You Can't Have Everything (1937)

Genres - Comedy, Musical, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Backstage Musical  |   Release Date - Aug 3, 1937 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

You Can't Have Everything indeed does not have everything, but it does have Alice Faye, Gypsy Rose Lee and some enjoyable tunes, and that turns out to be quite enough for a very engaging little musical romp. It's also a pleasant surprise to be able to report that The Ritz Brothers should also be listed among Everything's assets. In most films, the Ritzes' appeal can be extremely elusive, but in Everything they're shown off to good advantage. Indeed, it's not going too far to say that they are genuinely funny and bring about more than their fair share of laughs for once. It's all in the material, which suits them to a "t," and apparently in director Norman Taurog's decision to keep the reins pulled in a bit on the boys. Taurog has no such problems with Faye of course, who is called upon to do what she does best -- look lovely, suffer romantic complications nobly, exhibit a sometimes-tough exterior and above all let that rich alto voice of hers weave itself around some music. Mack Gordon and Harry Revel supply her with some songs that suit her very well, while also making sure that Tony Martin, Don Ameche and the Ritzes aren't neglected. Ameche and Martin are fine, as is Charles Winninger, but it's Gypsy Rose Lee (billed under her real name of Louise Hovick) that gets the supporting attention, playing the troublesome other woman and having quite a fine time of it. The screenplay is too slight to make Everything a for-the-ages classic, but there's enough sheer entertainment to make it an amiable way to pass the time.