Doll Face (1945)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Doll Face is a thoroughly enjoyable little musical with an arresting opening. The viewer sees nervous Vivian Blaine preparing for a Broadway audition, seemingly the typical naïve, innocent amateur from the sticks; immediately, you assume you're in familiar Forty-Second Street territory. But after Blaine bowls the producer over with her audition, it turns out that she's no innocent hick -- she's a stripper that's been packing them in down on the Bowery. The rest of Doll Face doesn't quite live up to its opening, eventually settling in to a fairly standard romantic triangle, but it's still handled with enough wit and finesse to make it quite engaging. It helps that Jimmy McHugh's score, while not outstanding, is always hummable and very pleasant. It also helps that the cast is very appealing. Blaine, looking somewhat and occasionally acting somewhat like Susan Hayward, is in great form and has a tremendous chemistry with Dennis O'Keefe, who does an excellent job himself. (It's not O'Keefe's fault that he's saddled with a few lines regarding women and carpets that make modern viewers wince.) A young Perry Como is in good voice, and he and Martha Stewart do especially well with the amusing "Dig You Later" number. And Carmen Miranda brings her unique and special charm to the film; if her "Chico" number is not the showstopper that one expects from Miranda, it's not her fault. Breezy and interesting, with just a touch of sauciness, Doll Face is an easy way to pass an hour and a half.