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Monday, May 26, 2008

ON THE RIVIERA (1951)


This was the third time Fox musicalized this fifth-rate piece of ersatz Molnar (FOLIES BERGERE and THAT NIGHT IN RIO preceded), and, amazingly, all three versions have their charms. Here, we get some dandy Jack Cole choreography (with juicy turns from a young Gwen Verdon, but with a dubbed voice) and a chance to see Danny Kaye in a double role that calls upon his sophisticated international stage persona, rather than the infantile nebbishes he got stuck doing in his early Sam Goldwyn vehicles. This grown up Danny has aged infinitely better, and in a smoothie number like ‘Ballin’ the Jack’ or in one of the better 'numbos' penned by Sylvia (Mrs Danny) Kaye "Rhythm of a New Romance,’ he’s a knock-out. Corinne Calvert makes a fine partner for Kaye, but half her scenes must have landed on the cutting room floor.

CONTEST: Character actor Marcel Dalio was in two famous films that featured a glamorous, record-breaking aviator. One was ON THE RIVIERA and the other was . . . Name it first and get a Write-Up on any NetFlix DVD on your choice.

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