Time to dig into another Bing Crosby movie, the 1951 Here Comes The Groom, also starring Jane Wyman, Alexis Smith, and Franchot Tone.
Bing plays Pete Garvey, a reporter who has been in Europe a few years covering a story on war orphans, when he receives a message from his girlfriend, Emmadel Jones (Jane Wyman), telling him off for taking so long to marry her when they should have been married and had several kids by now. After doing a lot of running around to find birth certificates and such for two of the orphans that he had become close to so that he could adopt them, he brings them home to America, with the requirement that he be married within five days. Of course, he comes home to find out that Emmadel is now engaged to rich Wilbur Stanley (Franchot Tone), which has become a big “Cinderella”-type story for the news media, and she doesn’t want to give him up, even though she comes to care for the two kids. So Pete wrangles an invitation from Wilbur himself to come stay in the gatehouse of his mansion, where he proceeds to try to win Emmadel back (of course, Wilbur is aware of who he is and what he is trying to do, as well).
Now, the first thing that needs to be mentioned here is the song “In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening.” The song won the Oscar that year, the fourth (and final) song to do so that was sung by Bing Crosby. This song needs to be mentioned, because it is one of those that, if you can’t stand it, then you will have a harder time enjoying the movie. I say that, because, besides getting a full moment as a musical number, it is also a song that many of the characters are humming and singing throughout the movie, especially since, as we learn early, for both Pete and Emmadel, they “always leave ’em singing.” Now, I enjoy it (and it always amuses me that Bing’s “rival” Bob Hope was briefly singing it in the next year’s Son of Paleface), so the frequent use works for me.
Of course, another moment worth mentioning is the song “Misto Cristofo Columbo.” The song occurs on the plane ride over, and is prompted by one of the kids claiming he “discovered America.” Of course, Bing starts in singing, with a few stars making cameo appearances, including Louis Armstrong, Phil Harris, and Bing’s Road movies co-star, Dorothy Lamour.
As a whole, this movie is one I do enjoy. It does have its flaws, including the fact that Wilbur’s (fourth) cousin Winifred (Alexis Smith) likes him, and she has Pete and his boss help her to get his attention (including them whistling at her). In spite of these flaws, this is a movie I recommend, as I always enjoy it when I get the chance to see it!
The movie was available on DVD from Paramount, and is about one hour, fifty-three minutes in length.
My Rating: 9/10
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