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, here is my weekly feature about musicals.
This week’s musical:
“You Were Meant for Me” (1948) – Musical #503
20th Century Fox
Jeanne Crain, Dan Dailey, Oscar Levant, Barbara Lawrence, Selena Royale, Percy Kilbride
Set in 1929, teenager Peggy Mayhew (Crain) falls in love popular bandleader Chuck Arnold (Dailey). She spontaneously kisses him on stage after winning a prize. Chuck asks to see Peggy again. When she travels to the next town to see his band, they elope. Peggy has to adapt to life on the road with musicians. The couple then struggles with their careers and their relationship when the stock market crashes.
-Marilyn Monroe had an uncredited role that ended up being cut from the film.
-Though Dan Dailey had been in films for eight years, this film was around the time his career was starting to take off.
-The first 20 or 30 minutes is very similar to “Orchestra Wives” (1942). Crain falls in love with a bandleader, travels to see him and they elope. Ann Rutherford does the same thing in “Orchestra Wives.” Once the couple elopes in the film, the similarities end there.
The whole film is full of fun, popular songs of the 1920s written by George Gershwin, Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown such as:
-The title song “You Were Meant for Me” by Freed and Brown. This song can also be heard in other films such as “Penny Serenade” and “Singin’ in the Rain.”
-Other popular 1920s songs such as “Ain’t She Sweet,” “Crazy Rhythm” and “Ain’t Misbehavin.”
-Pianist Oscar Levant performs
-Jeanne Crain and Dan Dailey do a cute song and dance routine to “Ain’t She Sweet” while in a soda shop.
-Dan Dailey tap dancing to “Crazy Rhyme.” Though Dailey isn’t the greatest tap dancer of the 1940s and 1950s, he does a great job.
-Small role of Barbara Lawrence. Though she isn’t in the film very much, she is still delightful to see.
-Small role of Herb Anderson who played the father on the 1950s TV show “Dennis the Menace”
“You Were Meant for Me” isn’t an award winning film, but it’s light-hearted and fun.
The musical performances in the film are mainly by Dan Dailey on stage, rather than spontaneous songs and dances brought on by emotion from the character.
The film is in black and white, which isn’t a problem for classic film fans, but shows the 20th Century Fox didn’t see it as an important musical-though it starred two of their top stars.
Crain and Dailey make a good pair and I wish they had been in more films together. Dailey is an underrated actor and does an excellent job with singing in dancing in this film. His voice is mellow and soothing and his tap dancing is believable.
My only complaint is that the film ends rather abruptly. Otherwise, it’s an enjoyable film that I highly suggest.
Check back next week for Musical Monday.