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USA 1943
Directed by
David Butler
127 minutes
Rated G

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Thank Your Lucky Stars

A treat for anyone who loves the golden years of Hollywood, Thank Your Lucky Stars is an all-star war-time morale-booster featuring a host of Warner Bros.' biggest names headed up by Eddie Cantor and Dinah Shore and including musical cameos by Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, John Garfield, Ann Sheridan, Olivia de Havilland (virtually unrecognizable), Ida Lupino, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, Alan Hale and Hattie McDaniel as well as a self-spoofing appearance from Humphrey Bogart and a novelty number by Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

Based on a story by Everett Freeman and Arthur Schwartz it’s cornball stuff with a token storyline about couple of producers (S.Z. Sakall and Edward Everett Horton) putting on a fundraiser and having to deal with the obnoxiously self-obsessed Cantor because he’s managing the property they do want  - Dinah Shore. Meanwhile aspiring songwriter Joan Leslie and singer Dennis Morgan enlist the help of their friend Joe Simpson (Cantor again) who can’t get an acting gig because he looks too much like Eddie Cantor. Eventually the storyline just runs out and as a musical it lacks a coherent voice, the finale notwithstanding, but its unabashed crowd-pleasing entertainment and a worthy addition to the category of Hollywood’s self-referential films.

For me the most successful numbers are Errol Flynn’s music hall-ish “That's What You Jolly Well Get”,  Bette Davis's rendition of “They're Either Too Young or Too Old” and Hattie McDaniel’s “Ice Cold Katie” but there's plenty to choose from.




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