The oddly-assorted Hart cousins: revue singer Blossom, con man Harry, and machinist Chiquita (who gets radio through her teeth!), inherit southern plantation Magnolia Manor, which alas ... See full summary »
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Nan Spencer is on a boat bound for Havana which runs aground. The man sent to rescue her is engaged and she doesn't understand his disinterest. Gambler is interested, to the annoyance of his girlfriend.
Out-of-work swing band maneuvers a gig working for a political campaign, by drawing in and entertaining prospective voters at rallies. The candidate is really a stooge for a corrupt political machine, which discovers the band's handsome and appealing singer would make a better stooge. Meanwhile, romance blossoms between the band's singers. When election day approaches, the band's singer wants out of the campaign, but the machine threatens to smear him and his pals in the band if he quits.Written by
Could have been much better, but a pleasant way to pass the time
'If I'm Lucky' is a decent and pleasant musical, and passes the time more than adequately. However, it also could have been better considering the talent.
The weak link is the story, which is tepid fairly often with some of the goings on verging on the tedious. The script is charming and amusing enough, but needed a sharper edge and more bite, feeling a little blander than it should have been considering it's meant to be satirical.
Perry Como is handsome and sings exquisitely but is not a natural actor and it shows in a performance that other than the singing is pretty wooden. While 'If I'm Lucky' is a very good-looking film (more than that actually) there were a couple of scenes crying out for Technicolor, especially the still hugely entertaining "Botocuda".
However the black and white production values are a marvel, being remarkably crisp and opulent. The songs are not timeless and they don't stick in the head unforgettably, but they still are very pleasant and lovely to listen to with a good deal of energy, "Botocuda" and the title song standing out in particular.
Much of the direction is very much competent and the pacing, though with the odd tedium in between, tends to be bright and breezy. Como aside, the cast don't disappoint. Carmen Miranda steals the film with her colourfully wild costumes and her hilariously nutty presence from her butchered English to her deliciously exaggerated facial expressions. Vivian Blaine is charmingly polished and passionately energetic, while Harry James (playing an integral part to the story) is in his prime. Phil Silvers did have material that played to his strengths a little more in 'Something for the Boys' but actually a more subdued performance from him here and in comparison to a lot of his other films was appreciated and worked well (will also be a delight for non-fans).
On the whole, a pleasant way to pass the time but could have been much better. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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