DATE WITH JUDY (director:
Richard Thorpe; screenwriters: Dorothy Kingsley/Dorothy
Cooper/Aleen Leslie; cinematographer: Robert Surtees;
editor: Harold F. Kress; music: George Stoll; cast: Jane
Powell (Judy Foster), Elizabeth Taylor (Carol Pringle),
Wallace Beery (Mr. Mel Foster), Scotty Beckett (Ogden "Oogie" Pringle),
Robert Stack (Stephen
Andrews), Selena Royle (Mrs. Foster), Leon
Ames (Lucien T.
Pringle), Xavier Cugat (Himself), Carmen Miranda (Rosita Conchellas), George
Lloyd Corrigan (Pop Scully), Jerry Hunter
(Randolph Foster), Clinton
Sundberg (Jameson, Butler), Lillian Yarbo (Nightingale, the Fosters'
Maid); Runtime: 114; MPAA Rating: NR;
producer: Joe Pasternak; MGM Home Entertainment; 1948)
"It's a bubbly old-fashioned romantic/comedy/musical."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Rock"/"Black Hand"/"Above Suspicion") directs this ongoing hit
radio show, started in 1941, which will move to TV in
the '50s. It's a bubbly old-fashioned
romantic/comedy/musical, that's a lightweight tale
involving a group of teenagers in the coastal city of Santa Barbara, California.
Jane Powell sings five vocals. Elizabeth
Taylor at 15 shows off her sophisticated acting chops.
Robert Stack would much later become known for
his starring role in The Untouchable television
series, plays the young stud in demand. And, Wallace
Beery tries his hand as the gruff suburban dad. None
of it showed even a nano second of reality, this is
Hollywood balderdash for what it thinks life is like
in the suburbs and what family values are all about.
The film opens with the school
16-year-old Judy Foster (Jane Powell) is
going to the dance with the high school bandleader "Oogie"
Pringle (Scotty Beckett), who is the clean-cut Mickey
Rooney type of wise-cracking brother of her best
friend Carol Pringle (Elizabeth Taylor). Upon sis's dumb advice,
Oogie sends a band member to escort Judy to the dance
instead of taking her there himself. The self-absorbed
attractive sis says this will make Judy not take him
for granted and fall into his arms at the dance.
Instead Judy is insulted and while at the local
luncheonette hangout the proprietor Pop Scully (Lloyd Corrigan) gets his handsome
college-aged nephew, Stephen Andrews (Robert Stack), working as a soda-jerk
there for the summer, as an escort for Judy. At the
dance a bunch of gals fall for the older Stephen,
including spoiled rich girl Carol. How Carol and
Stephen bond, and how Judy and Oogie reunite, takes
care of the romantic business.
If that wasn't enough
excitement for one pic, the subplot has Carol and Judy
teaming up to sleuth on Judy's father Mel (Wallace
Beery), who is
suspected of cheating on his wife (Selena
Royle) with Brazilian hot tootsie
Rosita Conchellas (Carmen Miranda). But the truth is
revealed, that Mr. Foster was only taking dancing
lessons to surprise his wife on their upcoming
Xavier Cugat shows up at
the dance. Leon Ames plays the negligent businessman widow
father of Elizabeth and Scotty, who has to receive
life lessons on how to be a good dad.
The story is flat. The
comedy is flat. The music is flat. Therefore the pic
is flat. The film's only scene that got a chuckle from
me, was Beery on the dance floor with Carmen.
REVIEWED ON 6/16/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ