Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tonight's Movie: Let's Do It Again (1953)

LET'S DO IT AGAIN is a musical remake of the Cary Grant-Irene Dunne classic THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937). While not on a par with the original, this time around the leads are played by Ray Milland and Jane Wyman, two Oscar-winning actors who had previously costarred in THE LOST WEEKEND (1945), and the film is quite enjoyable on its own terms.

Milland plays a Broadway composer and Wyman is his musical actress wife. They split because of mutual distrust, but keep finding themselves irresistibly drawn back to one another, despite romantic complications caused at various times by Aldo Ray, Tom Helmore, Karin Booth, and Valerie Bettis. Milland and Wyman are both entertaining, and Milland's comedic reactions are always fun to watch.

Like THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, another 1953 musical reviewed earlier this evening, LET'S DO IT AGAIN has beautiful Technicolor and fun '50s sets and fashions. (A highlight is Wyman's rendition of "Slow Burn" while wearing a stunning Jean Louis pink strapless evening gown.) THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is the better of the two films, but LET'S DO IT AGAIN is breezy, undemanding fun which goes down easily.

I was unfamiliar with Valerie Bettis and intrigued to learn she choreographed a fun MGM musical, ATHENA (1954), which starred Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds. Bettis also appeared in and choreographed AFFAIR IN TRINIDAD (1952) with Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth; that film comes out on DVD later this year.

Karin Booth appeared in a number of MGM movies in the '40s, most notably THE UNFINISHED DANCE with Cyd Charisse and Margaret O'Brien.

The film runs 95 minutes. The supporting cast includes Leon Ames and Mary Treen.

The movie was directed by Alexander Hall, who had previously directed Milland in THE DOCTOR TAKES A WIFE.

LET'S DO IT AGAIN is not available on video or DVD. It can be seen occasionally on TCM.

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