- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Unlikeliest stars could sing and dance
- film lover 293
Who knew Van Johnson was a song and dance man!? Singing and dancing "I Won't Dance" with Lucille Bremer (played Sally, had flame red hair, only seemed to come to life when she danced) he is wonderful, getting the point of the song and parodying himself at the same time--an unexpected delight. Also happily notable is a 20 year old Angela Lansbury doing " Would You Like to Spoon With Me?", June Allyson doing "Cleopatterer", Virginia O'Brien doing a chorus of "A Fine Romance" during the end montage, a subdued Kathryn Grayson (she was very good when not being shrill and trying to hit the notes at the top of her range) doing "Long Ago and Far Away", and the production of Show Boat that starts the film. To an earlier reviewer; the snarky comments about Frank Sinatra are unwarranted, I agree. He is moderately effective. But the song "Ol Man River" was written for a bass voice, and Sinatra was not a true bass. People objected to William Warfield's singing of "Ol Man River" in Show Boat (1951) because they said his voice wasn't deep enough, and he was a true bass! Hearing a tenor/baritone doing the song IS a bit of a shock, no matter how well performed the song. Three and 2/3 stars out of five for my overall rating.
The Eternal Frank
So now what is this peculiar thread of astonishment in these reviews about Frank Sinatra singing "Ol' Man River" in the film? Perhaps a simple copycat thing -- it's hard to keep being original in these reviews -- but there should be general awareness that he sang the song beautifully, kept singing it in concert performances over many years, and audiences appreciated and looked forward to his singing it. Writing this just a day after the 16th anniversary of his passing, may I say that we will never see or hear overall popular song interpretation that is equal, let alone better. He could sing anything so, yes, he sang "Ol' Man River" too. Quell your smirking amazement and concentrate on listening so that you can judge the issue fairly.
DON'T LOOK AT THE CAST
- el debbo
If you disregard the list of actors in this stunning movie, and just watch it as an uninformed bystander, you'll be ASTOUNDED by the number of major stars in this film!! That's what I happened to do. What fun. I remember seeing this on TV, Saturday afternoons when I was a kid and storm-stayed in the living room. It's lovely to look at, and the tunes have made me a real fan of Jerome Kern.I immediately looked up his music on Amazon so I can hear it again and again. I got a real kick out of Van Johnson's dance number, which is SO similar to the routine he did in "Duchess of Idaho", right down to the rather long, double-breasted suit jacket (why? on a tall, superbly-built man??) Anyhow, the other thing I got a kick out of was the final number ... I was thrilled by the set design and sheer numbers in the ensemble, but I laughed out loud to see Frankie's pompadoodle hairdo and hear him sing "...don't plant taters". Frank Sinatra? Taters?
MGM loves Kern
Minnelli's direction of Judy is the best. Lena. Dinah, June are sublime, Tony Martin and Frankie superb. Van Johnson dances, Walker and Hefflin won't. Hollywood's all-time dream team on display.
Eye Beautiful; Acting Drags
The acting drags but the Kern musical numbers were showcased with the best of MGM as only MGM could do it. For those that appreciate the Jerome Kern musicals this production is well worth having.
Story of the great Jerome Kern
- Mr D
Lighthearted, warm & fuzzy look at the life & career of Jerome Kern, most known for Showboat and the powerful classic tune Old Man River. As my granddaddy used to say, If you like movies like this then you'll like this movie. We did - 4 stars out of 5. My only gripe is that the print we watched was not the greatest - it came in the 10-film set "Hollywood Classics: Golden Age" that we bought used forr 19.99. Oh, and 1 more gripe: Frank Sinatra singing Old Man River ... what??
I Love this Music!
I love the feel of this music! The music is wonderful, the musical scenes are outstanding! This movie is Hollywood to me. I remember when I was a kid watching this on TV and seeing this as the ultimate. Van Heflin is wonderful in his role. He adds an air of authenticity to the story. Robert Walker as Jerome Kern is also great. This is a truly enjoyable film. Just sit back and enjoy!
They don't make 'em like this any more!
Which is why I enjoy it so much. Garish Technicolor! Over the top acts! Antiquated musical numbers (Dinah Shore, singing under a fake apple tree, dressed in a big fluffy gown with a bodice trimmed with apple blossoms, and very pretty she looked, too)! Corny, cheesy, schmaltzy, overdone, and guiltily delicious. Oh, and we end with a weedy little Frank Sinatra, in a white suit, crooning 'Old Man River'. (put in -eyeroll- here). This is the kind of thing TCM should show every Sunday morning - ideal as background while having coffee and reading what remains of the Sunday paper.