Greenwich Village (1944)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy  |   Release Date - Sep 27, 1944 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The entertainment in Greenwich Village is there, but it's all too sporadic. This is the kind of film that's meant to be an all-star spectacular: a loose, flimsy plot that serves as an excuse to trot out any number of self-contained songs, dances, comedy routines or specialty acts. If those self-contained sequences aren't of a high caliber, there's no point in making the film. Suffice it to say that the caliber in Village varies, but the overall level is middling at best. That's not to say there's nothing worth pursuing here. For one thing, the indomitable Carmen Miranda is on hand to wear some outlandish outfits, magnificently mangle the language and make mincemeat out of "I'm Just Wild About Harry," as well as a couple of lesser Nacio Herb Brown-Leo Robin contributions. (The score, by the way, is generally lackluster; serviceable but little else.) The Four Step Brothers provide a dazzling dance turn, and Tony and Sally DeMarco display some grand ballroom dancing. But the rest of the acts are not up to par; Viviane Blaine and Don Ameche are distinct disappointments here, and while it's interesting seeing William Bendix sing and dance, it's not especially enjoyable. The screenplay is, as expected, a bunch of nonsense. Kudos, however, to Leon Shamroy's colorful cinematography.