I’LL BE YOURS
(director/writer: William A. Seiter; screenwriters: Felix Jackson/based on the screenplay The Good Fairy by Preston Sturges/based on a comedy by Ferenc Molnar/adapted from the Hungarian by Jane Hinton; cinematographer: Hal Mohr; editor: Otto Ludwig; music: Frank Skinner; cast: Deanna Durbin (Louise Ginglebusher), Tom Drake (George Prescott), William Bendix (George Wechsberg), Adolph Menjou (J. Conrad Nelson), Walter Catlett (Mr. Buckingham), Franklin Pangborn (Barber), William Trenk (Captain), Joan Fulton (Blonde); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Felix Jackson; Universal; 1947)
“It’s nothing more than a genial diversion.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A remake of the 1935 Margaret Sullavan vehicle The Good Fairy, which was also penned by this film’s writer, Preston Sturges. It’s pleasant enough, but adds nothing new to the original and its slight comedy is too cornball for my taste. It’s based on a stage musical comedy by Ferenc Molnar and is directed without distinction by William A. Seiter (“It’s A Date”/”Room Service”/”Allegheny Uprising“). Two years after this film Universal’s popular star, Deanna Durbin, retired. Here she sings four forgettable tunes, including “Granada,” “It’s Dream Time,” “Sari Waltz,” and “Cobbleskill School Song.”
The grocer father of Louise Ginglebusher (Deanna Durbin) dies and soon afterward she graduates from Cobbleskill high school. Louise then leaves her small-town for the Big Apple, where she has a letter of introduction to zany Radio City Music Hall director Buckingham (Walter Catlett) from her father who was his classmate and teammate on the baseball team. Country bumpkin Louise has the connections and gets hired as an usherette.
At an inexpensive restaurant Louise’s befriended by the aggressive waiter George Wechsberg (William Bendix) and meets his bearded struggling lawyer/accountant, George Prescott (Tom Drake), and is smitten. He’s poor because he’s so honest, but the good looking guy would make a good catch for the regular girl Louise (only she hates his beard, claiming it makes him look too old).
George works one evening as a waiter for a fancy banquet held in the Savoy-Ritz and arranges for Louise to crash the affair. She draws the attention of womanizing meat packer tycoon J. Conrad Nelson (Adolph Menjou), who makes her uncomfortable making a pass at her and trying to get her to drink champagne in his penthouse hotel apartment. To get out of his pad, Louise tells him the little white lie that she’s married to Prescott. Nelson responds by offering Prescott an important high paying job on his company’s crooked board of directors that will keep him busy with night meetings while he woos his wife.
Louise’s white lie has her flustered on how to straighten things out, as the plot line offers a conventional feel-good way out of the jam and some strained comedy.Neither film version captures the magical fantasy version of the stage production.It’s nothing more than a genial diversion.
REVIEWED ON 4/17/2011 GRADE: C+