Deep in My Heart (1954)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 9, 1954 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 130 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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As with practically every biopic about a musical figure, MGM's Deep in My Heart is pretty far off base when it comes to actual facts about its subject (in this case, Sigmund Romberg, one of the most popular operetta composers in American history). The dialogue in this entry is particularly inane, and the character development unbelievable -- and it's not very flattering that Romberg is presented as a man who sells his artistic integrity at the drop of a hat. What makes Heart work are, of course, the musical numbers, especially those performed by the wide array of "guest stars." Far and away the film's finest moment is the intensely steamy dance between the gorgeous, sultry Cyd Charisse and the virile James Mitchell, set to "One Alone." The duo perform Eugene Loring's erotic choreography perfectly, creating one of the most sensual numbers ever put on the screen. Also of note is Ann Miller's delightful, exuberant "It"and the rare onscreen pairing of brothers Gene and Fred Kelly in the vaudevillian "I Love to Go Swimmin' With Women," as well as the charming "Mr. and Mrs.," featuring José Ferrer and then-wife Rosemary Clooney. As Romberg, Ferrer tries very hard -- too hard in some cases -- but is done in by the material. His performance of the "Jazz-a-Doo" sequence is a bit exhausting; it requires someone with a more effortless command of music and comedy, but it's fun to watch. Stanley Donen's direction is smooth and suits the material, but doesn't find a great deal of variety.