Belle of the Yukon (1944)

Genres - Musical, Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Romance, Musical Western  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Belle of the Yukon is a tired, and sometimes tiring, hybrid of a musical, Western and romantic comedy. It doesn't succeed as any of them, but it does have a few noteworthy assets. Probably the one that will interest most people is the presence of legendary ecdysiast Gypsy Rose Lee. Lee keeps her clothes on, but even draped she's got a physical presence that holds some interest. Of greater importance, she has a very winning way with a wisecrack and a quip. Her performance as a whole is somewhat lacking, but when she feels at home with a rejoinder, she does know how to make it hit home. Dinah Shore's singing is also quite welcome, although her dramatic performance is rather listless. Blame for this may charitably but reasonably be assigned to the lifeless script. Finally, Yukon also benefits from the truly lovely song "Like Someone in Love," one of the finest long-lined ballads James Van Heusen ever penned and one of the simply loveliest melodies ever warbled on the screen. Many others will also be glad that "Sleighride in July" is on hand; certainly it does offer a respite from the annoying dialogue, the disjointed plot, the unimaginative direction of William Seiter and the inept performance of Randolph Scott. The film also has some great costumes and a generally good look; but there's precious little real gold in this Yukon.