|Dale Evans and Arthur Lake|
Sandy Elliott (Arthur Lake) is a piano accompanist for the nightclub singer June Mayfield (Dale Evans). Their boss, Joe Bagley (Lionel Stander of Tahiti Honey), knows that Sandy is secretly carrying a torch for June. While Joe likes Sandy, he can't stand his obnoxious emcee, Wally (George Meeker of Tarzan's Revenge), who is practically affianced to June. Joe tries to encourage Sandy to tell June how he feels, and to become the kind of man that June might fall for. Somehow it develops that June is convinced that Sandy is the real identity of the masked wrestler known as "the Devil." June is amazed that the mouse is really a lion, but now she's afraid that he might be too brutal for her taste. Sandy wants to give up his alleged career as the Devil, but the real Devil might have something to say about that. What's a boy to do?
|Lionel Stander with Lake|
The Big Show-Off might sound like a cute picture, and it is, but it's still distinctly minor although it gets lots of help from the likable Lake, best-known as Dagwood Bumstead of the Blondie film series. Lionel Stander is less off-putting than usual, and Dale Evans gets to warble the memorable ditty "There's Only One You." The film throws in some bizarre characters like the Devil (Paul Hurst of Borrowed Wives) and his wrestling cousin and chief opponent, Boris the Bulgar (Sammy Stein). Marjorie Manners plays Mitzi, one of the show girls and June's gal pal. I could swear I spotted a young Nestor Paiva but he's not in the cast list. Anyway, The Big Show-Off is an amiable comedy with a pleasant lead performance.
Verdict: Lake takes some time off from the Blondie series. **1/2.