A biopic about Sigmund Romberg, of whom most of my fans have never heard. He did a lot of operettas, songs, musicals and film scores from about 1914-45.
Mr. Otter brought this home from work, and I said, ooh, a musical, let’s watch it tonight.
And we did.
And, well, we don’t have to do that again anytime soon.
Now, it did have moments. Jose Ferrer was quite good as Romberg, and there were some other actors who were not bad. Most of the movie is made up of famous people (Cyd Charisse, Gene Kelly, Rosemary Clooney, Howard Keel (totally wasted in his segment) and others) doing a song in a setting from whichever play is supposedly being produced at that point in Romberg’s life. And some of these songs are great songs that Mr. Otter sings all the time. Very nicely too.
Others…are not so good.
The two best things in this musical: Ann Miller, Serious Honey, doing a song and tap dance, and Gene and Fred Kelly doing their number. Yes, Fred Kelly; this is pretty much the only clip of him, with or without Gene, and he’s GREAT. Evidently while Gene went for movie stardom, Fred taught dance (including, briefly, to princesses Elizabeth and Margaret) and then went into television. He invented the Cha-cha during his dance career, and for television created the first cooking show, soap opera and talk show. Amazing. Is there a book about his life? nope, doggone it.
Anyway. Rent this, skip the boring parts (you’ll know them when you see them) and enjoy what’s good.