Bing Crosby is a broadway star and Donald “Melvin” O’Connor is a TV star, and they are cast as co-headliners in a big broadway play and set loose to find a leading lady. Hilarity ensues! You see, Melvin finds hot French dancer Zizi Jeanmaire and Bing finds blonde singer Mitzi Gaynor (Les Girls, South Pacific), then each guy falls for the other guy’s girl. Meanwhile, Mitzi’s dad (Phil Harris, who voiced Baloo in Disney’s Jungle Book), in a kind of unimportant side plot, is going to be arrested for not paying taxes on his gambling winnings when the cruise ship lands in America. Big ol’ whatever on that part.
Bing and Melvin show their compatibility by riffing on “You Gotta Give The People Hoke” with some lightly bearable prop humor, then Mitzi gives us the title song and Zizi does “I Get a Kick out of You”. They all sing Katy’s fave “You’re The Top”. Melvin and Mitzi bond on the ship’s deck to “It’s Delightful/Delicious/De-lovely” while Bing yearns for Zizi with “All Through the Night”. Out of nowhere, Melvin does a cool dance in the children’s play room, bouncing balls to the beat of “You Can Bounce Right Back”, and Bing does a fakey swami bit with “A Second-hand Turban and a Crystal Ball”. Those last two songs (and “Hoke”) somewhat suck, and not coincidentally were the three numbers not written by Cole Porter. We close on the second year of their hit Broadway show with all four performers doing “Blow Gabriel Blow” and the no longer jailed father in attendance, how sweet.
Katy’s pick, we both enjoyed. Bing and Mitzi seem to be better singers than dancers, and Zizi and Melvin vice versa. Playful little movie with mostly good music, doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would’ve been a huge smash hit.
Mitzi & Melvin:
“a second hand turban and a crystal ball”