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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Small Town Girl (1953)

When a rich playboy (Farley Granger) is arrested for speeding in a small town, the judge (Robert Keith) gives him 30 days in jail. But he didn't count on his daughter (Jane Powell) and the playboy falling in love. This minor musical programmer churned out by the MGM factory is an unexceptional piece of fluff but there are several reasons for it standing out. Busby Berkeley choreographed the musical numbers and there are two memorable highlights: Ann Miller's rendition of I've Gotta Hear That Beat as she taps madly around musical instruments and hands sticking out of the floor is a terrific number and there's the delightful "hopping" number as that underrated dancer Bobby Van hops through the town that's one of a kind. There's also a lovely Oscar nominated ballad My Flaming Heart sung by the great Nat King Cole. All worth sitting through Powell's trills and Granger's charmless personality. Directed by Laszlo Kardos. With Fay Wray, S.Z. Sakall, Billie Burke, Chill Wills and William Campbell.

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