On Moonlight Bay

  • 1951
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Musical

If it weren't for the presence of some musical standards and the standout job by young Billy Gray as the incorrigible kid brother, ON MOONLIGHT BAY would have sunk without a trace. Adapted from Booth Tarkington's "Penrod" stories and his Alice Adams, the Warner Bros. production suffuses its folksy story in nostalgia but never completely warms the hearts...read more

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If it weren't for the presence of some musical standards and the standout job by young Billy Gray as the incorrigible kid brother, ON MOONLIGHT BAY would have sunk without a trace. Adapted from Booth Tarkington's "Penrod" stories and his Alice Adams, the Warner Bros. production suffuses its

folksy story in nostalgia but never completely warms the hearts it aims for. Set in a tiny Indiana town around 1917, the film centers on tomboyish Marjorie Winfield (Doris Day), a lively miss in her late teens (hah!) who meets and falls for college boy William Sherman (Gordon MacRae). Marjorie's

banker father (Leon Ames) doesn't like William, and the collegian doesn't think much of the way Mr. Winfield makes his living, but after a series of complications--including son Wesley (Gray) claiming his father is a drunkard to extricate himself from some trouble at school--Winfield gives his

grudging approval.

Rosemary DeCamp as Mrs. Winfield, Ellen Corby as Wesley's teacher, Mary Wickes, and Ames all deliver good comic performances, but Gray pilfers the proceedings. A sequel, BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON, was released in 1953. The film contains only one original song, "Love Ya" (Charles Tobias,

Peter DeRose, sung by Doris Day, Jack Smith); the others, culled from various sources, include "On Moonlight Bay" (Percy Wenrich, Edward Madden, sung by Gordon MacRae), "Till We Meet Again" (Richard Whiting, Ray Egan, sung by Day, MacRae), "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag" (George Asaf,

Felix Powell, sung by MacRae), "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" (Jean Kenbrovin, John W. Kellette, sung by Smith), "Christmas Story" (Pauline Walsh), "Tell Me Why Nights Are Lonely" (W.J. Callahan, Max Kortlander, sung by Day, MacRae), "Cuddle Up a Little Closer" (Otto Harbach, Karl Hochna, sung by

MacRae), and "Every Little Movement Has a Meaning All Its Own" (Harbach, Hochna, sung by Smith).

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: If it weren't for the presence of some musical standards and the standout job by young Billy Gray as the incorrigible kid brother, ON MOONLIGHT BAY would have sunk without a trace. Adapted from Booth Tarkington's "Penrod" stories and his Alice Adams, the W… (more)

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