The Dolly Sisters (1945)

Genres - Comedy, Musical, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Nov 14, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

As is par for the course, there's no more fact in the biopic The Dolly Sisters than can be squeezed into a thimble. This is probably of less concern to modern audiences, who will be totally unfamiliar with the titular siblings, than it might have been to audiences in 1945, for whom memories of the performers would have been somewhat fresher. If one dispenses with factual considerations, Dolly is a mighty entertaining little tunefest. Admittedly, there's precious little that's fresh or original in the story that the authors have concocted, but it does contain a decent number of dramatic elements that work quite well, and while the romantic entanglements are nothing new, they do keep the viewer's attention. What makes Dolly more than serviceable, naturally, are the numbers, which are plentiful and enjoyable, and its invaluable stars. Betty Grable is a delight, operating at the peak of her charismatic powers here. She sings winningly, dances engagingly and of course shows off those wonderful gams, but it's the total package that counts with Grable; she simply has that "something" that defies definition. She's well matched by June Haver, definitely a lesser talent and a lesser light, but here turning in some of her finest work, perhaps inspired by (or in competition with) Grable. John Payne also comes off well; not the world's greatest performer, he does click with Grable, and their duet on the marvelous "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" is a winner. Throw in S.Z. Sakall for cuddly comedy, brisk direction from Irving Cummings and a lavish production shot in truly glorious Technicolor, and the result is a slight but utterly charming little confection.