LADIES OF THE CHORUS
(director: Phil Karlson; screenwriters: story by Harry Sauber/Joseph Carole; cinematographer: Frank Redman; editor: Richard Fantl; music: Mischa Bakaleinikoff; cast: Adele Jergens (May Martin), Marilyn Monroe (Peggy Martin), Rand Brooks (Randy Carroll), Dave Barry (Ripple), Eddie Garr (Uncle Billie), Nana Bryant (Mrs. Carroll ), Marjorie Hoshelle (Bubbles), Dave Barry (Designer); Runtime: 61; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harry A. Romm; Columbia Pictures; 1949)
“Of interest only to fans of Marilyn.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The film is noted for being Marilyn Monroe’s first starring role in just her second film. Phil Karlson (“Phenix City Story,”1955/”99 River Street,” 1953) directs this routine programmer musical/love story about a girl in a burlesque show who falls in love with the same man her mother had feelings for years before. It is based on a story by Harry Sauber and scripted by Joseph Carole. Columbia tore up her contract of only six months shortly before the filming began.
Marilyn stars as Peggy Martin, a second-generation showgirl who listens to her chorus girl mom May’s (Adele Jergens) advice about the business. When the star hoofer of the burlesque show, Bubbles, suddenly walks out after a fight with Marilyn, she steps out of the chorus line and becomes a star. Mom’s main aim in life is to keep the wolves away away from her naive daughter. She especially warns her about wealthy socialite Randy Carroll (Brooks), someone who broke her heart. Mother just wants to make sure that daughter doesn’t make the same mistake she did. But Marilyn nevertheless falls in love with the charmer and seems to be heading down the same road, except this wolf really wants to marry her. Eddie Garr, who plays a burlesque comedian, is the father of actress Teri Garr.
The story is formulaic and hardly stirs up anything remotely interesting. Marilyn sings “Every Baby Needs a Da Da Daddy” and “Anyone Can Tell I Love You.” But neither the music nor Marilyn can save this stilted tale. Of interest only to fans of Marilyn.
REVIEWED ON 2/5/2004 GRADE: C-