A patchwork Red Skelton vehicle adapted from the Buster Keaton silent comedy SPITE MARRIAGE (1929) and directed by Vincente Minnelli after the original helmsman was fired. Directing only his second film, Minnelli struggled mightily to pull something of value from the mess he had inherited, but the result is a film in which the star runs roughshod over the...read more
A patchwork Red Skelton vehicle adapted from the Buster Keaton silent comedy SPITE MARRIAGE (1929) and directed by Vincente Minnelli after the original helmsman was fired. Directing only his second film, Minnelli struggled mightily to pull something of value from the mess he had inherited,
but the result is a film in which the star runs roughshod over the material in a vain attempt to compensate for the inherent inadequacies of the production. Skelton plays a hapless tailor's assistant who becomes deeply infatuated with a young actress, Powell, who is appearing nearby in a play
about the Civil War. To impress Powell, Skelton "borrows" some of his customer's fancy clothes, hoping she will think he is a man of means. Having recently been spurned by her boy friend, who ran off with another woman, Powell allows Skelton to court her and eventually agrees to marry the
delighted tailor, but only to spite her former sweetheart. Following a series of increasingly unlikely situations, Skelton stumbles across a plot by foreign spies to sabotage America's war effort and bravely finds a way to expose them. Now that Skelton's a hero, Powell finally realizes she loves
him and all ends well. Basically I DOOD IT is just an excuse to peddle the popularity of Skelton, Powell, Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra, and Lena Horne, and it succeeds on that level. Unfortunately, the narrative context that the comedy and musical numbers are presented in is thoughtless,
haphazard, and sloppily executed. MGM was only concerned with the number of musical performances that would draw an audience and director Minnelli was forced to incorporate several uninspired dance routines that were shot before he took over production. One of these sequences was the climax of the
film, a number based on Cole Porter's "Swinging the Jinx Away," which was lifted almost step for step from an earlier MGM Eleanor Powell film, BORN TO DANCE (1936). Saddled with unwanted baggage, there was little for Minnelli to do but try to salvage what was left, and the results are hardly
satisfying. Songs include "Star Eyes" (Don Raye, Gene De Paul), "Hola E Pae" (Johnny Noble), "Taking a Chance on Love" (Vernon Duke, Ted Fetter, John Latouche), "Jericho" (Leo Robin, Richard Myers), "One O'Clock Jump" (Count Basie), "So Long Sarah Jane" (Lew Brown, Sammy Fain).
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