Review: ‘Give a Girl a Break’

The talents of a group of youthful performers are showcased in this routine tintuner, a passably pleasant, although uninspired, piece of entertainment. Five tunes were cleffed by Burton Lane and Ira Gershwin, while the sixth, a straight terp piece, was done by Andre Previn and Saul Chaplin.

The talents of a group of youthful performers are showcased in this routine tintuner, a passably pleasant, although uninspired, piece of entertainment. Five tunes were cleffed by Burton Lane and Ira Gershwin, while the sixth, a straight terp piece, was done by Andre Previn and Saul Chaplin.

In addition to the Champions, the other youthful talent consists of Debbie Reynolds, Helen Wood and Bob Fosse. The quintet works hard at its chores and manages to brighten proceedings in spots, although the material in the screenplay, from a story by Vera Caspary, is too lightweight to give much drive. Stanley Donen’s direction falters, also, contributing to the draggy pace.

Plot twist revolves around Champion, Reynolds and Wood competing for the lead in a show being directed by Gower Champion after its femme star (Donna Martell) walks out. This showbiz background is ample excuse to work in the songs and dances and there is a certain amount of suspense over which girl will land the role.

Give a Girl a Break

Production

M-G-M. Director Stanley Donen; Producer Jack Cummings; Screenplay Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich; Camera William Mellor; Editor Adrienne Fazan; Music Andre Previn, Saul Chaplin (dir.); Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Marge Champion Gower Champion Debbie Reynolds Helen Wood Bob Fosse Kurt Kasznar

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