The astute Samuel Goldwyn has assembled top names from grand opera, class terpsichore, music, radio and films. The mixture, in the brilliant hues of Technicolor, turns out to be a lavish production in which certain individual performances and ensembles erase the memory of some dull moments. Four of the musical numbers were composed by the late George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin; Vernon Duke completed the score.
Filmusical is reported to have cost $2 million. It doesn’t parade such extravagance on the screen, which probably is due to some heavy blue penciling en route. Not-withstanding, it is a hefty eyeful.
Start shows Adolphe Menjou much concerned that his productions have lost mass appeal – the common touch. Country girl (Andrea Leeds) tells him what’s the matter, takes the job of studio censor and passes on the script and casting of the production in progress.
Meanwhile, Edgar Bergen and ‘Charlie’ wait in the outer office of the casting director and exchange quips on the world as they see it and some of the people in it. The Ritz Bros, owners of a traveling animal circus, drive in the studio gates intent on film careers. Phil Baker dashes from stage to wardrobe in an effort to keep pace with script changes of his part. Jerome Cowan directs the revised version, sequences of which introduce Helen Jepson in scenes from La Traviata, and Zorina dances with the American Ballet troupe. That’s how all of them, except Kenny Baker, get in front of the camera.
1938: Nomination: Best Score