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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

IF I’M LUCKY (1946)

Both Perry Como & Carmen Miranda ended their stint @ 20th/Fox with this modest-to-a-fault musical. Actually, the execution is so half-hearted, they seem to be ending their contracts while shooting it. And that’s a shame because they and the rest of the cast (Vivian Blaine, Harry James, the great Phil Silvers) are a pleasure to hang around with. The film is a wan remake of THANKS A MILLION/’35 (not seen here) about a down-on-their-luck band who hook up with a woeful gubernatorial candidate. They need the job, he needs some excitement. Neither of them know that his whole campaign is just a set up by corrupt politicos & big business types. Preston Sturges could have made a great farce out of this, but he moved to Fox two years too late. Alas. Here, the songs are as lackluster as the megging and the script misses (avoids is more like it) every interesting possibility in the story.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Como pretty much gave up on the acting biz after this one, but he’s so laid-back you can’t take your eyes off of him. Is he going to blow up? Is he going to fall asleep? His poor directors must have been in despair. Surprisingly handsome, surprisingly short; a deep well or an empty one; unknowable or just unresponsive? What a Gatsby he would have made! If Gatsby were a crooner.

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