For Reel

Sweetheart of the Campus (1941)
September 7, 2014, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Edward Dmytryk
2.5 Stars
Sweetheart of the CampusStar of several of the best musical pictures that Warner Brothers had to offer in the early 1930s, Ruby Keeler hadn’t been seen on screen in the three years before she made her swan song at Columbia. Keeler wasn’t much of an actress or a dancer–she clumsily taps her way through her numbers, heavy-footed and staring at the ground–but she had a certain indelible charm that was accessible and unpretentious. She brings that to Sweetheart of the Campus, a wholly forgettable swing musical that also stars the famous radio/television couple Ozzie & Harriet Nelson. Edward Dmytryk doesn’t seem to know what to do with the material–his entertaining and relatively stylish The Devil Commands had been released earlier in the year, but to the musical genre he never exceeds the label of a merely efficient B-picture director. Perhaps the biggest interest of the film is an early look into television, which is kept surprisingly tangential for what one would think would still be presented as more of a novelty.

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