Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
They jes' keep rollin' along
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 10/07/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY is a curious MGM musical in which the studio bookends two superb medleys of Kern & Hammerstein songs around an overlong, overwrought and uninteresting biopic of composer Jerome Kern. A few gems are showcased in-between but for the most part, the chosen tunes that Kern penned prior to SHOWBOAT and ROBERTA are forgettable.
Metro got many of their contract players involved in this project, yet were unable to find a British actress (or an American who could fake the accent) to portray Kern's future wife Eva. Canadian Dorothy Patrick fails badly here, as does Lucille Bremer (pronounced 'Braymer') as Sally Hessler, daughter of Kern's mentor (woodenly played by Van Heflin). Bremer's chance to shine falls flat; she retired from acting only two years later.
In the starring role is Robert Walker. It's hard for this Boomer to watch him and not think of RW Jr. as Charlie X from classic Star Trek, Season 1, ep. 2. Walker Sr. improves as Kern ages and is best in the picture's last couple of reels.
Dinah Shore's vocal is typically unappealing, Lena Horne wears too much pancake. Most surprising in a good way is Van Johnson's song and dance bit. He's excellent! Johnson later starred in a TV musical, a 1957 Technicolor special for CBS entitled THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN. His hoofing and pipes are even more impressive in this fairy tale adaptation.
Although Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra are given prominent billing on home video covers of "Clouds Roll By," their roles are minor, especially Frank's. His one-minute warbling of "Old Man River" at the tail of that second song medley concludes a most ordinary cinematic experience, one that despite good color photography and costumes is truly a lesser MGM musical.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.
(6.2) Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) - Robert Walker/Dorothy Patrick/Van Heflin/Lucille Bremer plus: June Allyson/Gower Champion/Cyd Charisse/Judy Garland/Kathryn Grayson/Lena Horne/Van Johnson/Angela Lansbury/Tony Martin/Virginia O'Brien/Dinah Shore/Frank Sinatra (uncredited: Esther Williams/Jimmy Finlayson/'Snub' Pollard)"