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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

THE FABULOUS DORSEYS (1947)

More like THE BARELY WATCHABLE DORSEYS. This expectedly dopey bio-pic about those feudin' big band brothers has just enough musical interludes to keep you from tuning out (Paul Whiteman, Art Tatum, a nifty turn from Helen O'Connell), and it's fun to see the boys play themselves in dramatic situations and not merely fronting their bands (Jimmy can't act a lick, but Tommy's not too bad), but there’s not a lot going on here. Janet Blair co-stars as peacemaker to the boys, saving the romance for the blandly handsome William Lundigan. He’s pianist/composer for the band and wouldn’t you just know he’s got a concerto in his trunk with solo licks just right the brothers. (These things always seem to end in semi-classical garb @ Carnegie Hall.) Will the guys reunite. Will anyone care? Hack megger Alfred Green was just off THE JOLSON STORY/’46, the surprise hit of the year, but surprises are just what you won’t find here.

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