Girl Crazy Reviews
Mickey Rooney (who was 22 here) plays Danny Churchill Jr., a young playboy who loves to flirt with the women and make headlines. His father (Henry O'Neill), a respectable publisher, is fed up with the headlines, so he sends his son off to a Western college with no women, believing that his education will give up his ways. But Churchill Jr. ends up meeting Ginger Gray (Judy Garland), granddaughter of the school dean (Guy Kibbee) and mail deliverer, who desperately tries to avoid Churchill's charms. When the school is in danger of closing due to the lack of students, Danny and Ginger team up in a campaign to save the school by having a rodeo queen contest, which leads to jealousy.
Girl Crazy also features Frances Rafferty as Marjorie Tait, the governor's daughter who falls for Rooney's charm and jazz composer Tommy Dorsey appears in a couple musical numbers with his orchestra.
Well, in the first 20 minutes, I believed the film was going to be terrible. Despite Rooney's delightful presence, I was unimpressed with the juvenile humor (such as Rooney attempting to ride a horse) and believed the film was going to be a waste of time. But as the film progressed, the more entertaining it got. Mickey Rooney's charm and witty personality is very entertaining here. I was also impressed with Judy Garland. Her chemistry with Rooney is unforgettable, funny, and full of memorable humor. The film got loads funnier after that stupid horse scene.
Girl Crazy was filmed in black-and-white, and while I love the black-and-white format, especially in films like Frankenstein, To Kill a Mockingbird, Sunset Boulevard, Rebecca, and even in the musical crowd in films like Top Hat and Swing Time, here, I wanted the film to be in color. For one thing, a couple like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, some of the finest musical stars ever, should have been given the big treatment, which was color. Their beauty and screen presence would have been loads better had the film been in color. In black-and-white, the cinematography here was a bit dreary. Generally, I love the old black-and-white look, but in Girl Crazy, I was wanting some color to lighten up the dull cinematography.
But the good news is, the musical numbers are what makes Girl Crazy the fun film it is. The film opens with "Treat Me Rough", performed by June Allyson and Mickey Rooney, plus Tommy Dorsey's band, and the song was very enjoyable. Judy Garland then sings the ballad "Bidin' My Time" with The King's Men, and I was wowed by Garland's vocals and the harmonies, plus the slow moving choreography was impressive. Then, Rooney and Garland delight in the duet "Can You Use Me", which had some funny charisma coming from Rooney and some memorable choreography (Rooney climbing on top of Garland's car, for instance). Garland and a chorus of men then sing "Embraceable You", which delighted in Garland's beauty and beautiful harmonies (It would have been more impressive had it been filmed in Technicolor). Tommy Dorsey and the band play a number called "Fascinating Rhythm", featuring Rooney on the piano, and it was fun to experience. Garland then sings "But Not for Me", which delights in her wonderful singing talents. And in the finale, Rooney, Garland, Dorsey, and the rest of the cast perform "I Got Rhythm", filled with wonderful singing, amazing choreography, and impressive music. It's definitely the best number in the film and they clearly saved the best for last.
I was unimpressed by the juvenile humor in the beginning and the black-and-white cinematography was a bore (would have bee more stunning in color), but with wonderful choreography and musical numbers, plus the delightful chemistry between Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, Girl Crazy was a fun film to watch.