Sally, Irene and Mary (1938)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Showbiz Comedy  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Trios were a mainstay of many "Golden Age" musical films, whether three gobs on shore leave in On the Town or the manicurists on the career make in Sally, Irene and Mary. This particular trio is a bit lopsided, as the first two of our titular heroines are played by the luminous Alice Faye and the daffy Joan Davis, while poor Mary has to settle for the sweet and pretty but not especially interesting Marjorie Weaver. Weaver's not bad, but in an entertainment of this sort, everything depends on personality, and she's simply a little deficient, especially compared to her co-stars. On the distaff side, Tony Martin is on hand to look masculine and provide a baritone counterpart for Faye; Fred Allen works his comedic shtick and clearly-defined persona to a fare-thee-well; Gregory Ratoff plays the not-so-tough producer role well; and Jimmy Durante brings out all the old "Schnozzola" charm. There's also a welcome turn from a very young (and totally clad) Gypsy Rose Lee while she was still known as Louise Hovick. All this talent helps to spruce up the picture to a fine degree, as does a generally agreeable score and some nifty production numbers. The screenplay? Well, it's a heck of a lot of nonsense, but the cast makes up for it.