Review: ‘Centennial Summer’

Centennial Summer is pleasant musical filmfare, sparked by a lilting Jerome Kern score. Production dress is lavish to point up the period, and direction adopts a leisurely style in welding together the music and story ingredients. It's not a sock film, but easy to take and will please.

Centennial Summer is pleasant musical filmfare, sparked by a lilting Jerome Kern score. Production dress is lavish to point up the period, and direction adopts a leisurely style in welding together the music and story ingredients. It’s not a sock film, but easy to take and will please.

The Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II ‘All Through the Day’ is exploited most often in the score, but workouts are also given to Kern-Leo Robin numbers such as ‘Love in Vain,’ ‘The Right Romance’ and ‘Up with the Lark.’ Film’s weakness is lack of top voices to punch the numbers over, but quality of the cleffing makes them stand out regardless. Speciality spot goes to ‘Cinderella Sue,’ with lyrics by E. Y. Harburg and sung by Avon Long.

Script is based on Albert E. Idell’s novel of the same title. Background is the Centennial celebration held in Philadelphia during the summer of 1876. Plot spreads itself over several angles, projecting both elderly and younger romantic complications that beset members of a Philadelphia railroading family. Papa (Walter Brennan) makes a mild play for his wife’s sophisticated sister, and the two girls (Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell) of the family both chase the same man (Cornel Wilde).

Side issues are papa’s desire to interest the railroad president in a newfangled clock he has invented, a young doctor’s efforts to win the heart of one of the daughters, and the sophisticated aunty’s (Constance Bennett) maneuvering to make things add up right for the Rogers family.

Producer-director Otto Preminger gets the most from the material and players. Color work isn’t up to the usual Technicolor standard.

Centennial Summer

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Otto Preminger; Producer Otto Preminger; Screenplay Michael Kanin; Camera Ernest Palmer; Editor Harry Reynolds; Music Alfred Newman (dir.);; Art Director Lyle Wheeler, Lee Fuller

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Jeanne Crain Cornel Wilde Linda Darnell William Bythe Walter Brennan Constance Bennett
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading