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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Music For Millions (1944)

Overall this movie was...alright. Worth watching if you're a Jimmy Durante or Margaret O'Brien fan, other than that it's just alright. I watched it because I AM a Jimmy Durante fan, and when I saw that June Allyson was in it, I figured I'd probably like it. Unfortunately I thought June's performance was unbelievable...in a bad way. Seemed too phony. I came away thinking Margaret O'Brien is probably the cutest child star I've ever seen. That kid could make the Grinch smile with her delivery.

The movie is about a young lady (June) who is preggers with her man off fighting in WWII. Her kid sister (Margaret) comes for a surprise visit, and causes some humorous moments. June's character is staying in a boarding house with a bunch of other girls who are all in a symphony orchestra....which is lead by Jose Iturbi. From the start I thought Jose was going to be a bit more of a villain in the movie, but it takes only minutes for Margaret to melt his heart. Jimmy is the man that basically gets things done, and I guess his official title would be manager of the orchestra? He provides some fun moments during the picture. The supporting cast overall did a fine job, but a couple stand outs were Marsha Hunt & Hugh Herbert. My biggest problems with the film were June's performance, and the ending. It's a happy ending...which I like, but you see it coming a mile away.

Don't go out and hunt this movie down, but if you happen to catch it on TV on a slow night...go ahead & watch it.

Jimmy Durante doing his thing, and his long time associate Eddy Jackson making an appearance.

Clair de Lune
Larry Adler on the harmonica.

Piano Concerto In A Minor
José Iturbi tickling the ivory.

Jimmy Durante & Eddie Jackson (1955)
Jimmy not only performed this act on stage numerous times, but on film as well. This is not from the movie. This is from some television show, but I can't say which.

Fun Fact: The member of the band at the Army base who breaks up Jimmy Durante's performance of "Umbriago" by singing in front of the microphone is Eddie Jackson (ne Edward Jacobs), Durante's long time partner in the night-club team of Clayton, Jackson and Durante. The trio performed for years on vaudeville and at New York's Club Durant (sic) but it was the bottom-billed Jimmy who became the star. Lou Clayton, who gave up show business to manage his partner's career, made Jimmy a millionaire. - IMDB

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