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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Orchestra Wives (1942)

A small town girl (Ann Rutherford) falls hard for a trumpet player (George Montgomery) in a swing band. They marry quickly but she finds it difficult to adjust to the traveling life of an orchestra wife and it doesn't help that her husband's ex-flame (Lynn Bari) is the band's vocalist. Directed by Archie Mayo (THE PETRIFIED FOREST), this musical has a stronger plot than most of these big band musicals of the 1940s but it's still the musical numbers that are the reason for watching. The songs are by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon and for fans of that big band sound of Glenn Miller (who actually plays a character other than himself for a change), the film is a treat. Sure we have to sit through the sappy marriage problems of Rutherford and Montgomery but when we're rewarded by the great Nicholas Brothers and their dazzling foot work on I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo it's well worth it. There's also some nice supporting work by Bari as the devious band singer and Carole Landis as a bitchy orchestra wife. With Jackie Gleason, Cesar Romero, Mary Beth Hughes, Virginia Gilmore, Grant Mitchell, Marion Hutton (Betty's sister), Edith Evanson, Iris Adrian and Dale Evans (without Roy Rogers).

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