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:
Seven Days Ashore (1944) – Musical #669
RKO Radio Pictures
John H. Auer
Gordon Oliver, Marcy McGuire, Virginia Mayo, Elaine Shepard, Amelita Ward, Wally Brown, Alan Carney, Dooley Wilson, Marjorie Gateson, Margaret Dumont, Dorothy Malone (uncredited), Lawrence Tierney (uncredited)
Himself: Freddie Slack and his Orchestra
Merchant Marine Dan Arland Jr. (Oliver) got himself engaged to three girls, two of which (Mayo, Ward) play together in Dot Diamond’s (McGuire) band. The other, Annabelle (Shepard), is a family friend who Dan really cares for. When the Merchant Marines have a week leave in San Francisco where all the women are located, Dan has his buddies (Brown, Carney) date two of the girls to help him out.
• Originally planned as a U.S. Navy musical but was rewritten as a Merchant Marine musical.
• Alan Carney and Wally Brown were hired to be groomed as Abbott and Costello-like comedy team.
• I like the part when the men and women trade off walking in and out playing instruments.
• “Apple Blossoms in the Rain” performed by Dooley Wilson
• “Ready, Aim, Kiss” performed by Marcy McGuire
• “Sioux City Sue” performed by Marcy McGuire
• “Jive Samba” performed by Freddy Slack and his Orchestra and Marcy McGuire
• “Over the Waves” performed by Marcy McGuire
• “The Poor Little Fly on the Wall” performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra
• “Improvisation in B Flat” performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra
Not to be confused with Seven Days’ Leave (1942), this low budget B-musical was surprisingly better than I expected.
The first few moments of the film are like “who’s who” early in their careers in Hollywood. We see Dorothy Malone in an uncredited role playing the piano in an all girl’s band, Lawrence Tierney as an uncredited Merchant Marine, and Virginia Mayo in a credited role (and main character) though still early in her career.
The film follows a Merchant Marine (Gordon Oliver) who got himself engaged to too many girls and it complicates his shore leave. His pals try to help out by also dating the girls.
Judging by the photos and how the film started, I thought this musical would be about Marcy McGuire’s character, but she’s really just there to supply the music and some comedic antics.
I almost think the film may have be more fun if it had been centered around McGuire. I’m not certain of her appeal, but I also liked when she was on screen.
Dooley Wilson also co-stars and has the opportunity to sing a few songs.
The film had some great snappy songs, especially performed by Freddie Slack and his Orchestra. I honestly was surprised at how much fun this film ended up being.
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