Friday, January 1, 2010

Up in Arms (1944)

Up in Arms is one of my absolute favorite movie musicals. This forgotten gem from 1944 features Danny Kaye and Dinah Shore (as well as my favorite 40s actor Dana Andrews). I watched an old VHS recording I had made in the 90s when it played on AMC. It's not out on DVD and I don't know if it has ever aired again. This movie was almost inaccessible, but now the whole movie is up on YouTube courtesy of Huilifoj.

Of course the movie has a feel-good, patriotic plot. Danny (Danny Kaye) is a hypochondriac who is in love with nurse Mary (Constance Dowling). But Danny is the object of nurse Virginia's (Dinah Shore) affection. Mary agrees to go on a double date with Danny, along with his friend Joe (Dana Andrews) and Virginia. Naturally Mary and Joe fall for each other. Then the men are drafted, and the nurses enlist, too. Hilarity and adventure ensue. Of course Danny realizes Virginia is really the girl for him and both couple live happily ever after.

Every number is a treat in this movie. Here are some of the best:

Theater Lobby Number (by Sylvia Fine and Max Liebman):

Courtesy of avissar on YouTube

Melody in 4-F (by Sylvia Fine and Max Liebman):

Courtesy of avissar on YouTube

Tess's Torch Song (by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler):

The song is at 2:10. Courtesy of Huilifoj on YouTube.

Jive Number (by Sylvia Fine and Max Liebman):

Courtesy of theodorebear2009 on YouTube

Well, toast me, Melba! This hep song is all reet! I really think this musical deserves to be more widely known than it is. I think it's one of the best WWII musicals (even without Jules Munchen).

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