For, May 30, 2014

One of the best, most consistently entertaining musicals to come out of Twentieth Century Fox in the 1940s was "Springtime in the Rockies" (1942), which holds up today as a Technicolor extravaganza that showcases Betty Grable and a terrifically energetic supporting cast.

And it's finally on DVD, courtesy of Fox Cinema Archives, with a very good transfer that highlights the splashy musical numbers.

The plot, not that it matters in a movie like this, has Grable leaving a hit Broadway show because her co-star (John Payne), from whom she was expecting an engagement ring, can't seem to subdue his womanizing ways. (What's your problem, man? It's Betty Grable.)

So Grable reteams with former song-and-dance partner Cesar Romero, who is still in love with her, and they click with audiences once again.

Meanwhile, Payne hits the skids and can only mount his next show if Grable returns. But she's off at a Canadian Rockies resort doing a show with Romero and Harry James. So, through convoluted means, Payne heads up there, with Edward Everett Horton and Carmen Miranda in tow, and many romantic complications follow.


Carmen Miranda, Betty Grable, John Payne, 'Springtime in the Rockies'

But the real draw here is the talented cast, which is given better musical and comedy routines than usual, and every cast member is bouncy and exuberant.

In addition to Horton and Miranda, comic relief also comes in the form of Charlotte Greenwood and Jackie Gleason … yes, that Jackie Gleason … in one of a string of small supporting movie roles he had in the early 1940s.

Breezy, funny and filled with toe-tapping songs ("I had the Craziest Dream," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Two O'Clock Jump" and "Chica Chica Boom Chic," to name just a few), "Springtime in the Rockies" is a delightful romp.