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Happy Go Lovely [musical]

   

Happy Go Lovely (1951) starring Vera-Ellen, David Niven, Cesar Romero

In Happy Go Lovely, a chorus girl becomes the star in a broke producer’s show after she’s mistakenly linked with a millionaire in Scotland.

Review

Happy Go Lovely is an entertaining romantic comedy. It’s one of those mistaken identity movies, where people wrongly think that chorus girl Janet Jones is dating the wealthy B. G. Bruno. She’s not, but since the musical’s producer makes her the lead, in hopes of getting financial backing from Bruno, she doesn’t say so. And Bruno gets interested, and pretends to be a reporter (Paul Tracy), to find out why Janet’s using him. And, during the “interview”, he begins falling for the pretty, sweet, small town girl.

It’s an interesting, enjoyable comedy. But I have to say, as a musical, it falls flat. None of the songs are memorable. But, several of Vera-Ellen’s dancing routines are.

Cast

  • David Niven (Around the World in 80 Days) … B.G. Bruno. The stuffy, wealthy businessman. He’s all business …. Until he meets Janet, and she softens his perspective.
  • Vera-Ellen (White Christmas) … Janet Jones. The chorus dancer, who has a chance to become the lead in the musical after she’s mistaken for Bruno’s girlfriend. Even though she didn’t cause the confusion, she feels increasingly guilty about it.
  • Cesar Romero (Lost Continent) … John Frost. A very funny performance, as the stressed-out producer. His creditors are literally threatening to repossess the sets and costumes two days before the show opens!
  • Bobby Howes (42nd Street) … Charlie. Frost’s assistant. A good comedy performance.
  • Diane HartMae. Janet’s roommate and good friend.
  • Gordon Jackson … Paul Tracy
  • Barbara CouperMadame Amanda. The dressmaker who supplies Janet with clothes …. And bills Bruno for it!
  • Henry Hewitt … Dodds
  • Gladys Henson … Mrs. Urquhart
  • Hugh DempsterBates. The chauffeur, who gives Janet a ride, and unintentionally starts the misunderstanding.
  • Sandra Dorne … Betty
  • Joyce Carey … Bruno’s Secretary
  • John Laurie … Jonskill
  • Wylie Watson … Stage Door Keeper

Songs

  • MacIntosh’s Wedding
    • Music by Mischa Spoliansky, Lyrics by Barbara Gordon, Sung by Joan Heal
    • Danced by principal dancers and dance chorus including Vera-Ellen
  • One-Two-Three
    • Music and Lyrics by Mischa Spoliansky
    • Performed by Vera-Ellen (dubbed by Eve Boswell)
  • Would You – Could You?
    • Music by Mischa Spoliansky
    • Lyrics by Jack Fishman
    • Performed by Vera-Ellen (dubbed by Eve Boswell)
  • London Town
    • Music by Mischa Spoliansky
    • Danced by Vera-Ellen, principal dancers and dance chorus

Editorial review of Happy Go Lovely courtesy of Amazon.com

The Edinburgh Festival provides a colorful background for this lively musical comedy. When penniless dancer Janet Jones (Vera-Ellen) emerges from a limousine at the festival, she’s mistaken for the girlfriend of the car’s millionaire owner – when in fact, she’d only hitched a ride with the driver. Suddenly Broadway director John Frost (Cesar Romero) wants her in his next musical in order to get financing from this “millionaire boyfriend.” Soon Janet is romanced by B.G. Bruno (David Niven), the limo’s real millionaire owner. The musical numbers include “One-Two-Three,” “Would You, Could You,” and “London Town.” Filmed in England, the Happy Go Lovely cast is filled with popular British stars such as Bobby Howes, Joyce Carey and Kay Kendall.

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