Give My Regards to Broadway (1948)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Drama, Backstage Musical  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although it is often overlooked when discussing great musical of the screen's golden age, Give My Regards to Broadway is a superior piece of tuneful entertainment. Granted, it's another backstage tale and features many of the clich├ęs associated with that genre. But it also has its share of surprising moments, the most notable being that it basically goes against the backstage grain and says that the show DOESN'T have to go on. The ultimate point of Regards- that sometimes a man has to give up his dreams, move on with his life and let others move on with theirs -- is also something unusual for the time and the genre. Regards is also unusual in that it's a "small" musical. It has its numbers, but they're not Busby Berkeley-sized; it's a more intimate, delicate musical, despite the razz-ma-tazz that it promotes. It's true that the screenplay doesn't always fulfill its promise, going for some easy sentiment instead of genuine emotion, but most viewers will forgive it these lapses. Regards is fortunate to have Lloyd Bacon directing, providing a sure, firm hand, and is even more fortunate to have its cast. Dan Dailey turns in one of his finest performances, dancing up a storm, vocalizing with ease, handling corny comedy with aplomb and making the most of his dramatic moments. Equally as good is Charles Winninger, whose rapport with Dailey is invaluable. There's also fine support from Fay Bainter, Charlie Ruggles and the beautiful Barbara Lawrence. Regards has flaws but all in all is a small little treasure.