Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sing Your Worries Away (1942)

Director: A. Edward Sutherland

Writers: Charles Belden, Erwin S. Gelsey, Charles E. Roberts, Monte Brice

Music director: C. Bakaleinikoff

Starring: Bert Lahr, June Havoc, Buddy Ebsen, Patsy Kelly, Dorothy Lovett, Sam Levene, Margaret Dumont, Alvino Rey and His Orchestra, The King Sisters, Charles Middleton

More info: IMDb

Plot:  This package for comedy and the musical numbers has Luke Brown being drugged by the gangster operators of the swank Boathouse Inn; most notably Roxie a sexy pickpocket. Brown has information that Chow Brewster and his cousin have inherited $3,000,000. The owner of the Inn intends to keep Brown under wraps until they can drive Chow to suicide. He will then marry Chow's cousin before she finds out about her inheritance.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Nah.

This fun little picture has a lot going for it.  First you've got Buddy Ebsen (as Tommy), who was famously going to play the Tin Man in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) but pulled out due to an allergic reaction to the paint.  Then you've got Bert Lahr who played the Cowardly Lion in Oz.  There are some other fun folks in it like Margaret Dumont of the Marx Brothers pictures and Charles Middleton shows up as a judge (he played Ming in the FLASH GORDON serials in the 30s).  Like a lot of comedies during the war this one's got performances from a big band and the King Sisters.  The musical interludes give a nice break from the comedy but I'd like more comedy.  The comedy is fun and there are some great gags and the funny runs the gamut from clever as shit to outright slapstick silly. It's the actors and fast timing that make even the lamest gags work or at least likable.  As I watched this I realized it's the first thing I've ever seen Ebsen in that wasn't THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.  Damn, that show was hilarious.  He's really affable and knows comedy.  Lahr has the funny hard-wired in him but I couldn't help but feel he was channeling Shemp Howard who could've easily done the role justice...if not better.

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