Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars
How can you saw now to Bing Crosby and Donald O’Connor teaming up on a picture. Well, if you are looking for a great musical, this might not be the one. I didn’t know this at the time but this is a remake of a Broadway play, which was turned into a movie in 1936 and also go starred Bing Crosby. Bing and Donald we on par for sure but the wife and I really weren’t digging the combo with Jeanmaire and Mitzi Gaynor. On the positive side, the music is great and there is some fun dance choreographed. May not be my favorite of Bing’s films but it could be yours so I will leave it up to you.
Official Premise: Crosby plays a Broadway star teamed up with young TV hotshot Donald O’Connor. Vacationing separately in Europe and needing a leading lady for their upcoming show, each signs a prospect–Crosby snaps up Mitzi Gaynor (at her perkiest) and O’Connor finds Jeanmaire, a French dancer. The show can only have one female star, so when the quartet crosses paths on the ocean liner back to the U.S., sparks will fly. Or not–this Paramount musical lacks any definable zip, from the sleepy dialogue to the listless camera. The capable Nick Castle staged the musical sequences, although Jeanmaire’s numbers were choreographed by Roland Petit (also her husband). The Porter songs are half-heartedly rendered, although O’Connor and Gaynor get some oomph into “It’s De-Lovely.” Der Bingle was born to burble “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” but it’s too little, too late.
Whether or not I like the film, Warner Archive again delivers these classics on DVD. For a film made in 1956, it looks pretty great. I do not see listed if Warner Archive restored this film for the release but I was impressed. It comes with it’s original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. It also comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which is also a bit of a step up from previous Warner Archive made-to-order DVD releases. Since this film is a musical, the upgraded audio track definitely benefits this release. There is no special features included on this DVD.