Pin-Up Girl H. Bruce Humberstone

USO good-time girl Lorry (Betty Grable) is on her way to start a stenographer job in Washington when she detours to NYC with her unwilling friend Kay (Dorothea Kent). When Lorry's pathologically guileful personality lands them in an awkward situation at Eddie Hall's (Joe E. Brown) nightclub, she and Kay impersonate actresses in a musical comedy. She finds herself pursued by hapless Navy hero Tommy Dooley (John Harvey), much to the distress of nightclub singer Molly McKay (Martha Raye). Grable titillated G.I.s in much the same way Shirley Temple aroused the dissolute ghosts that occupied movie houses during the Great Depression. The eroticisation of childhood was replaced with a perverse nostalgia for the growing "girl next door," and Grable's oft-seen pin-up pose was iconic of this. This wretched retelling of Cinderella (Grable in glasses cannot be identified by her pining beloved) is teeming with mediocre songs and unremarkable drama. The opening number features the tap dancing of the Condos Brothers, and later musical numbers are accompanied by Charlie Spivak and His Orchestra. Add to this the Skating Vanities and the film adopts an air of variety act showcase. By this time, Grable had become a legitimate leading lady after a series of films starring opposite the likes of Victor Mature and Dom Ameche. The closest answer this film has to those leading men is rubber-faced goon Joe E. Brown, whose spastic disbelief and gaping grin cannot save the film from sinking under the weight of uninspired musical comedy. The disc features a cut musical number, "This Is It" (an alternate to "Don't Carry Tales Out of School"). The ho-hum song is complete with a dolled-up, Ivy League male chorus. In addition to this, there's a commentary track by Richard Schickel and photo and trailer galleries. (Fox)