Musical Monday: Delightfully Dangerous (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 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Delightfully Dangerous (1945) – Musical #638

Studio:
United Artists

Director:
Arthur Lubin

Starring:
Ralph Bellamy, Constance Moore, Jane Powell, Louise Beavers, Arthur Treacher, Ruth Tobey, Christian Drake (uncredited), Bess Flowers (uncredited), Harold Miller (uncredited)
Himself: Morton Gould

Plot:
Sherry Williams (Powell) is in school studying to be an opera singer. Sherry believes that her older sister Josephine (Moore) is a musical comedy star on Broadway. When Sherry travels to New York City to see her sister’s show, Josephine’s stage career isn’t quite what she expected.

Trivia:
• Jane Powell’s second film. She was signed to MGM, but hadn’t made a movie for them yet. She was on loan to United Artists, according to Jane Powell’s autobiography “The Girl Next Door … and How She Grew.”
• Susan Hayward and Brian Aherne were originally announced as leads in this film, according to an Aug. 1944 news brief. They were replaced by Ralph Bellamy and Constance Moore.
• Composer Morton Gould’s only film appearance. He also composed the score for the film.
• First feature film, live-action writing credit for Frank Tashlin.
• Working titles were Cinderella Goes to War, Reaching for the Stars and High Among the Stars

Jane Powell performing with composer Morton Gould during a dream sequence in “Delightfully Dangerous.”

Highlights:
• The characters played by Louise Beavers and Arthur Treacher.

Notable Songs:
• “Once Upon a Song” performed by Jane Powell
• “I’m Only Teasin” performed by Constance Moore
• “In A Shower Of Stars” performed by Jane Powell
• “Once Upon A Song” performed by Jane Powell
• “Mr. Strauss Goes To Town” performed by Constance Moore

My review:
Ralph Bellamy called “Delightfully Dangerous” the worst movie he ever made.

And while it’s not the best storyline, Jane Powell’s second film is adorable and fun.

In the musical “Delightfully Dangerous” (1945), Jane Powell plays Sherry, a teenager who idolizes her older sister Jo (played by Constance Moore). Sherry believes Jo is a big star on the stage, but the shows Jo is in aren’t quite what Sherry expected. Sherry also meets producer Arthur Hale, played by Ralph Bellamy, who helps Sherry advance her sister’s career.

“Delightfully Dangerous” was only Jane Powell’s second film, but already she showed the spirit and talent that she showed in her later films. Already under contract to her home studio of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Powell was on loan-out to United Artists while MGM worked to Powell “the perfect project,” according to Powell’s autobiography.

“It worked out for the studio, loaning me out; I got all my training on someone else’s time! By the time I came back to MGM, at least I knew camera left from camera right,” Powell wrote in her autobiography.

Though Bellamy said the film was no good, Powell said she was too young to realize it wasn’t very good, and that she had fun filming it. The crew also gave her a collie puppy when filming wrapped.

“I got to wear a tutu and pretend I was on a tightrope,” Powell wrote. “When the movie came out in 1945, the reviews were generally negative although very kind to me.”

Powell also remembered composer Morton Gould was uncomfortable in his first film. This is the only film he appeared in. He also composed the score for the film.

The film isn’t an MGM production, but still has some fairly lavish musical numbers. The film begins with Sherry having a dream that she is singing at Carnegie Hall, and her nightgown turns into a glittering gown. Then at Sherry’s school, she and her classmates put on quite the elaborate (and almost professional) performance! The whole performance is like a little town and we see different vignettes, which ends with Sherry (as the star) on a tightrope singing.

The film ends with an equally large finale, with dancing card players and a mix of boogie woogie performed by Constance Bennett and opera from Jane Powell.

Outside of the musical number, the film is very funny. Jane Powell’s character of Sherry plays the dramatic teenager hilariously to the hilt.

In one scene, Sherry goes to the apartment of Ralph Bellamy’s character in hysterics over her sister. The only thing that will soothe her is a heart-sick sundae – an elaborate ice cream concoction that the butler, played by Arthur Treacher has to create.

When Constance Moore and Louise Beavers arrive at the apartment to fetch the teen, Beavers and Treacher end up eating heart-sick sundaes themselves. The encounters between Beavers and Treacher were very funny.

Though this was only Jane Powell’s second film, you can already see her acting personality shining through. She is funny and sweet, and her character is similar to what you saw later in
films like “Holiday in Mexico.”

If you are a Jane Powell fan, this one is fairly easy to find. I rented it from DVD Netflix.

While this isn’t her best film, “Delightfully Dangerous” is adorable and funny. I thought it was a lot of fun.

Jane Powell and Constance Moore in the finale of “Delightfully Dangerous.”

Disclaimer: I subscribe to DVD Netflix and earn rewards from DVD Nation. 

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