Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game PosterThis is a film that I would recommend to all the people complaining that our professional athletes are overcompensated. Not because I think these people are jealous whiners and that they deserve to have to sit through this forgettable musical filled with unremarkable tunes, dance numbers that don’t ever catch fire, and a story about as thin as Frank Sinatra, though that wouldn’t be totally unwarranted punishment for them. But because this movie teaches us what happens when pro ballplayers don’t make enough money and have to find second jobs from shady gamblers.

Right from the beginning, the movie demonstrates how desirous it is for our sports heroes to not be forced into off season employment when we meet up with Gene Kelly and Old Blue Eyes as they perform their vaudeville routine that revolves around a lot of singing and dancing to the title song. Continue reading “Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)”

Show Boat (1951)

ShowBoatPosterEven Old Man River himself could be forgiven for wandering off into another room while one of the innumerable ballads that stops the film dead in its tracks gets crooned by one of the movie’s three main characters. Other than Old Man River’s theme song, the tunes featured here are a collection of dirge-like ditties about love that barley even rhyme, let alone ever approach being hummable. To their credit, the songs never manage to be catchy enough to get painfully stuck in your head, but that doesn’t really make the film go any faster. Continue reading “Show Boat (1951)”

Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)

This was the first beach party I’d seen, so I wasn’t too sure what I was getting myself in for. I guess I imagined there’d be a little singing, probably a surfing contest against some snooty rich kids, and some square parents who thought all surfers were no good.

Other than the singing, I was completely off base, because instead of snobs vs. slobs and parents who just don’t understand, we had a comic relief biker gang, a sky diving story line, a pop singer named Sugar Kane, and a mermaid!

Beach Blanket Bingo is pretty close to the end of the cycle for these beach party movies and without having seen any of those others as of this writing, it’s difficult to say whether the film makers had exhausted their beach movie material or what, but you get the feeling watching the various storylines peter out at various points in the film, that they didn’t really have any solid ideas for what this movie was going to be about. Continue reading “Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)”

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

In this beloved musical effort set against the backdrop of the 1903 World’s Fair, Judy Garland sings her way through a world where the most pressing problem of the day is the fact that the boy-next-door’s tailor is closed meaning that he can’t get his tuxedo in time for the big graduation dance.

As is to be expected in this kind of film, the lovable grandfather comes through and lends his tuxedo to the young man. I’m not sure what it says about Judy’s date that he would have the same build as a seventy year old man, but this was back in olden times where chicks actually wore corsets instead of letting their beer bellies hang over the fraying elastic waistband of their stretch pants like so many of St. Louis’ women do today. Continue reading “Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)”