Except for a few gags and situations, Rhythm has essentially nothing new in it. But neither has a Christmas tree. Yet both bring good cheer because of the way they’re dressed up. The whole thing, as Harry Tugend has written it and George Marshall directed it, is fresh, alive and full of bounce.
It’s a gay and good-humored tune-pic, but on the grand scale, grand because of the personalities who wander in and out of the pic, because of the seven listenable tunes, because of the general lavishness of the production and because of the downright gaiety of the whole affair.
Best of all, most of the flock of stars do much better than the usual smile and a couple of lines. Among the names whose contribution to the film deserves more than perfunctory billing are Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake, Mary Martin, Victor Moore, Betty Hutton and Eddie Bracken.
Scaffolding for this galaxy is the arrival at San Pedro of Bracken and a pile of his navy shipmates. Bracken’s father (Victor Moore) is a former hoss opry star who’s now a gateman at the Paramount lot. Rather than disclose this comedown to Bracken, Hutton convinces Moore that he should say he’s head of the studio. Bracken thereupon brings his shipmates to the lot (promising each of them a 24-karat Par blonde) and Moore has to attempt to play the big-shot that his son has billed him.
1943: Nominations: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, Song (‘Black Magic’)