Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Is The Army (1943)

If you didn't guess by the date in the title, it's time for another movie review...or at least what passes as a review on this blog. I recently watched "This Is The Army" starring George Murphy & Ronald Reagan. George Murphy plays a song & dance man drafted into WW1. The army puts his talents to use by putting on a stage show & entertaining the troops. Eventually he gets combat duty, gets injured, but does return home. Later on his son (Ronald Reagan) joins the army at the start of WW2. Like his father he ends up putting on a stage show & entertaining the troops before heading off for combat duty. The story isn't much more than an excuse to tie together A LOT of patriotic musical numbers. This movie was shot in black & white, but I can't remember a film with more red, white & blue in it. Honestly there were only a few numbers that stood out to me, but given the time this movie was released it's not hard to understand why it was the biggest money maker of 1943. (according to IMDB)

All the music is by the great Irving Berlin, and much of it from a show he was involved in (Yip Yip Yaphank) back during WW1. Irving even sings one of his numbers toward the end of the film. Overall I wouldn't recommend you watching this film unless you're just a huge Irving Berlin nut.

Alan Hale is mildly entertaining at times. Dan Dailey can be seen breifly in an uncredited appearance. And at one point I saw someone I knew from another project, but couldn't figure out WHO it was. Eventually I had to go to IMDB to find out, and it turns out it was Herbet Anderson (aka the dad from "Dennis The Menace"). The only other thing I can think to mention is that Kate Smith (The Songbird Of The South) sings "God Bless America". It was written back in 1918, but Kate is the one who first sang it in 1938.

Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning
Fun Fact from IMDB: "When Irving Berlin was filming his rendition of "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning", one of the stagehands, unaware of who the singer was, supposedly said that if the guy who wrote the song could hear Berlin's singing, he'd roll over in his grave."

That's What The Well-Dressed Man In Harlem Will Wear
James Cross performing the only notable dance routine in the film.

Roxie Hart (1942)
Ok, this movie isn't really worth reviewing. It wasn't really a 'musical', and it wasn't very good. I watched it for 1 reason...Ginger Rogers was in it. William Frawley (Fred Mertz) had a small roll, and there was only 1 dance routine worth sharing. Too my surprize I did find a 2nd number that had been cut from the film. Thank you YouTube. It's the second video below.

Taping Scene
Not a bad routine considering she's on stairs & in heels.

Charleston Cut Scene
This was not included in the final version of the film.

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