Mother Wore Tights (1947)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Backstage Musical, Musical Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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While first rate screenplays are always desirable, some films -- especially musicals -- can be first rate with less than top drawer scripts, as is the case with Mother Wore Tights. Not that Mother's screenplay is bad, mind you; much of the dialogue is quite good, there's decent character development, and the structure is sound. But Mother's basic storyline is rather thin, and it's a situation that has been visited in one form or another many times before. Fortunately, this proves to be merely a minor distraction in Mother, which ends up a sparkly, bubbly entertainment. Chief credit goes to its cast, headed by the lovely Betty Grable and the amiable Dan Dailey. The team displays the same chemistry that they did in their other pairings, but somehow there's even more of it on display in Mother. As expected, they light up the screen during their musical numbers, but their dialogue scenes also have more "oomph." Certainly director Walter Lang deserves some credit for this, as well as for bringing all of the ingredients of the film together and mixing them up into this delightful soufflé. The score, some of which is original and some of which is pulled from hither and yon, is a mixed affair, but it all works in context, with each number coming across as just what was needed in context. Harry Jackson's yummy cinematography is also a major plus, and the sets and costumes are appropriately colorful. It all adds up to a piece of fluff -- but a thoroughly engaging one.