Good News (1947)

Good News (1947)

“I sure wish someone loved me the way you love you.”

A poor co-ed (June Allyson) falls for her college’s football hero (Peter Lawford), but a scheming, self-absorbed gold digger (Patricia Marshall) is determined to snag Lawford for herself.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • College
  • Gold Diggers
  • June Allyson Films
  • Musicals
  • Peter Lawford Films
  • Romantic Comedy

This MGM musical — the first directorial effort of Charles Walters, who went on to helm Easter Parade (1948), The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), Summer Stock (1950), Lili (1953), and High Society (1956) — is the second cinematic adaptation of the similarly-titled 1927 Broadway musical. It’s pure fluff all the way, with a comedically villainous gold digger (Marshall) so in love with herself she intones, “You wonderful creature” while gazing in the mirror:

… and a clueless football star who falls for Allyson while she’s tutoring him in French, invites her to the Prom:

… then promptly reneges on his invitation once Marshall comes prancing back into his life:

Will Allyson forgive Lawson — and should she, really? It matters not a whit, given it’s the songs and dances here that hold front and center:

— though they’re not nearly enough to elevate this silly stock musical to anything other than a mildly nostalgic diversion (one which post-WWII audiences were surely eager to lap up).

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Allyson and Lawford performing “The French Lesson”
  • Vibrant Technicolor cinematography and sets

Must See?
No; you can definitely skip this one.


One thought on “Good News (1947)

  1. Not must-see… unless you are a film fanatic with a strong interest in dance history. If that’s the case, there’s one reason to see this film: Joan McCracken.

    McCracken’s role as Babe Doolittle is her only significant appearance on-screen (following a specialty dance number in ‘Hollywood Canteen’); she is much more of a legend from Broadway. But her influence was strong. First married to dancer/writer Jack Dunphy (who left her for Truman Capote!), Joan then married Bob Fosse (her influence on him was so firm that, in ‘All That Jazz’, Fosse dressed Jessica Lange to resemble McCracken in her last stage appearance).

    At one point, Capote revealed that McCracken was the main (genuine) inspiration for creating Holly Golightly for ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

    McCracken’s life story was captured lovingly in Lisa Jo Sagolla’s bio of her, ‘The Girl Who Fell Down’:

    All told, ‘Good News’ is colorful but tepid (and very safe) post-WWII entertainment which features cast members who seem too old to be in college yet somehow talk as though they’re in high school. {The Comden-Green script is particularly flat, considering how sharp those two writers usually are.)

    But McCracken is given (and shines in) the film’s best musical number, ‘Pass the Peace Pipe’ (as pictured above). It’s a terrific number (which comes mid-film) and, even in a minor film, McCracken’s spirit is one to experience.

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