Say One for Me (1959)

Genres - Comedy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy  |   Run Time - 119 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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What can one say about Say One for Me, except that one would like to say a prayer for all those caught up in it. Say seems to have been put together by a couple of people who say Guys and Dolls and figured making a movie mixing Broadway and shady types was the surefire road to success. Unfortunately, the powers that be didn't get talents the caliber of Guys and Dolls' Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows to work on it, and the result is a gloppily sentimental mess of a movie that is both boring and painful. Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen's score ranges from the uninspired to the dreadful, with a stop or two along the way at achingly irritating. Robert O'Brien's script is one cliché after another, and filled with Damon Runyon knock-offs that lack the charm, personality and wit of the original. Frank Tashlin's direction is aimless, and though it's occasionally energetic, it's still empty. Under the circumstances, there's not much the cast can do, especially Bing Crosby, who has gone this way too many times before. At least he and Debbie Reynolds are able to make some of the musical numbers come to some semblance of life and to make them sound better than they are. And the whole cast, which includes troupers like Ray Walston and Connie Gilchrist, puts out a big effort. It's a shame the film isn't worthy of them.