The Gang\’s All Here Film Details
Overview: A soldier falls for a chorus girl and then experiences trouble when he is posted to the Pacific.
Tagline: What a gang of song hits!
Review: The gang’s not quite all here. Where’s John Payne, Don Ameche, Cesar Romero, and/or Betty Grable? We got used to the presence of at least a couple of these stars in the Fox musicals of the early ’40s, along with those present: Alice Faye and/or Carmen Miranda. Perhaps this oversight was intentional, as the leading man’s role is less prominent than in previous Fox musicals of the early 40s. There are simply too many other things going on involving various other familiar faces or chorus girls to give the romantic ups and downs and flip flops between the leading players their usual importance. There’s just enough romantic intrigue to provide interest, without getting tedious: a problem with some other Fox musicals of this period. James Ellison, as soldier Andy Mason, makes a serviceable, if less charismatic, leading man, compared to Don Ameche: the original choice for his role. Andy allows ordinary servicemen to more freely imagine they are on a date with Alice Faye. Fox used a similar strategy in the musical “Something For the Boys”, released the next year. Near the end, he confronts Alice, his new love, and Sheila Ryan, his ‘other woman’, together: a potentially explosive situation. Alice and James handle the situation well, but it looks like curtains for the Alice-James romance. Don’t count on it! This is the third and final pairing of Alice and Carmen in a Fox musical. They basically play the same roles in each film:Carmen as the exotic outrageously-dressed spitfire, Alice as the calm dreamy-eyed girl-next- door, who becomes the new girl in the leading man’s life. In mid-WWII years, Fox included one of the big bands in some of their musicals. Glenn Miller got his chance in “Sun Valley Serenade” and “Orchestra Wives”, Harry James in “Springtime in the Rockies”. In this film, Benny Goodman’s orchestra is occasionally featured, with Benny sometimes doing the vocal, as with the novelty songs “Minnie’s in the Money”, and “Paducah” However, his band is not an integral part of the story, as was true of the Miller films. Benny doesn’t know what to do with his eyes during his vocals, mostly looking down, like he is insecure…. The combo of Harry Warren and Leo Robin composed most of the featured songs, including these. Alice Faye got two romantic -themed ballads of theirs to sing, while Tony DeMarco and Sheila Ryan danced to both. Later, Alice leads the upbeat “Polka Dot Polka” Can you imagine a musical prominently featuring Carmen Miranda, with Busby Berkeley the director as well as the choreographer? This is it! : a dream team for staging a lavish musical spectacle! Carmen appears in a seemingly endless variety of exotic outfits, both on and off stage. She even sports a fashionable-looking version of the Asian peasant conical hat. Her patriotic red, white and blue outfit features blue mouse ears, predating the Mickey Mouse Club outfit. Reportedly, she designed her own outfits used in her films, having been a hat and clothes designer in some of her teen years. Already a veteran performer in Brazil, before Sonja Henje encouraged her to move to the US, she demanded that her band be use in her film numbers. Busby staged a number of his signature lavish chorus girl numbers, with or without Carmen or Alice included. I thought the segment featuring disks, either neon-illuminated or not, as the dancer’s props, was rather boring. Busby had used neon-outlined props in a couple of his mid-’30s Warner films. The choreography of giant banana-wielding chorus girls is perhaps the most remembered, if the most controversial with the up-tight censors of the time, with its possible phallic connotations. The film finishes with an elaborate kaleidoscopic treatment of the chorus girls and stars, and Busby’s innovative take on the main characters taking their exit bows. The beginning of the film was also very unusual, with a man’s face spotlighted against an otherwise black picture, singing “Brazil” austerely, followed by a very colorful, sunny, gay scene, with Carmen continuing with a peppy version of “Brazil”…. Fox got lucky in obtaining Busby for this lone film. Busby was then contracted to MGM, but had recently been fired as director of “Girl Crazy”, due to a personality conflict with Judy Garland. Busby also got lucky, as this was his first opportunity to direct dance productions in a 3 -strip color film! Yes, all those well-received Busby-choreographed films that Warner and MGM had produced were shot in B&W. Also, Zanuck was more willing than MGM to give Busby a free reign in devising his most surreal musical productions Veteran character actors Eugene(bullfrog) Pallete, Edward Horton and Charlotte Greenwood add light comedy as they appear from time to time as the parent of the leading man or “the other woman”. Carmen also provides much of the comedy. Her romantic life seems limited to flirting with middle-aged married men, esp. Eddie. Overall, the most lavish, entertaining, musical extravaganza Fox produced during the war years, even without a hit parade song or two. Well paced, with a good mix of different styles of song and dance, comedy, drama and romance, with some references to the ongoing war. A welcomed diversion for the men and women overseas as well as at home, not to mention us in the 21st century, as judged by the number of reviewers at the this sight, compared to other Fox musicals of the period. My 2008 DVD is crisp, with vibrant colors. Also a worthwhile commentary by Dr. Drew Casper, a nostalgic trip by an older Alice Faye and a short documentary on Busby, as extras. extras.
Country: United States
Language: English, Portuguese
Duration: 103 min
Genre: Comedy, Musical, Romance
Also known as: Toda la banda está aquí,Entre a Loura e a Morena,Вся банда в сборе,Banana split,The Gang’s All Here,The Girls He Left Behind,Banana Split,Tutti frutti,Sinfonia de Estrelas,Entre la rubia y la morena