College musicals were pretty much a thing of the past in 1947 -- which perhaps explains why Good News works as well as it does. Enough time had passed for the people involved with the movie to attack the story with an underlying layer of nostalgia and gently ironic fun. By no means a classic -- the slip of a story is just too silly and insubstantial - Good News has an infectious joyousness, energy and eagerness to please that makes it hard to dislike. Betty Comden and Adolph Green's screenplay is full of pep, and the score is consistently engaging. June Allyson plays for cute, as usual; she's an acquired taste, but the taste goes down more easily in this film. As her match, Peter Lawford is a little on the dull side, but he moves surprisingly well. They're featured in "The Varsity Drag," one of the movie's two big production numbers; it's a treat, but the real highlight is "Pass That Peace pipe" and that number's incredible Joan McCracken. An amazing spitfire of a performer, she anchors one of the most energetic dance routines this side of Gene Kelly, with far too many kids crammed into a little malt shop and practically tearing the set apart with their unquenchable high spirits. Charles Walters, making his directorial debut here, would go on to helm Easter Parade and Lili.
by Craig Butler review