Wednesday, November 29, 2006


A minor effort in the wartime genre of musical morale booster and armed services recruitment propaganda. The musical numbers are worth seeing, but the film largely winds up being a rehash Abbott & Costello's BUCK PRIVATES without Abbott & Costello. It does, however, retain the Andrews Sisters who provide many musical highlights, including a jammin' jitterbug version of "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree." The opening sequence, in a nightclub where Henry James and Helen Forrest perform "You Made Me Love You," has some fine comedy work from the unlikely team of Mary Wickes and Shemp Howard, best known as one of the Three Stooges. The main plot thread involves the Henry James band getting drafted. Singer Dick Foran is turned down at first due to flat feet, but when he does get accepted, he winds up being a pain in the ass, thinking that he's better than everyone else and deserves a cushy job. Of course, he learns his patriotic lesson by the end. Joe E. Lewis plays a rival for Wickes' charms, Ernest Truex is an eccentric who lives near the Army base and Jennifer Holt is his niece, who winds up sweet on Foran. A very young Donald O'Connor plays an underage soldier who gets to do a dance number with the James Band. There's a cute running joke about trumpeter James not being able to play "Taps" in the morning. Most of music is fun, and the oddest number hands down has the whitebread Foran singing the gospel song "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." [DVD]

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