Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cinema Tuesdays {Thousands Cheer}

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1943's Thousands Cheer is really two movies in one. First, Kathryn Grayson plays the colonel's daughter who can also sing operetta and Gene Kelly plays the doesn't like the army's rules private who has to learn that the most important job in the world right now is being a solider in the United States Army. After all, this is a morale-boosting propaganda musical, where would the Allies be if every American solider acted like Gene Kelly did in the beginning of the movie?
The second half of the movie is a series of sketches and musical number staged as an army show to entertain the troops (and home front audience) emceed by Mickey Rooney and starring just about every MGM contract player who wasn't busy that day.
Overall, it's not the greatest musical ever, although it does have Gene Kelly dancing with a mop. But it is worth watching just to see what propaganda as musical looks like and it was clearly made in order to show the new American soldier what sort of attitude was expected from them now that they had decided to finally join the war.

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My favourite dress in the film. I don't like the colour, but I love the sunflower embroidery.
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Eleanor Powell's first appearance in colour.
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Gloria DeHaven, Virginia O'Brien (and her "frozen" face), June Allyson
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Ann Sothern
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Lucille Ball
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Marsha Hunt
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Frank Morgan
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Two orchestras provide the music: Bob Crosby (I guess Bing was busy) and Kay Kyser.
No, I've never heard of them either.
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I forget who she is, but she looks like she's advertising Ivory Soap.
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Lena Horne
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I've never found Red Skelton to be very funny, but that could just be me.
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A very young Donna Reed
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José Iturbi and Judy Garland have the best number.
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