Sunday, June 24, 2012


After a star-making whirlwind tour, singer and dancer June Haver decides to settle down for a while and buys a home in Scarsdale.  She thinks she's moving to a rustic place "out in the country," but she's actually got a huge, ultra-modern suburban house, complete with charming next-door neighbors, widowed comic-strip artist Dan Dailey and his young son, Billy Gray.  They meet cute during her huge house-warming bash when a flock of pigeons and some barbecue smoke from his yard almost squelch the fun in her yard, but soon they’re quite the cuddly item—until Gray, feeling the father-son bond threatened, expresses his disapproval of his dad’s new beau.  This leads to the usual hurt feelings and misunderstandings that crop up in Hollywood domestic comedies until the pre-ordained happy ending in which the three of them work it all out.

For a time, this is a breezy, colorful, well-paced musical comedy.  Haver and Dailey have good chemistry and create characters that keep threatening to be interesting, and they get good support from Dennis Day, as her agent (pictured between Haver and Dailey), and Cara Williams, as her close friend.  Their characters are flat but their mismatched romance provides some humor.  Billy Gray, best known as Bud on Father Knows Best, is fine, and Natalie Schafer (Mrs. Howell on Gilligan's Island) appears briefly as a buzz-kill babysitter.  There are quite a few songs, most memorably the opener "We Girls of the Chorus" which plays out under the credits, and Dailey and Haver get some good dances.  There are also a couple of cute animated sequences in which the human characters are presented in the form of Dailey's comic strip characters.  But when the relationship story between Haver and Dailey gets derailed by Gray's jealousy, it all slows down and becomes too predictable.  Still, I enjoyed this little-known film and would recommend it to fans of the small-scale 50s musicals. [FMC]

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