Set at the turn of the century, smooth talking con man Eddie Johnson weasels his way into a job at friend and rival Joe Rocco’s Coney Island night spot. Eddie meets the club’s star attraction (and Joe’s love interest), Kate Farley, a brash singer with a penchant for flashy clothes. Eddie and Kate argue as he tries to soften her image. Eventually, Kate becomes the toast of Coney Island and the two fall in love. Joe then tries to sabotage their marriage plans.
One of my favorite Betty Grable musicals…
CONEY ISLAND was such a successful Fox musical that seven years later it was turned into another starring vehicle for Grable called WABASH AVENUE. It’s a breezy turn-of-the-century show biz tale about two Coney Island hucksters and the tricks they play on each other to win patrons at their establishments.
Betty is the brassy singer with the garish costumes and exaggerated singing/dancing style that Montgomery has to tone down by tying her to a prop so she can’t move but has to deliver her ballad (“Cuddle Up A Little Closer”) without gyrating all over the stage. Naturally, the love/hate relationship blooms into romance with Grable and Montgomery making a pleasing match as a team.
Lost of comedy relief from PHIL SILVERS and CHARLES WINNINGER, some nice song and dance numbers for Grable, and the whole backstage story is easy to take, the usual misunderstandings and schemes backfiring before the fadeout to a happy ending.
For BETTY GRABLE’s fans, this one has to be rated one of her best.
This is THE Betty Grable movie to see…
…this movie has everything that everyone expects of Betty Grable every time. It is bright and colorful and silly and funny and loads of fun. Betty, (ever the independent and employed woman) is working as an entertainer in an odd little dive. Well, a friend of the owners does what we would now call a corporate take-over–and then he does a make-over on Betty and she becomes a big musical comedy star–but wait–it is more complicated than that! See this and you will understand why Betty Grable was loved at the box office for so long. She is wonderful.