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Monday, August 5, 2013

My Blue Heaven (1950)

After a musical comedy actress (Betty Grable) has a miscarriage due to a car accident, she and her husband (Dan Dailey), who's also her TV co-star, try to adopt but the archaic regulations regarding adoption prevent them from doing so. So they go through the "black market" to adopt a child which will later have repercussions. While she stays home to nurse the baby, a predatory actress (Mitzi Gaynor in her film debut) puts the make on her husband. While most of Grable's musical vehicles were fluff, this one has a darker edge to it. Miscarriages, black market babies, adultery, a forced entry kidnapping etc., hardly the stuff of the usual Grable vehicle. Directed by Henry Koster (MY COUSIN RACHEL), the stronger narrative makes for a more satisfying watch between the musical numbers. The songs by Ralph Blane (MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS) and Harold Arlen (WIZARD OF OZ) are unmemorable throwaways even as you're watching them but the choreography by Billy Daniel and Seymour Felix is pretty good, highlighted by the Friendly Islands production number which spoofs SOUTH PACIFIC (which ironically Gaynor would star in 8 years later). With David Wayne, Jane Wyatt, Una Merkel, Louise Beavers, Larry Keating and Elinor Donahue.

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