Where Do We Go from Here? (1945)

Genres - Comedy, Fantasy, Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Comedy, Musical Fantasy  |   Release Date - May 23, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A number of 1940s musicals dealt with the ongoing war, but few of them in as imaginative a fashion as Where Do We Go From Here? Released near the end of the war, it failed to find an audience, perhaps because the screenplay and direction are not as fanciful as they need to be to make the whimsical, fantastic premise work. Indeed, the dialogue is often boring and director Gregory Ratoff doesn't come up with the stunning visuals needed to give the story punch. What does work -- and works extremely well -- is the score, an overlooked gem that deserves to be rediscovered by musical film aficionados. The sprightly "Morale" is a toe-tapper, and the dreamily romantic "All at Once" and engaging "If Love Remains" are worthy ballads, but the highlight of the score is the ten-minute Christopher Columbus sequence. Essentially a mini-opera, this is, for the time, revolutionary. Kurt Weill's music is wonderful throughout, and the score is filled with Ira Gershwin's sharp and witty lyrics. The cast is fine -- Fred MacMurray is actually a better singer than one would guess, and it's fun to see a young Anthony Quinn in a supporting role -- but a more musically experienced crew would have made the film stronger. The nonmusical aspects of the film keep it from being a total success, but it's an intriguing and unusual near-miss.