Musical Monday: “Follow the Boys” (1963)

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.

Follow the boysThis week’s musical:
Follow The Boys” –Musical #303

Studio:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Director:
Richard Thorpe

Starring:
Connie Francis, Paula Prentiss, Dany Robin, Janis Paige, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Long, Roger Perry, Ron Randell

Plot:
-Four women- Bonnie (Francis), Toni (Prentiss), Michele (Robin) and Liz (Paige)- travel to the Rivera to meet their Navy boyfriends and husbands when they go on shore leave.
-Bonnie came from North Dakota to surprise her husband, who thinks she is still at home.
-Wealthy Toni comes to see her playboy fiance Lt. Peter Langley. But Michele is also there to see Peter as a bill collector.
-Liz is tired of being a “seagull”-Naval wives that follow their husbands to each port- and wants her Lt. Commander husband to settle down.
As the girls are waiting at a French port, they learn the ship is landing in Italy instead. The four women team up to travel to meet the men.

Trivia:
-Connie Francis’s second film after “Where The Boys Are.” The film is supposed to be an unofficial sequel, according to “Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959-1969” by Thomas Lisanti
-Filming locations include: Cannes, France; Nice, France; Santa Margherita Ligure, Genoa, Liguria, Italy
-Filmed in Panavision and Metrocolor

Russ Tamblyn and Paula Prentiss, Richard Long, and Dany Robin, Roger Perry and Connie Francis, Ron Randell and Janis Paige

Russ Tamblyn and Paula Prentiss, Richard Long, and Dany Robin, Roger Perry and Connie Francis, Ron Randell and Janis Paige


Highlights:

-The French Rivera and Italy in gorgeous, vibrant color.

Notable Songs:
-“Italian Lullaby” sung by Connie Francis
-“Follow the Boys” sung by Connie Francis
-“Intrigue” sung Connie Francis

My Review:
Though this is categorized as a musical, it’s more a romantic comedy where Connie Francis sings at the drop of the hat: Connie picks up a baby and sings a lullaby, Connie goes to an Italian party and is asked to sing, Connie turns on the radio and sings.
This is pretty common in frothy 1950s and 1960s films. Young singing stars such as Frankie Avalon, James Darren or Connie Francis are cast in films and have a four or five songs to spotlight their singing talents.
In many of her films, Francis has man trouble. In “Where the Boys Are,” she has trouble nabbing a guy. This time in “Follow the Boys,” she is married but he can’t get leave to see her.
I love seeing Janis Paige, Paula Prentiss and Russ Tamblyn in pretty much every film, and the scenery in the film is beautiful.
However, even with a star-studded cast, “Follow the Boys” is really merely okay.
The plot is tedious and I don’t care for the French actress Dany Robin.

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One thought on “Musical Monday: “Follow the Boys” (1963)

  1. It has its flaws. The scenery was indeed stunning. Very good for not being Technicolor. Paula Prentiss and Russ Tamblyn make an interesting couple. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

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