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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Moon Over Miami (1941)

A waitress (Betty Grable), her sister (Carole Landis) and their aunt (Charlotte Greenwood) take their $4,000 inheritance and go to Miami where they pose as heiress, secretary and maid respectively. Their mission: to catch a rich husband. The scenario of three women banding together and plotting to snag a wealthy husband goes back to the early 1930s, notably Zoe Akins' play THE GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR IT. 20th Century Fox milked the formula successfully multiple times through the 1940s to 1960s. This Technicolor Grable musical is a pleasant diversion but not very memorable. The three leads (Don Ameche and Robert Cummings are the leading men) are on the bland side but it's hard to dislike Grable. She's an adequate singer and dancer, says her lines with a modicum of believability but she's eminently likable and tries hard and you find yourself pulling for her. The wooden Cummings makes the enervated Ameche seem positively virile! Fortunately, Greenwood and Jack Haley (THE WIZARD OF OZ) make for an amusing and lively secondary pair. The songs by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger are a dull lot though The Condos Brothers as tap dancing Indians is, um ... interesting. Directed by Walter Lang. With Cobina Wright and Fortunio Bonanova.

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