Musical Monday: “Doll Face” (1945)

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:
Doll Face (1945)- Musical #474

doll face

Studio:
20th Century Fox

Director:
Lewis Seiler

Starring:
Vivian Blaine, Carmen Miranda, Dennis O’Keefe, Stephen Dunne, Perry Como, Martha Stewart (not the home decor woman)

Plot:
Mary “Doll Face” Carroll (Blaine) hopes to break out of burlesque and into the big time. When she is turned down due to her performing background, her manager Michael Hannigan (O’Keefe) decides to have a ghost written autobiography written about Mary. The author of the book Frederick Gerard (Dunne) begins to fall in love with Mary causing conflict with Michael, who also is in love with her. Using the publicity of the book, Michael begins to produce a Broadway show with the help of the other burlesque performers.

Trivia:

Carmen Miranda performing "Chico Chico"

Carmen Miranda performing “Chico Chico”

-Based on the 1943 play “The Naked Genius” written by burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee.
-Carole Landis was offered the lead in the film but turned it down, according to the book Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl by Eric Lawrence Gans
-Carmen Miranda’s first starring film that is in black and white.
-“Eighty Miles Outside of Atlanta” from “Something for the Boys” can be heard in the background.
-Carmen Miranda’s song “True to the Navy” cut from the film. The song as filmed still exists. Paramount held exclusive rights to the song and wouldn’t allow 20th Century-Fox the song. It was performed by Clara Bow in “Paramount On Parade” (1930)
– “Doll Face” is one of four films Vivian Blaine and Carmen Miranda were in together. The other films included “If I’m Lucky” (1946), “Something for the Boys” (1945) and “Greenwich Village” (1944).

Notable Songs:
-Perry Como’s song “Hubba Hubba Dig You Later” became a hit for him after the film. It reached number 3 on the charts and was Como’s second Gold album, according to the book Perry Como: A Biography and Complete Career Record By Malcolm Macfarlane, Ken Crossland

My Review:
This film is fun and cute but forgettable. The songs aren’t very exciting either.
As a lover of classic films, I obviously enjoy films shot in black and white. However, casting Carmen Miranda, Hollywood’s most colorful performer, in a black and white was murderous to her career. Biographies on her life cite that her novelty was wearing off when Fox began casting her in non-color films.

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