Mother Wore Tights (1947)

Mother Wore Tights (1947)

“No kid of mine is going to be born in front of a backdrop!”

A vaudevillian (Dan Dailey) and his wife (Betty Grable) perform together on stage until Grable becomes a mother. When she eventually decides to return to her performing career, her oldest daughter (Mona Freeman) is mortified by how their family will be perceived by her boarding school classmates.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Betty Grable Films
  • Class Relations
  • Dan Dailey Films
  • Historical Drama
  • Musicals
  • Vaudeville

This innocuous turn-of-the-century musical was 20th Century Fox’s most successful movie of the year, and Grable’s highest grossing film to that point. Unfortunately, the storyline is slim to none, hinging almost exclusively on class tensions and conventions (mother once wore tights! on stage!) that don’t feel relevant today. For post-WWII Americans seeking escapism and portrayals of family cohesion, this film — featuring vivid Technicolor cinematography, enjoyable dance numbers, and a pleasing couple (Grable and Dailey) — probably fit the bill quite nicely; but it hasn’t held up particularly well for modern audiences.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Some colorful, nicely danced musical numbers

Must See?
No; this one is only must-see for Grable fans.


One thought on “Mother Wore Tights (1947)

  1. First viewing – and agreed, not must-see.

    Aside from being a valentine to vaudeville (which, as noted, now has little appeal), this mostly forgotten film pales somewhat compared with other similar musical films about performers dealing with family life (i.e., ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’).

    At least the first hour has momentum and seems to progress at a nice clip – until the (slightly sluggish) second half involves itself with an unfortunate lengthy stay at a stuffy resort (though the residents eventually get a little spring in their steps) and a focus on the first-born revealing herself to be a snob who’s ashamed of her ‘unrefined’ parents (though she eventually comes around).

    That said, fans of musicals of this era won’t mind its flaws and Grable and Dailey keep things breezy enough.

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