Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Bing Crosby guru Bruce Kogan is back to review another Bing film - Mr. Music. This forgotten 1950 film has always been a guilty pleasure Bing movie with me...

When this film first came out in 1950 it was like Babe Ruth hitting a double. The score by Burke-Van Heusen is serviceable for Crosby, a couple of nice numbers. In fact the best number in the movie is And You'll Be Home, sung at a college assembly by Bing who is later joined by the whole ensemble. Unfortunately it occurs in the first 20 minutes of the movie so then it's downhill.

Bing plays a golf loving composer who's lost his muse and would rather spend more time on the links and at the track then working. His producer, Charles Coburn, hires Nancy Olson who is a graduating student from Bing's alma mater as a secretary to keep Bing's nose to the grind- stone. That has complications for Bing's steady, Ruth Hussey and Olson's inamorata, Robert Stack. Suffice it to say that everyone winds up with someone in the end.

It's a show business story, but not one like those Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney let's put on a show. We got some sophisticated folks in this story, not the usual kind who Bing hangs around with in the normal course of his films. A whole lot of the film action takes place in Bing's Park Avenue penthouse and Crosby looks a little lost there. He has some funny moments with Ida Moore, Tom Ewell, and Richard Haydn.

Of course a show is the highlight of the film and one awkward moment comes when Charles Coburn is amazed at some of the show business types Bing's obtained the services for a preview of his new Broadway show. At one point Coburn remarks to Crosby, "there's Dorothy Kirsten of the Metropolitan Opera" like he doesn't know who she is. But the audience probably doesn't. Still it looks so phony when the next performer they run into is Groucho Marx. No one thought of giving Coburn a line like "there's Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers."

Speaking of Groucho he and Crosby sing a duet of Life Is So Peculiar which Bing had sang earlier in the movie with Peggy Lee. The film should be seen for both versions of this number also.

If you love Bing as I do or if you want to see him sing with Groucho Marx and Peggy Lee by all means see this film...


1 comment:

  1. The apartment set for this movie is my dream abode. Of course, I'd want all those guests at my party.