My Blue Heaven (1950)

Genres - Comedy Drama, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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One of the earlier films to deal with the still-new world of television, My Blue Heaven is a middling little musical that gets by largely on the strength of its appealing cast. The basic story has promise, but in execution it emerges as an uneasy blend of standard sitcom situations and unconvincing melodrama. The dialogue is largely uninspired and most viewers will be way ahead of the characters in guessing what will happen next. A wonderful score would have helped, but the normally dependable composer Harold Arlen and the not-always-dependable lyricist Ralph Blane have come up with songs that are serviceable but little more. The title tune, an old standard written by others, is the best song in the batch; "Live Hard, Work Hard, Love Hard" is catchy and "Friendly Islands" is appropriately tropical. The rest are average. The songs are well mounted and, more importantly, performed quite well. Betty Grable and Dan Dailey do fine with the script, given that they're called upon to do and say ridiculous things, but they really shine when given the chance to sing and dance. Mitzi Gaynor is pert and perky in her film debut, Una Merkel her usual amusing self, and David Wayne and Jane Wyatt do very well indeed, even though their parts are no better written than anyone else's. Henry Koster's direction keeps things moving, which is all to the good.