Saturday, July 04, 2009

Tonight's Movie: Star Spangled Rhythm (1942)

I hope all my readers enjoyed as nice an Independence Day as we did. We had a wonderful barbecue -- steak, baked potatoes, grilled corn on the cob, and cupcakes -- and our kids spent some time sitting on the roof where they had a good view of area fireworks.

The evening concluded in patriotic style watching Paramount's flag-waving World War II all-star extravaganza STAR SPANGLED RHYTHM, a morale-boosting film which was released on December 2, 1942, not quite a year to the day after Pearl Harbor.

The movie's goofy plot, featuring a Paramount security guard (Victor Moore) whose sailor son (Eddie Bracken) thinks his dad is head of the studio, is an excuse for many enjoyable cameos by Paramount stars. You also have to sit through endless scenes of Betty Hutton squealing and screaming, which is a bit painful if (like myself) one is not a Hutton fan, but all in all the movie is worthwhile for star watching and some entertaining musical numbers.

One of the best songs is Dick Powell and Mary Martin (in a relatively rare screen appearance) singing "Hit the Road to Dreamland," backed by the Golden Gate Quartet. This quietly stylish number made the movie worth watching for me, in and of itself.

Another enjoyable number, a big production called "On the Swing Shift," features Marjorie Reynolds, who starred in Paramount's HOLIDAY INN the same year.

Among the many stars appearing in the film are Crosby, Hope, MacMurray, Goddard, Ladd, Lake, Milland, Tone, Lamour, and Hayward. Directors Cecil B. DeMille and Preston Sturges also appear.

An unbilled Anne Revere has an amusing turn as the studio head's secretary; the studio chief is played by Walter Abel.

The movie was directed by George Marshall. It runs 99 minutes.

STAR SPANGLED RHYTHM is available on DVD; it's a two-film set which also contains Bob Hope's MY FAVORITE BLONDE on the same disc.

STAR SPANGLED RHYTHM has also had a VHS release.


Blogger Carrie said...

Great film! Happy 4th!

1:49 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Carrie, you too!!

Best wishes,

2:43 PM  
Blogger Matthew Coniam said...

Got this for Christmas (the double Bob Hope edition) and must have watched the Lake-Lamour-Goddard number about a thousand times already!

6:07 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's fun, isn't it? I've borrowed my Dad's copy of the same DVD set and look forward to watching MY FAVORITE BLONDE as well.

Best wishes,

10:07 AM  

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