lyricist. Brasselle and Leslie [Andy Hardy Comes Home], as the two men in her life, are both good, and both Lucy Marlow and Bobby Clark make an impression as, respectively, the ssecretary Marge, who falls for Laine, and the cute little.neighborhood kid, Waldo. Some memorable songs include the title tune, "If Spring Never Comes," and "Mamma Mia." Towers remains married to John Gavin of Psycho fame.

Verdict: Strangely appealing if minor musical. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

Fascinating, had never heard of this early Blake Edwards effort. I'll look for it.

William said...

His very first movie. He went on to better things, of course, and Towers is always interesting and attractive.

Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

This looks like a great classic. Enjoyed your review and recap of it! I'll be sure to keep a look out for it on TCM. Hope it has a Happy Ending!!!


William said...