Look for the Silver Lining (1949)

Genres - Drama, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 30, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Ray Bolger will so firmly forever be remembered for his delightful performance as The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, but his turn in Look for the Silver Lining has been unfairly neglected. Granted, Lining is nowhere near the classic that is Wizard, and Bolger's character in Lining is not as well written. But it's a first rate musical comedy turn, especially when those fleet feet of his get a chance to fly across the floor. Bolger's dancing is great throughout, but especially so in the "Who" number, where he really pulls out the stops. His vocal and dramatic performances are also superior, the latter being especially impressive considering the lack of good dramatic material at hand. Yes, Lining shows Bolger off to fins advantage, which would be a wonderful thing if the film were about Jack Donahue rather than Marilyn Miller. But Miller is indeed the subject, and here the film comes up short. June Haver is pert and cute and attractive, and no one could say that she doesn't have a certain flair with a song and a dance. But she lacks the dynamic charisma that this part calls for. She's a firecracker called upon to play a stick of dynamite liberally soaked in nitroglycerine. Haver isn't helped by the soggy script, of course, nor is Gordon MacRae (who needless to say is in fine voice). Still, the supporting cast is good, the Technicolor is yummy and the sets and costumes quite nice to look at. Even without the stellar talent at its center that it requires, Lining is a pleasant enough little diversion.