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You Can't Take It With You, So Let's Put On A Show!
On a plantation outside Louisville resides a family straight out of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU: singers, dancers, a boy who plays the English horn, played by some fine B-ranked movie comics like Nigel Bruce, Luis Alberni and Walter Catlett. They're also improvident except for Marion Talley, who wants to get them settled so she can go off and get married. Eventually they decide the way out of their financial hole is to put on a show.
Marion Tally was a star at the Metropolitan Opera and this was her first and only feature; she had appeared in a couple of Vitagraph shorts at the dawn of sound, and Nat Levine decided that MGM was doing well with operetta, so why not take a crack at it for Republic? The music is good. After singing arias and duets from actual operas, they had Victor Schertzinger write some tunes for the show within a show, had Hugo Riesenfeld supervise the music and hired Larry Ceballos to choreograph; nothing particularly novel, but well done.
Miss Tally turns out to be a good actress, besides being a great singer. The jokes are lively and amusing, until the last twenty minutes, when they switch to the show, which is big and florid, and no one but MGM seemed to be able to put over an operetta in this period. Still, there's real talent involved at every level -- except for Ben Blue -- so what starts out as a very good movie declines towards the end.... to satisfactory. Unless you're a fan of operetta. If you are, I expect you'll enjoy it all the way through.
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