Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Something for the Boys (1944) Film Review - Carmen Miranda

Watched this one yesterday afternoon.

Plot Summary - Colorful WWII musical comedy about three cousins - Blossom, Chiquita, and Harry Hart - who are announced heirs to their uncle's million dollar Kentucky plantation. Harry Hart (Phil Silvers) is a shyster lately taking advantage of wartime shortages selling "sheer hosiery" by the bottle, Blossom (Vivian Blaine) is a singer/showgirl currently starring on stage in the "Khaki and Blue Revue", and Chiquita (um, their Brazilian cousin - played by Carmen Miranda) works in a munitions factory and, oddly, receives radio broadcasts through the fillings in her teeth. The cousins meet for the first time (for some reason) as they arrive to claim the inheritance - unfortunately the million dollar fortune has been completely wiped out by taxes, mortgages, debts, and (mostly) legal fees: all that's left is a rundown, dusty, falling apart mansion called "Magnolia Manor". Some local G.I. Joes want to turn the house into a "home for army wives" and the cousins go for the idea - "You've Got the Wives! (They gotta be Legal) We Need Cash! (It's gotta be Real)". Blossom romances bandleader turned Sergeant, Rocky Fulton (known by those in the know as "the face on the jukebox door"). The two come up with a great idea - put on a show, $2.00 a ticket, to help pay the bills. Fortunately for them, all the "army wives" now living there look like gorgeous showgirls and can dance to boot.

Review - Fun wartime musical brought to life in Technicolor splendor, and some really entertaining musical numbers with lots of sequins and bright colors including "Something for the Boys" title song by Cole Porter, and the great Carmen Miranda, decked out in her usual uniform of bare midriff dress, neck and arms covered in bangles, high platform shoes, and basically a fruit bowl for a hat, as she does two fun numbers "Batuca Nega", and the show-stopping finale number "Samba-Boogie". The film also includes some smooth vocal numbers done by a young Perry Como. I found the film quite entertaining as a whole, though the last part dragged quite a bit with some very silly stuff involving war games and Chiquita's mouth being used as a radio receiver. The print used on the DVD of this looks terrific, the colors totally pop. Rating - 7/10 stars

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