GOOD VINTAGE FUN
scotsladdie | 01/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A millionaire with fanatically religious beliefs tries to stop the opening of a Broadway show. By far, the most memorable item in DAMES is the song and routine, I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU. One of the best songs ever written for a film, it's sung by Dick Powell and beautifully staged by Busby Berkeley. The finale of the film is another all-girl array for the title song. Here is a fascinating rhythmic formation. A hundred girls in white blouses and black tights configurate, fragmenting here and there into abstract designs. Berkeley moves above for his celebrated overhead shot and the effect becomes a startlingly kaleidoscopic cacophony of geometric and floral mosaics. In the last of the grand budget-breaking spectacles before the "Production Code" came into being, distinguished Busby Berkeley took his imagination to the limit: watch for the dancing clothes on the ironing board and a giant puzzle pieces attached to dancing girls which form the face of Ruby Keeler."
Michael A. Scarpitti | Columbus, Ohio USA | 03/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me be honest: I hate musicals. Actually, I loathe them. But this one is incredible! Great choice of B&W costumes to go with B&W photography.
The plot is silly and quaint, but the songs and the production are beyond belief! This one has the most original and cleverest photography and choreography I have ever seen. My eyes were bugging out! I had no idea "I Only Have Eyes For You" was such an old song, but there it is.
I can't believe I wrote a review of a movie musical that I loved!"
"Who do you go for?... Tell the truth; You go to see those b
Samantha Kelley | USA | 04/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dames is a silly film filled with great characters, cute songs, and brilliant choreography. The story centers around a family who wishes to receive an inheritance from Uncle Ezra, an eccentric man with lots of cash. He has cut off one part of the family because of a music man (Dick Powell) involved with show business. Unfortunately for Guy Kibbee and Zasu Pitts, their daughter (Ruby Keeler) is in love with her distant cousin and plans to join in his musical when it gets backed. And eventually it does, and the money comes from Keeler's father! Joan Blondell figures into the story as a swindling blonde who blackmails Kibbee for the money.
The story centers mainly around the adults who supply most of the laughs. The relationship between Powell and Keeler is immature and kind of weak, but they contribute more in song than they do to the story. They are certainly talented; unfortunately, Blondell has two musical numbers- and she's a horrible singer!
Still, the music is fun, especially the title song. The Busby Berkeley choreography is top-notch. The visuals are great, like looking through a kaleidoscope filled with beautiful girls. Other numbers are good too, although the "I Only Have Eyes For You" number is strange, filled with images of Keeler everywhere!
Make sure this is a musical you do not miss!"
Fine, classic movie musical that can never be forgotten
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 01/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dames is an outstanding movie musical with Busby Berkeley numbers that will make your eyes pop out! Finished shortly before the Hayes Production Code went into effect, this lavish musical gets its strength and appeal from the incredibly wonderful song and dance numbers. This is a must have for fans of classic movie musicals!
The action starts when Ezra Ounce (Hugh Herbert), a stuffy older multimillionaire, decides to come to New York to create a foundation against the "filthy" Broadway shows--and give his relative Horace Peter Hemingway (Guy Kibbee) ten million dollars for being a pure man of high morals. Of course, trouble ensues when Horace's daughter Barbara (Ruby Keeler) falls in love with her 13th cousin Jimmy Higgens (Dick Powell). Barbara is encouraged by her parents Horace and Matilda (Zasu Pitts) to stay away from Jimmy and avoid a part in the show Jimmy wants to put on Broadway; but Barbara's not about to listen.
At the same time, Jimmy goes all out to get a backer--who gives him a big fat bad check. This motivates out of work actress Mabel Anderson (Joan Blondell) to take advantage of Horace Hemingway in a big financial way to get the money Jimmy needs to put on his show. Horace is terrified that even though he gives Mabel the money to put on the show, Ezra may find out that Horace was the backer and cut Horace off from that luscious ten million dollars.
Of course, the plot can go anywhere from here. Jimmy starts to pay some attention to Mabel--will Mabel steal his heart way from Barbara? Will they be able to put on the show even if Ezra goes all out to hire thugs to sabotage it? What about the society that Ezra wants to start to close down all those "filthy" Broadway theaters--will it work? No plot spoilers here, folks--you'll just have to watch the movie to find out!
You won't be sorry you watched the movie, either. The last thirty minutes or so is song and dance heaven! Nobody but Busby Berkeley could put together those beautiful, intricate and sophisticated numbers with all those beautiful women and make it look as easy as cake.
The quality of the print is excellent; and the choreography couldn't be better. As you may have heard, the beautiful ballad "I Only Have Eyes For You" was written for this film--and Dick Powell sings it flawlessly.
Overall, fans of classic movie musicals can't afford to pass this one by. Dames is a fine early motion picture that stands the test of time. Look also for some really good extras on this DVD.
Great job, everybody! We will never forget you!