Musical Mondays: Something for the Boys (1944)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500.
To celebrate and share this musical love, I’m starting a weekly feature about musicals.

something for the boysThis week’s musical:
Something for the Boys (1944) – Musical number #469

Starring:
Vivian Blaine, Carmen Miranda, Phil Silvers, Michael O’Shea, Perry Como, Shelia O’Ryan

Director:
Peter Seiler

Studio:
Twentieth Century Fox

Plot:
Three cousins find they are heirs to a southern plantation in Georgia. The cousins couldn’t be more different: singer Blossom Hart (Blaine), defense worker Chaquita Hart (Miranda) and con man Harry Hart (Silvers). The mansion isn’t quite what they expected and they turn it into a home for the wives of soldiers who are stationed at a nearby Army base. To help raise money for the home, they put on a show and Blossom meets and falls in love with soldiers Rocky Fulton (O’Shea).

Trivia:
-Ethel Merman starred in the original Broadway production that opened on Jan. 7, 1943 and ran for 422 performances.
-Judy Holliday can be spotted in a brief role six minutes into the film. This is her third film.

Judy Holliday in a brief role in "Something for the Boys" (Comet Over Hollywood/ Screen Cap by Jessica P.)

Judy Holliday in a brief role in “Something for the Boys” (Comet Over Hollywood/ Screen Cap by Jessica P.)

-“Something for the Boys” is one of four films Vivian Blaine and Carmen Miranda were in together. The other films included “If I’m Lucky” (1946), “Doll Face” (1945) and “Greenwich Village” (1944).

Notable Songs:
-Carmen Miranda sings “Batuca Nega” and “Samba-Boogie.” Any Miranda performance in a film is notable for her energy and colorful outfits.
-Phil Silvers performs the song “Southland.” Though he’s from New York, it seems to be a running tradition in Silvers’s films to sing songs about the South. His songs are similar to songs Al Jolson would sing.
-We get to hear songs from popular 1940s singer Perry Como, who performs “In the Middle of Nowhere” and “I Wish We Didn’t Have to Say Goodnight.”

Perry Como singing "I Wish I Didn't Have to Say Goodnight" to Cara Williams. (Comet Over Hollywood/ Screen cap by Jessica P.)

Perry Como singing “I Wish I Didn’t Have to Say Goodnight” to Cara Williams. (Comet Over Hollywood/ Screen cap by Jessica P.)

Highlights:
-A running joke in the movie is that Carmen Miranda has carborundum in her tooth filling from working as a machinist. Because of this, she always hears the radio, whether it is on or off. It’s pretty silly but a unique joke. At one point in the film, they use her to send Morse Code.

Due to Carmen Miranda's short wave radio tooth-she is being used to send Morse Code. Also pictured-Michael O'Shea, Vivian Blaine, Phil Silvers. (Comet Over Hollywood/Screen cap by Jessica P.)

Due to Carmen Miranda’s short wave radio tooth-she is being used to send Morse Code. Also pictured-Michael O’Shea, Vivian Blaine, Phil Silvers. (Comet Over Hollywood/Screen cap by Jessica P.)

-Judy Holliday says one line six minutes into the movie. Her line explains the problem Miranda may be having with carborundum in her teeth.
-Seeing Vivian Blaine star in the film. Blaine is an energetic, beautiful and talented performer who I enjoying seeing in any film. It’s a shame she is not as well remembered as other 20th Century Fox actresses.
-Jimmie Dodd of Mickey Mouse Club fame can be spotted 51 minutes into the film as a “gambling soldier.”

Vivian Blaine singing "Eighty Miles Outside of Atlanta" (Comet Over Hollywood/ Screen cap by Jessica P.)

Vivian Blaine singing “Eighty Miles Outside of Atlanta” (Comet Over Hollywood/ Screen cap by Jessica P.)

My review:
Something for the Boys” is a light but fun musical filmed during World War II. It is in color, has catchy songs and gorgeous costumes, but it somehow falls short of other Fox musicals that starred Betty Grable or Rita Hayworth.
There are some very silly jokes such as Carmen Miranda’s short-wave-radio-tooth, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. My only complaint is that I find Phil Silvers annoying and Michael O’Shea to be a weak leading man.
It’s not a well-known film with a cast of stars who are fairly forgotten today, with the exception of Carmen Miranda and Phil Silvers.
However, it’s a glittering and colorful musical comedy that will brighten a lazy afternoon.

Carmen Miranda performing "Samba-Boogie" (Comet Over Hollywood/Screen cap by Jessica P.)

Carmen Miranda performing “Samba-Boogie” (Comet Over Hollywood/Screen cap by Jessica P.)

Check back next week for Musical Monday.

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5 thoughts on “Musical Mondays: Something for the Boys (1944)

    • It’s a lot of fun! It’s not as big of a musical as say-Seven Brides for Seven Brothers- but good lighthearted entertainment to brighten your mood.
      I love Perry Como too! He is so soothing!

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  1. This film sounds really good. A perfect Saturday night flick ( we always watch musicals on Saturday nights in our house ). I’ve only seen Vivian Blane in “Greenwich Village” ( w/Miranda ) and I loved her there. She really did fall into obscurity and that’s a shame. So beautiful and so talented. Great screen caps! I’ll be checking back every week for your other musical reviews.

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  2. It’s a very entertaining film. I’ve reviewed it in February 2012. I may be biased beacause Carmen is a Brazilian at heart, but she really stole the show! Yet, the main song, Wouldn’t it be nice?
    These films from the war time never fail to cheer me up!
    Kisses!

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