Musical Monday: Rich, Young and Pretty (1951)

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:
Rich, Young and Pretty (1951) – Musical #149


Norman Taurog

Jane Powell, Danielle Darrieux, Wendell Corey, Vic Damone, Fernando Lamas, Richard Anderson, Una Merkel, Marcel Dalio, Hans Conried
Themselves: Four Freshmen

Jim Stauton Rogers (Corey) and his daughter Elizabeth (Powell) travel from Texas to Paris so Jim can give a speech for the United Nations. Jim has a past living in Paris, his wife and Elizabeth’s mother Marie Devarone (Darrieux) who left the two of them when Elizabeth was a baby. In the meantime, Elizabeth meets and falls in love with Andre (Damone) and Jim is worried she will face the same heartbreak he did.

– Danielle Darrieux’s first American film since 1938
– Jane Powell was pregnant with her son G.A. Steffen during the filming of this.
– Vic Damone’s first film

Jane Powell and Vic Damone in “Rich, Young and Pretty”

– Helen Rose costumes, especially Danielle Darrieux’s green gloves

Danielle Darrieux dressed in Helen Rose.

Notable Songs:
-“Paris” performed by Fernando Lamas
-“We Never Talk Much” performed by Danielle Darrieux and Fernando Lamas; reprised by Jane Powell and Vic Damone
-“Deep in the Heart of Texas” performed by Jane Powell and Wendell Corey
-“How D’Ya Like Your Eggs in the Morning” performed by the Four Freshmen
-“L’amour toujours (Tonight for Sure)” performed by Danielle Darrieux

My review:
Actress Jane Powell started acting as a teenager and all of her early roles were that of precocious teens. In 1951, she was finally allowed to grow up in her film roles. She was married and in “Royal Wedding” and this film, “Rich, Young and Pretty,” her character was more adult.

Jane Powell is costumed in lovely Helen Rose suits and evening gowns, allowing her to be an adult. Powell is lovely and gets the chance to sing some lighthearted songs.

Outside of Jane Powell, a major highlight is seeing Danielle Darrieux. This was her first American film since 1938 and Darrieux glitters – she glows in a yellow sequined costume and wears vibrant green gloves against a white evening gown. Here she has the chance to sing some entertaining songs and be photographed in color. Darrieux plays Powell’s mother and she is lovely in the world.

Added bonuses are early roles for Fernando Lamas, Vic Damone, and Richard Anderson in a very small role. This was Damone’s first film role and an early American role for Lamas. Una Merkel is also wonderful as always as Jane Powell and Wendell Corey’s companion (I wouldn’t call her a maid), and Wendell Corey is the old reliable character he always is.

“Rich, Young and Pretty” is a colorful and cheerful movie. It may not be MGM’s best, but it lifted my spirits.

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