Musical Monday: Sing Your Worries Away (1942)

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.

sing your worries awayThis week’s musical:
“Sing Your Worries Away” (1942)– Musical #202

Studio:
RKO

Director:
A. Edward Sutherland

Starring:
Bert Lahr, June Havoc, Buddy Ebsen, Patsy Kelly, Dorothy Lovett, Sam Levene, Margaret Dumont
Themselves: Alvino Ray, The King Sisters (Alyce, Donna, Yvonne, Luise)

Plot:
Gangsters-being helped by sexy Roxy Rochelle (Havoc)- are after Chow Brewster (Lahr) for his inheritance and are trying to drive him to suicide.

Trivia:
-This film lost RKO $255,000, according to “The RKO Story” by Richard Jewell

Highlights:
-Alvino Ray performing on his steel guitar
-The King Sisters

Notable Songs:
-“Tiger Rag” performed by Alvino Ray and the King Sisters
-“Sing Your Worries Away” performed by the King Sisters, Alvino Ray
-“Cindy Lou McWilliams” performed by Buddy Ebsen, the King Sisters, Patsy Kelly, June Havoc

My review:
When I first watched this movie, I was excited to see June Havoc. I had just seen the musical “Gypsy” and wanted to see the adult, real life version of “Baby June.”
However, I was all around disappointed by Havoc and this B-musical.

Bosley Crowther called this film “a poor excuse for a picture and certainly nothing to recommend objectively” in his May 15, 1942, New York Times review.

Bert Lahr and Buddy Ebsen are relatively entertaining, though exhausting at times.
Crowther seemed to only like Lahr in the film:

Bert Lahr and Nancy Kelly

Bert Lahr and Nancy Kelly

“But Mr. Lahr—well, that fellow could make us laugh by simply reading the telephone book. Whenever his battered pan invades the camera, with its crossed eyes and village-idiot grin, we lose all critical balance and tumble right out into the aisle. Fortunately, he has a little more than the telephone book to work with in this film, and as a daffy-go-lucky song-writer whom some tough boys try to drive to suicide in order to grab his inheritance.”

Thankfully, this movie is only 70 minutes long.

The highlight of this film though is the music. I loved seeing the King Sisters performing and all of the songs are toe-tapping swing music. The film opens with Alvino Ray play his famous steel guitar and the King Sisters singing “Tiger Rag” and closes with the Ray and the sisters performing the title number of “Sing Your Worries Away.”

These tunes are catchy and fun and really the only reason to watch the film.

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