Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor in I Love Melvin (1953)


(director: Don Weis; screenwriters:based on a story by Laslo Vadnay/George Wells; cinematographer: Harold Rosson; editor: Adrienne Fazan; music: George Stoll; cast: Donald O’Connor (Melvin Hoover), Debbie Reynolds (Judy Leroy), Una Merkel (Mom Schneider), Richard Andersen (Harry Flack), Allyn Joslyn (Pop Schneider), Les Tremayne (Mr. Henneman), Noreen Corcoran (Clarabelle), Jim Backus (Mergo), Robert Taylor (Cameo), Barbara Ruick (Studio Guide); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George Wells; MGM; 1953)

The appealing energetic cast do wonders with the slight material.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Don Weis (“You For Me”/”Half A Hero”/”The Affairs of Dobie Gillis”)directs this bubbly musical that reteams Singin’ in the Rain costars Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.The big musical numbers are ‘Saturday Afternoon Before the Game,’ that has Debbie as the football, anda roller-skating dance for O’Connor. The innovative numbers are choreographed by Robert Alton. The songs by Josef Myrow and Mack Gordon are just ordinary and forgettable, in this cutsie musical that shows love conquers all in a predictable Hollywood formulaic way.

Melvin Hooper (Donald O’Connor) is the lowly assistant for curmudgeon Look photographer Mergo (Jim Backus). In NYC’s Central Park, ambitious chorus girl Judy LeRoy (Debbie Reynolds) is on her way to a dance rehearsal and is daydreaming of finding love. Melvin is also strolling through the park and daydreaming about finding true love. The two collide and have angry words before going their separate ways. Later in the afternoon while walking by the theater showing Quarterback Kelly, Melvin recognizes Judy from a poster outside and uses his magazine credentials to go backstage. Melvin after the show uses the pickup line that he would like to do a photo spread on her for Look, giving her the impression he’s the magazine photographer. She accepts. In the weeks following, during the photo sessions for the fake cover, they fall in love. Her folks (Una Merkel & Allyn Joslyn) want her to marry pompous rich businessman Harry Flack (Richard Andersen), someone she doesn’t love. To show her folks that Melvin has the juice, Judy tells them of his promise to get her on a Look cover.

The appealing energetic cast do wonders with the slight material, making it an enjoyable watch.