Alice Faye is at her attractive best in this lively, lavish musical in the Fox tradition, backed by a charming John Payne, who does a commendable job as a San Francisco smoothie. Trudy (Faye), Johnnie (Payne), Dan (Jack Oakie), and Beulah (June Havoc) lose their singing gig at the biggest
saloon on the Barbary Coast when their show-stopping routine draws patrons away from the bar. Johnnie, however, takes his revenge on all of the saloon owners in San Francisco when he persuades a group of singing missionaries to perform outside every beanery in town, extorting money from the owners
in exchange for getting the singers to leave. With his profits Johnnie opens his own rollicking joint, the Grizzly Bear, where Trudy headlines and becomes the toast of the town. In time Johnnie becomes the owner of three more bars, but when he turns his attentions to Bernice (Lynn Bari), a Nob
Hill snob, eventually marrying her, the heartbroken Trudy accepts an offer to perform in London, where she is a huge hit. Meanwhile, Johnnie goes broke, loses Bernice and his bars, and winds up as a midway barker. When Trudy returns from England and sees the sad fate that has befallen Johnnie and
her old friends, she concocts a plan to get him back on his feet, leading to an onstage reunion and a rousing rendition of the title song.
Making the most of its sumptuous sets and Faye's winning voice, this well-done musical is top-flight entertainment. The song "You'll Never Know" (Mack Gordon, Harry Warren) won an Oscar, and the film earned a nomination for its cinematography. Other songs: "San Francisco" (Bronislau Kaper, Walter
Jurmann, Gus Kahn), "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" (Grant Clarke, Maurice Abrahams, Lewis F. Muir), "Sweet Cider Time" (Percy Wenrich, Joesph McCarthy), "Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly" (Will Letters, C.W. Murphy, William J. McKenna), "King Chanticleer" (Nat D. Ayer), "When You Wore a Tulip" (Jack Mahoney,
Percy Wenrich), "Strike Up the Band, Here Comes a Sailor" (Andrew B. Sterling, Charles P. Ward), "Why Do They Always Pick On Me?" (Harry Von Tilzer, Stanley Murphy), "Doin' the Grizzly Bear" (George Botsford, Irving Berlin), "Gee, But It's Great to Meet a Friend from Your Own Home Town" (James
McGavish, Fred Fisher, William G. Tracey), "I've Got a Girl in Every Port" (composer unknown), "Bedelia" (Jean Schwartz, William Jerome), "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" (Gus Edwards, Edward Madden), "It's Tulip Time in Holland" (Richard A. Whiting, Dave Radford).
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Alice Faye is at her attractive best in this lively, lavish musical in the Fox tradition, backed by a charming John Payne, who does a commendable job as a San Francisco smoothie. Trudy (Faye), Johnnie (Payne), Dan (Jack Oakie), and Beulah (June Havoc) lose… (more)