FOLLOW THE BOYS (1944)
aka Sueños de Gloria
(Comedy, Black & White, 2 hr 2 min)
Universal - U.S.A.
A. Edward Sutherland
George Raft, Vera Zorina, Charles Grapewin, Maria Montez (As: Herself)
This movie was the first one of Universal Pictures in the musical genre.
Forget about the penny-dreadful's worth of plot and just sit back and enjoy the star cameos. A long wartime rouser, FOLLOW THE BOYS begins with the closing of New York's Palace Theater and the demise of vaudeville.
Tony (Raft), Kitty (McDonald), and Nick West (Grapewin), a brother-sister-father trio, have just finished doing their turkey of an act at the Palace in New York, and Tony suggests that they try their luck in Hollywood. Once there, Tony soon hits it big, teaming with Gloria Vance (Zorina) in several hit movies.
They fall in love and marry, but WWII drives them apart as Tony, refused induction because of a bad knee, takes on the task of organizing entertainment for the fighting men going overseas.
It's perhaps unfair to criticize FOLLOW THE BOYS for its hackneyed story line, considering that the real purpose of the film is to show off the assortment of legendary performers herein assembled.
The odd collection consists largely of established talent on its way down or notable personalities on their way up, but one cherishes the film for what it records for posterity.
Jeanette Macdonald reprises one of her earliest song hits, "Beyond the Blue Horizon" and Sophie Tucker is on hand to belt out her signature "Some of These Days." W.C. Fields, meanwhile, though clearly not in the best of health, commits another performance of his famous pool routine to celluloid, and the Andrews Sisters do a fun medley of several of their hits. Perhaps most priceless of all, however, is Orson Welles, who, assisted by Marlene Dietrich, does a marvelous six-minute magic act.
In this occasion all the stars hired by the Studio made a parade before the cameras in order to assist to a meeting of the Victory Committee in Hollywood and Maria Montez was one of the luminaries, so her fans had the chance of watching her real aspect.
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