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Monday, September 22, 2014

On Moonlight Bay (1951)

Small town Indiana in the 1910s, a young tomboy (Doris Day) falls in love with a college student (Gordon MacRae) with unconventional ideas. This irks her father (Leon Ames) who tries to get her interested in other boys. Clearly a knock off of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS but that doesn't make it any the less charming. As in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, Ames is once again the head of the household and there's a mother (Rosemary DeCamp), daughter (Day), maid (Mary Wickes) and a precocious boy (Billy Gray, DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL) in place of Margaret O'Brien's Tootie. Though set in the 1910s, its head is clearly set in the early 1950s. The film seems to endorse the idea that radical ideas are a normal phase college kids go through but that it's something to grow out of such "intellectual" notions and accept societal conventions. There aren't any original songs, instead songs of the actual period like Cuddle Up A Little Closer and On Moonlight Bay are used. But the songs themselves seem almost a throwaway, for a musical they certainly get short shrift. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. With Ellen Corby and Esther Dale.

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