Music Is Magic Film Details
Overview: Aging star (Daniels) finally recognizes the truth when she is replaced in her new movie by a girl from the chorus (Faye).
Tagline: When you’re not cheering the music, you’re laughing at the fun!
Review: As the victims of temperamental star Bebe Daniels, these future stars of fictional Hollywood got lessons in “how not to be” in watching Daniels at her worst. Playing supposed over the hill has-beens in both this and 1933’s “42nd Street”, Daniels looks far from over the hill and is still lovely and filled with sparkle in spite of her character’s temperaments. Whether playing Dorothy Brock in “42nd Street” (where she used a wealthy older man to make a Broadway comeback while in love with someone else) or Diane De Valle here (keeping a daughter’s identity hidden under the lie that she’s her younger sister), Daniels seems much younger than her characters are supposed to be. According to records, she was only 32 when she made “42nd Street”, and thus only 34 here, and if that was considered “over the hill” in the mid 1930’s, that’s a pretty sad statement on the times. In the opening scenes, young female audience members admit they like her but wish she’d stop trying to be 18. “Sister” Rosina Lawrence is apparently graduating from high school which indicates that her character, if Daniel’s actual age, was born when she was 16! At any rate, Daniels is the headliner of a failing vaudeville tour, supposedly going onto other towns, but stopped there by the arrival of a telegram indicating that the New York office is disappointed in the box office receipts and is cancelling the remainder of it. Hurrying back to Hollywood to star in a movie operetta called “Music is Magic”, Daniels makes all sorts of demands on the studio head. Tired from arguing with Daniels, the studio head is in no mood for Alice Faye’s impromptu audition at his favorite Mexican restaurant. Faye manages to get a job on Daniels’ film in the chorus (having been a part of the failed tour Daniels just left), and when several chorus girls are given the chance to try to show Daniels how it is done, it is only Faye who can do the song any justice. Sister/daughter Lawrence shows up for a visit, and mother finds herself losing her boyfriend, Ray Walker, to her own daughter/sister. When an accident on the set occurs, the temperamental Daniels must wake up to her own vanity and responsibilities and make efforts to change her life. The story sounds like it surrounds the character of Diane De Valle played by Bebe Daniels, but Alice Faye’s Peggy Harper is equally as important, and because of her popularity at Fox studios got top billing. The platinum blonde Faye is no Jean Harlow, and her singing voice isn’t exactly what you would call “hot”, but somehow, Faye manages to make her characterization and vocal inefficiencies work. She’s a unique star in the sense that without her, there wouldn’t have been a great musical transition from Fox Studios to 20th Century Fox where Faye reigned as the top musical queen until Betty Grable came along. Faye’s early films show her as wise beyond her years, quite a lady in spite of the situations she’s in, and this makes her flow into mature leading musical star during Grable’s rise all the more realistic. Faye manages to stand the test of time with her down to earth but respectable persona, and along with Grable shows why Fox’s musical leading ladies were the most un-diva like of all of Hollywood’s movie musical stars. The comic sidekicks here are a bit obnoxious with Frank Mitchell and Jack Durant rather obtrusive in their efforts to get laughs. The real laughs comes from Hattie McDaniel as Daniels’ maid, petrified of flying, and revealing as much just with a pop of her big eyes as Daniels asks her to get something for her. Luis Alberni is very funny in a bit as the Mexican cantina owner, losing his temper when customers complain about the song Faye sings right at their table. The title song is heard throughout but never becomes an annoying or repetitive tune, hysterically sung briefly by a beautiful chorus girl with a horrible speech impediment. When it is sung as part of the lavish finale, it goes into energetic overdrive, and confirms why Faye remained a star as long as she did and why she has a cult following today.
Duration: 66 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance
Also known as: Music Is Magic,La magia de la música,A Mágica da Música