Make Believe Ballroom Film Details
Overview: Liza Lee, fast-talking press agent for Al Jarvis, persuades Jarvis to stage a Musical Mystery Contest, with a $5000 prize to the person who can first name the most musical numbers and their…
Tagline: THE HEP PARADE OF ’49…with a rousing line-up of top rhythm stars setting the downbeat for love!
Review: Musical program: “The Way the Twig Is Bent” (Jack Smith), words and music by Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher; “On the Sunny Side of the Street” (Frankie Laine), words by Dorothy Fields, music by Jimmy McHugh; “It’s a Blue World” (Courtland), words and music by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest; “Hello Goodbye” (Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra) by Alex Sullivan and Lew Pollack; “The Trouble with You is Me” (King Cole Trio – vocal sung by pianist Nat “King” Cole), words and music by Jack Segal and George Handy; “Disc Jockey Jump” (Gene Krupa and his Orchestra) by Gene Krupa and Gerry Mulligan; “I’m the Lonesomest Gal in Town” (Kay Starr), words and music by Lew Brown and Albert von Tilzer; “Coming Out” (Jimmy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Pee Wee Hunt, Jan Garber) by M. Christiance and Harry J. Cole; “Make Believe Ballroom” (Ray McKinley and his Orchestra) by Al Jarvis, Leon Renee and Johnny Mercer; “Miss In Between Blues” (The Sportsmen), words and music by Allan Roberts and Lester Lee. Copyright 26 May 1949 by Columbia Pictures Corp. Sydney release at the Victory (as support to The Dark Past), 23 July 1949. Australian release: 11 August 1949. 7,178 feet. 80 minutes. SYNOPSIS: Two carhops battle to win a Mystery Record Contest. COMMENT: Kay Starr is as easy on the eyes as Mr Frankie Laine on the ears, but the visual and aural highlight of the film is Gene Krupa’s rendition. Some of the other star turns are rather flat, particularly the number by Jack Smith (who admittedly has an uninspired song to sing) despite a vain attempt to jazz it up with some pretty girls. The Krupa sequences are made more exciting by the clever use of multiple exposures. A pity that some similar degree of directorial invention was not exercised on the other “turns”, let alone on the story itself. As might be surmised, this is one of those films which string together a musical mélange through the excuse of a radio show. The thin excuse of a story however is more tedious than most, because too much is made of it. Both Mr Courtland and Miss Welles have as much pep between them as a flat pancake, while Australia’s Ron Randell completes the uninteresting triangle. Ruth Warrick, whose career peaked with her first film, Citizen Kane, has certainly reached a nadir here with Make Believe Ballroom. The way she bats her eyes at Mr Randell and delivers her corny lines with an animated face, has to be seen to be believed. The only other players worth mentioning are Louis-Jean Heydt whose hammy performance as the “Jerk” is one to treasure, and Adele Jergens who is billed as a great “guest star” (such is the Poverty Row nature of this film) and acts accordingly. Joseph Santley’s direction is so pedestrian it hurts. Photography and other credits are no more than functional. Yet for big-band fans Make Believe Ballroom is a must. Film debuts too of Frankie Laine and Nat “King” Cole – and maybe others.
Duration: 79 min
Genre: Comedy, Music, Romance
Also known as: Make Believe Ballroom,Swingens mästare