Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Girl Next Door (1953)

The Girl Next Door was a lot of fun. I really wasn't expecting much from this flick going in. Dan Dailey & June Haver are the only big names in the film, but the supporting cast was marvelous. Dan plays a cartoonist who is a single dad. June plays a famous showgirl who moves in next door. It doesn't take long for the pair to fall in love, and the on screen chemistry is pretty good. The only other person with any real screen time is Billy Gray. He plays Dan's young son, who is the only hitch in Dan & June's marriage plans. What little drama there is in this film is resolved fairly quickly, and for the most part it's just full of good times.

The musical numbers were really good, and the performances were very charismatic. The movie doesn't look like it had much of a budget, and 90% of it takes place between the small homes of Dan & June. There is one number (Nowhere Guy) that, despite a small budget, was creative & very visual. At one point June is dancing on stage with a shadow (cool even if not original), and Dan is watching in the audience. Dan starts daydreaming, and the lead into the daydream is his shadow walking up on stage to throw off June's other shadow dance partner. Shortly after that, Dan's shadow transitions into Dan, and it's just a neat routine overall. Even Billy gets involved in the song & dance numbers. Dan & Billy don't dance much in "I'd Rather Have A Pal Than A Gal Anytime", but there was some really difficult choreography in the number, and they both nailed it.

As Dan is a cartoonist in this flick, it makes since that there are animated skits in the film. They generally take place in the form of a daydream or story being told. They weren't great, but they were cute & didn't really take you out of the movie like they could have done. Only other thing I can think to mention right now is that Natalie Schafer (that's Mrs. Howell bitches) has a minor role.

I couldn't find much of this film on YouTube, and it's a shame because even the opening of this film was cool. If I could have, I would have embedded half a dozen routines, but I could only find one. I couldn't even find the movie trailer, but take my word for it, this is a film you should watch if you like light hearted musicals.

You're Doin' All Right by Dan Dailey & June Haver (dubbed by Beryl Davis)

Fun Facts:
- Rejecting the part of Jeannie Laird, Betty Grable turned down a fifth movie match-up with Dan Dailey. Twentieth Century-Fox then placed Miss Grable on suspension. - IMDB

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