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Marlene Dietrich DVD collection

Marlene Dietrich DVD collection:

Blonde Venus
Devil Is A Woman
Flame Of New Orleans
Follow The Boys
A Foreign Affair
Golden Earrings
Seven Sinners
Song Of Songs

February 2007 SITE MAP   SEARCH

Follow The Boys
cast: Marlene Dietrich, George Raft, Vera Zorina, and Orson Welles

director: Eddie Sutherland

120 minutes (U) 1944
Universal Pictures DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Tom Cropper
During the Second World War the studios pumped out a conveyor belt of pictures featuring virtually every star on the lot as a moral booster for the troops. This is the effort from Universal pictures and boasts a bunch of famous faces such as Marlene Dietrich, Orson Welles, W.C. Fields and the Andrews sisters.

The plot, such as it is, follows an old-time vaudeville dancer, Tony West (George Raft), who heads for Hollywood hoping to make his name. No sooner has he arrived than he's seduced starlet Gloria Vance (Vera Zorina) and teamed up in a sort of Fred and Ginger dance duo, but then calamity strikes; war breaks out and just about every able-bodied man heads off to fight the Japs. This doesn't include Tony who's ruled out because of a gammy leg - shame, so he does his bit by rounding up the big stars and putting on a show for the troops; that'll cheer them up.

Follow The Boys poster

The plot is hackneyed and strung together with gaffer tape. If you really do care whether Tony and Gloria can make a go of it, then you really do need professional help. George Raft has all the charisma of a stick of plywood and dances like one of those celebrities from strictly come dancing (something Vera Zorina allegedly griped about in later years), but that's not what this movie for - it's simply a vehicle to cram as many stars on screen as possible. We have Sophie Tucker belting out Some Of These Days, W.C. Fields, with his famous pool routine and best of all a short magic routine from Orson Welles in which he saws Marlene Dietrich in half.

Whether films like this succeeded in raising the troops' morale is open to question. Certainly, by the end of it, I was in a mood to kill, which I guess is more or less the kind of mood you want your troops to be in. On the plus point there are some interesting cameos - particularly the Orson Welles' magic routine and if you like your films dripping with cheese and laden with celebs then this is the one for you.

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