Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Is Here

Back in February 2008, I blogged about the musical 42nd Street, and how it really changed movie musicals. Before that, musicals were stagy and filled with a more old-fashioned singing style that make them really difficult to slog through. A good example of this is Spring Is Here, a 1930 movie which will be airing overnight, or in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, at 4:30 AM.

The movie is filled mostly with people whose names even I don't recognize. Bernice Clare plays Betty, a girl from the smart set of Long Island who is in love with Steve (Lawrence Gray) because of his fast cars. Her parents (Louise Fazenda and Ford Sterling), however, know that he's all wrong for her and that Terry (Alexander Gray; no relation to Lawrence) would be better for her, except that he's an utter drip. So they want to teach him how not to be that utter drip. Or something like that.

Spring Is Here was based on a musical by Rodgers and Hart, although only a couple of their songs survived into the movie, with a few songs from other people being added. I first saw this one a good six years or more ago when I saw it on TCM's schedule as part of a morning of early talkies, right next to the interestingly-titled Tanned Legs. Neither movie is particularly good, although Tanned Legs at least had Dagwood Bumstead (er, Arthur Lake) and some leggy shots, although those were mostly long shots of an entire chorus line. Spring Is Here is even more of a mess, with stodgy acting, a story that's difficult to care about, and forgettable songs. In fact, even though the movie only runs about 70 minutes, I found it so tedious that I was fast-forwarding through the songs.

So, Spring Is Here is one of those movies that really should only be seen as a look back in time to what entertainment was like circa 1930. If you're looking for quality, I'm afraid you're not really going to get it. Unsurprisingly, neither Spring Is Here nor Tanned Legs has made it to DVD.

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