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Coney Island
     

Coney Island

Director: Walter Lang

Cast: Betty Grable, George Montgomery, Cesar Romero

 

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Everything clicks in this tuneful, colorful and profitable Betty Grable musical. The star plays Katie Farley, a gyrating saloon entertainer in turn-of-the-century New York. Convinced that Katie is destined for Bigger Things, Coney Island impresario Eddie Johnson (George Montgomery) tries to turn the raucous song-and-dance girl into a refined entertainer, at one point

Overview

Everything clicks in this tuneful, colorful and profitable Betty Grable musical. The star plays Katie Farley, a gyrating saloon entertainer in turn-of-the-century New York. Convinced that Katie is destined for Bigger Things, Coney Island impresario Eddie Johnson (George Montgomery) tries to turn the raucous song-and-dance girl into a refined entertainer, at one point handcuffing her wrists and ankles so she'll be forced to rely on her voice rather than her undulations. Sure enough, Katie becomes a high-class Broadway star under the aegis of showman Willie Hammerstein (Matt Briggs) -- and equally sure enough, she and Eddie grow apart. After a desultory romance with Eddie's rival, slick saloon owner Joe Rocco (Cesar Romero), Katie eventually returns to the arms of the man she truly loves, as comedy relief Frankie (Phil Silvers) looks on in myopic glee. Among the musical highlights of Coney Island is Betty's delightful rendition of the old chestnut "Cuddle Up a Little Closer." The film was remade, again with Grable, as Wabash Avenue (1950).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
There are far better-written musicals than Coney Island, but this little bit of nothing still manages to be a fairly captivating experience, at least as long as the lovely Betty Grable is onscreen -- which is fortunately most of the time. One of the era's most appealing performers, Grable is not always given her due nowadays, perhaps because her voice is very good but not unique (like Garland's) and likewise her dancing is never less than tops, but not really singular (like Ann Miller's or Rita Hayworth's). But Grable's personality and warmth are very much her own, and these personal qualities combine with her talent (and her legs) to create a force of cinematic nature that has a special magic. That magic is on display throughout Coney, turning a creaky musical into a lively vehicle. While she's a winner throughout, play special attention to her on "Cuddle Up a Little Closer" and "Lulu of Louisville," both of which she elevates to great heights. Grable gets good support from George Montgomery, operating in his best second-tier Clark Gable mode, and valuable comedic assists from Phil Silvers and Charles Winninger. Throw in some nifty dancing, fine direction and eye-catching Helen Rose costumes, and there's enough entertainment to make one overlook the sleepy screenplay.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/26/2013
UPC:
0024543873877
Original Release:
1943
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Mod
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
4,577

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Betty Grable Kate Farley
George Montgomery Eddie Johnson
Cesar Romero Joe Rocco
Phil Silvers Frankie
Charles Winninger Finnegan
Matt Briggs William Hammerstein
Paul Hurst Louie
Frank Orth Bartender
Phyllis Kennedy Dolly
Carmen D'Antonio Dancer
Hal K. Dawson Cashier
Andrew Tombes Carter
Harry Seymour Piano Player
Byron Foulger Organist
Alec Craig Man
Buddy Williams Singing Waiter
Angela Blue Dancer
Mary R. Stewart Dancer

Technical Credits
Walter Lang Director
Alfred Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ernest Palmer Cinematographer
Hermes Pan Choreography
William Perlberg Producer
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
George Seaton Screenwriter
Robert L. Simpson Editor

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