Theodore Dreiser’s biography of his songwriting brother, Paul Dresser, parades a number of popular tunes of the 1890s #- several with specially-staged production numbers – to round out a fairly entertaining piece of filmusical entertainment.
Dresser’s life is far from sugar-coated in its cinematic unreeling. Young Paul (Victor Mature) is picked up as the youth who runs away from home to pursue a musical career rather than study for the ministry. After a short stretch as entertainer with a cheap medicine show, and an intimate association with Carole Landis, he finally tosses over the small time for a whirl at the big town of New York.
There’s too much footage consumed in unnecessary episodes and incidents that might have been historically correct for the times, but not important to a straight line presentation of a musical drama.
Although Mature gives a solid performance as the songwriter, it’s Rita Hayworth who catches major attention from her first entrance.
1942: Best Color Art Direction.
Nomination: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture