Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Betty Hutton, Barry Fitzgerald, Don DeFore, Andy Russell, Robert Benchley
Director: Hal Walker
Release Date: 28 December 1945
Length: 98 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 3/5 stars
“The famed New York nightspot is the setting for this brassy musical comedy starring Betty Hutton as Judy Peabody, a coat check girl at the club who saves the life of J.B. Bates (Barry Fitzgerald), a drowning bum who turns out to be a millionaire. He’s so grateful that he sets Judy up for life, but all this attention leads her boyfriend, Danny (Don DeFore), to think J.B.’s got ulterior motives. Andy Russell and Bill Goodwin co-star.” — Netflix.com
I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I actually did. I thought that the music numbers were upbeat, clever and completely ridiculous. It was a lot of fun to watch Betty Hutton bounce around the stage and have a great time performing for other people. She was adorable in this movie as a girl from humble beginnings who suddenly can afford anything that she wants due to a mysterious benefactor. She soon learns, though, that money doesn’t buy happiness – especially when no one knows where the money came from! Her boyfriend (Don DeFore) certainly cannot accept the change in his girlfriend’s fortunes and really turns into a real sourpuss about it. The eccentric millionaire (Barry Fitzgerald) who gave Judy (Betty Hutton) the money for saving his life was hilarious! He is very tightfisted with his money and does not want to spend any of it! Watching Betty Hutton’s character run through his money so quickly freaks him out and takes his mind off of his own troubles for a little while.
The plot is completely ridiculous, but was just fun to watch. I especially enjoyed the final scene where everyone is able to miraculously get together with their significant other after so many misunderstandings. There are a lot of cute and hilarious scenes throughout this film that will bring a smile to your face. The main problem with this film is not the acting, the plot or the musical numbers because all of these aspects were pretty good. What really pulled this movie down for me was the poor audio and visual quality. You could tell that they just pulled this movie out of the vault and slapped it onto a DVD without doing anything to it. The black and white images were fuzzy, indistinct and there were a few scenes where you say the lines/blobs go down the screen like you sometimes see in the movie theatre from a used reel. The audio had a lot of feedback on it and it was difficult to enjoy the movie because, if you turned the volume up high enough to be able to hear what is going on, the feedback level was really loud. If there was a way to edit the sound and the images on the movie, this one would have been a lot more enjoyable for me.
This movie contains some sexual innuendo as no one is sure what Betty Hutton’s character did to get the money for her new life. Other than that, the movie is pretty clean. Appropriate for viewers of all ages, but recommended for ages 8 and up.