I like musicals all right. I used to take them literally and complain to Rick, one of the owners of Emerald Video in Isla Vista, “I don’t get it. Nobody ever just bursts into song like that.” To which he responded, “Of course not. It’s a scene where they decide to show an emotion that’s best expressed through song.” Of course. he was right. But I still declared him insane and stormed out of the store without clocking out.
Just like regular movies, some musicals are good. Some are bad. This one is somewhere in between. I like the scenario, and a young Harry Morgan is terrific as a fair arcade proprietor. Dana
Carvey Andrews plays a reporter. And Jeanne Crain sings a lot about wanting to fall in love. The songs are okay, but the real show stopper comes near the end when Vivian Blaine (and pretty much the whole cast) sings “All I Owe Ioway.”
Interestingly, the subtitle file I was working from just spelled it IOWA through the whole song. I changed it all to IOWAY. Sure, it’s not how Iowans spell it, but that’s the actual song. And it’s more genius from lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, who’s responsible for the tongue-twisting lyrics of “The Lonely Goatherd” and “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music. Witness:
Oh, I know all I owe I owe Ioway,
I owe Ioway all I owe and I know why
I’d love to have watched Hammerstein work. Man, just laughing non-stop, reaching for more mushrooms and laughing some more.