"It is WONDERFUL that FOX is releasing some Betty Grable movies once again...and finally on DVD!! "Pin Up Girl" was primarily a follow up to the release of millions of copies of her famous pin up picture in 1943. It is a typical Fox Musical...with a large dash of vaudeville (roller skating specialties) and Our Betty playing a secretary (watch her take off her glasses and WOW just about everybody!)...who pretends to be a musical comedy star. There is A BIG NAME BAND and Betty dances with Hermes Pan! O.K....we watch Betty because she is a great entertainer (and by popular demand, A PIN UP)...her films are bright and colorful light entertainment. Betty suffers the embarassment of plots that bring on migraine, but Betty is a trouper. Bottom line: you will LOVE BETTY...not the movie. We can hope that this will triger the release of some of Betty's films that have never been on video of any kind. I would really prefer to buy my Betty Grable movies from Fox than from mysterious people on e-Bay and I sincerely hope that this means we will soon be able to do that! Please bring us "Coney Island", "Sweet Rosey O'Grady", "The Dolly Sisters", "Mother Wore Tights"....and everything she made between 1950 and 1955. Betty Grable was a wildly popular star. Some of her plots are a little threadbare by now...but BETTY will always be THE WOMAN WE WON THE WAR FOR and a phenomenal popular entertainer. Thanks for bringing her back to us. THREE stars for the movie. For BETTY: a THOUSAND!!"
Pin-up pins down war hero
Tom McGee | Glasgow, Scotland | 07/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Grable plays Lorry Jones, a stenographer and part-time USO entertainer in this WWII flagwaver. Slight plot concerning fibber Lorry, who gets herself into all kinds of bother with her fancy tales. But she bites off more than she can chew when she upstages Martha Raye for the attention of Gaudalcanal hero John Harvey. An unlikely plot, but Grable's sense of comedy and some expert dancing - with Hermes Pan - gives it lift off. Good support from Raye and Joe E Brown. The finale must be seen to be believed! Grable as a drill sergeant? However it a a perfect piece of parade-ground marching and should be in every military manual! Great fun, if you ignore the plot."
Not one of Grable's best, but still worth a look
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 03/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PIN-UP GIRL isn't one of Betty Grable's better offerings; it was quickly thrown together to take advantage of Grable being the Number One pin-up girl during WW2 (hence the title). A very young Martha Raye gets a great supporting role as wisecracking Marian, and Betty Grable gives her all in the leading role.
Betty Grable plays Lorry Jones, a War Department typist who doubles as a USO entertainer desperate to hit the big time. Her penchant to tell tall tales lands her in all sorts of trouble as she fibs her way into the company of handsome war hero Tommy Dooley (John Harvey) by pretending she is a big musical star. Further complications arise when she is appointed as his secretary.
Not at all in the same league as the flashy SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES or MOON OVER MIAMI, the movie of PIN-UP GIRL absolutely pales in comparison. Betty Grable gives her usual ten-million-dollar performance and makes everything come together, but only just. Without her this movie would have never been made, it was tailored completely to her media profile at the time, and Grable fans are the only ones who will only really appreciate this movie."
Not one of Grable's best, but still enjoyable.
James A. White | Cookeville, TN United States | 05/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film, although not one of Grable's best, is still enjoyable. The plot is rather contrived, but is still humorous. Some of the songs are corny, but, again, they are still enjoyable. Due to advancing pregnancy, producers didn't want to use the "Song of the Very Merry Widow" routine. Instead they substituted one that consisted of Grable leading girls in complicated military marches. Although the finale leaves much to be desired, the film is still enjoyable and was a top money-maker at its time."
"We should have used our imaginations"
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Skewering her real life role of a pin up girl, this 1944 movie stars Betty Grable as Lorry Jones a pretty and feisty young girl who works for the USO and is heading for Washington DC. Aboard the train, a conversation with friend Kay (Dorothea Kent) reveals that the pair isn't headed for the USO, but will instead take jobs as stenographers.
On the way, the pair decides to visit New York, where they see Molly McKay (Martha Raye) flirting with Guadalcanal hero Tommy Dooley (John Harvey). Later, Lorry claims to know the hero to gain admittance to the packed Club Chanteuse. The Club itself is a grand affair; a huge swing band plays on a giant stage that stretches from floor to ceiling, whilst the actual show consists of singers, dancers and even roller-skating routine featuring the Skating Vanities!
When Tommy eventually turns up at the club, he is immediately besotted with the cute Lorry. But Molly - the real star of the Club Chanteuse - is secretly seething; she knows that Molly is a fake so she asks her sing a song from the show. Lorry gets back at Molly when she belts out the tune as if she sang it every night on stage, even with back up singers!
Lorry and Kay continue on their journey to Washington DC and eventually bump into Tommy who coincidentally is looking for a stenographer - of course he picks Lorry. Of course Tommy can't tell who Lorry is because she's wearing glasses and has her hair in a bun, and every time he looks at her, she's looking back at him with crossed-eyes!
The story is silly and trite and almost non-existent, and it's all merely an excuse for framing the elaborate musical numbers, which are centered on the three-tiered bandstands where Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra sit. Indeed most of the action takes place in the nightclubs where Lorry and Tommy mostly hang out.
Obviously made for all the GI's, the film has an innocent quality combined with a sort of fierce patriotism and you really get the sense that the film is pushing the merits of the allied war effort. There's no doubt that Grable is sparkling and bubbly and she does a good job with the singing and dancing, even though the role is a bit of a caricature. But you can easily see how much she contributed to the war effort.
It's interesting to watch films such as this - not just for the flashy musical numbers, which sometimes border in the gaudy, but also for the social relevance, and for the forties nostalgia.
Although Pin-Up Girl may not be the best example of a War musical - the film is slight and is basically restricted to the pattern of boy-meets-girl and they live happily ever after - it's still a welcome and harmless diversion - just like Betty Grable, with her long silken legs, was a distraction for lonely soldiers of World War II. Mike Leonard July 06. "