The Film Salon continues its review of the career of Busby Berkeley with a screening of this 1943 musical comedy. By the end of the 1930s, the heyday of musicals featuring elaborate production numbers was over and Busby Berkeley had to make the transition to directing smaller scale projects. In 1943 he took on his fourth film starring the dynamic duo of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland – and it would be Berkeley’s undoing. "Girl Crazy" was the end of the three-way partnership when Garland, becoming increasingly at odds with Berkeley’s direction and perfectionism, had the director fired. Norman Taurog stepped in to complete the film. Despite the behind the scenes strife, the film remains a diverting entertainment that showcases Rooney, Garland and a wonderful suite of musical numbers by the Gershwins, including Berkeley’s intact “I Got Rythmn” section. Rooney plays an Eastern college playboy sent out West to a remote school to get his mind back on his studies. Garland is the Dean’s granddaughter who becomes the uninterested focus of Rooney’s romantic fixation. But when word gets out that the school is soon to be closed, the pair form an alliance to rally the school and “put on a benefit show”. Swift feet and tongues keep the romantic musical comedy bouncing along and show why Mickey and Judy were so popular in the early 1940s.
The Film Salon complete its celebration of the career of Busby Berkeley with his full-color "The Gang’s All Here" (featuring Carmen Miranda and her iconic headdress) on April 6th.
Trinity-First United Methodist Church, Resler Hall Chapel