St. Louis Blues, is behind-the-scenes Mississippi riverboat stuff in a modern setting, which is perhaps its most discordant note. It lacks the charm of the background that keynotes Show Boat.
There’s quite a bit of stuff packed into this Jeff Lazarus production, ranging from the 52nd street jitterbug motif (Maxine Sullivan) to Broadway injunction suits by Jerome Cowan against Dorothy Lamour. Latter eventually goes into her standard sarong routine as part of a South Seas sequence.
Story [based on an adaptation by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan of a story by Eleanore Griffin and William Rankin] is one o’ those things sometimes. There’s much ado about injunctions and the law, yet, for the climactic situation, Lamour flaunts the restraint order, appears on the showboat, seemingly nonplusses the cops by her vocal charm, and it winds up in an inconclusive clinch.
Raoul Walsh’s direction was handicapped by the script.
St. Louis Blues
Paramount. Director Raoul Walsh; Producer Jeff Lazarus; Screenplay John C. Moffitt, Malcolm Stuart Boylan, Virginia Van Upp; Camera Theodor Sparkuhl; Editor William Shea; Music W.C. Handy, Leo Robin, Sam Coslow, Hoagy Carmichael; Art Director Hans Dreier
(B&W) Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 90 MIN.
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