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Attorney, Purdom, and singer, Damone, romance two sisters, Reynolds and Powell, who live with and are strongly influenced by eccentric, health oriented and star gazing grandparents.Written by
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On a visit some weeks ago to my local Hollywood Video store, I noticed this title available among the VHS tapes in the Musicals section. Since I knew it had not been produced in CinemaScope (and therefore wouldn't suffer from the dread "formatting") and being a Jane Powell fan from 'way back, I rented it. It is certainly an odd concoction for a very conservative major studio of the mid-Fifties era; studio bound; directed by the pedestrian Richard Thorpe; packed with a cast selected to appeal, presumably, to the the younger members of its potential audience; and not as overflowing with musical numbers as I had hoped.
Jane is as pretty as ever, in overlit but warmly rich Eastmancolor, chirrupping in her matchless colortura; Debbie Reynolds lends her usual lively support; Vic Damone, despite his eminently listenable baritone, once again demonstrates why he never became a top boxoffice draw; and Edmund Purdom is perfectly cast as an unlikely stuffed-shirt suitor to Jane's way-out-there Athena. One can only imagine the chasm of misunderstandings that would bedevil their future marital bliss. With the elegant Louis Calhern as an unlikely patriarch, health and fitness obsessed, and the lovable Evelyn Varden as his woozy mate, convinced that astrology is the key to happiness. Add a passel of pre-steroid Muscle Beach denizens, including the handsome Steve Reeves and Ed Fury, before their emigration to Italy to appear in all those Hercules epics, and you've got a brew that's not really indigestible but doesn't really coalesce as its makers may have hoped.
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