Betty Grable is best known for keeping the many, many GI’s thinking about their home country during World War II. She was mostly known for being a Pin-Up Girl during this time, and is also the star of the 1944 film Pin Up Girl. The film is part of Fox Home Entertainment’s Marquee Musicals and is pretty entertaining if you enjoy musicals or enjoy Betty Grable.
Betty Grable in Pin Up Girl is a pretty odd film overall, probably because of the four different writers the film had. The basic plot is… Lorry Jones (Grable) is the toast of the toast when it comes to gorgeous pin up girls in the USO. These girls sing, dance and provide conversation and TONS of goodies for the serving men in the armies. Lorry has one goal in being a pin up girl. Make every man as happy as she possibly can. This tends to make many of the men think there’re actually engaged to Lorry at one point.
Lorry is sent to Washington D.C. with her girlfriend Kay (Dorothea Kent) to work as secretaries at the Pentagon. This is where Lorry imagines a job in the spotlight. When she goes to a nightclub, she is denied a table by nightclub owner Eddie Hall (Joe E. Brown). When she tells Hall that she is the date of Tommy Dooley (John Harvey), they are let in immediately. Eventually though, after a bit of a misunderstanding between Hall and Dooley, Dooley ends up falling for Lorry.
The film is just fine overall mainly because of Grable and her looks. The film was made during the war and was meant to bring entertainment without any important messages. The actual music in the film is partially sung by Grable who tries to hold her own and does a good job especially considering that Grable was nearly seven months pregnant toward the end of the filming. The real spark, music-wise at least, is the musical performances which are just so jolly and happy that they put a bit of a smile on your face. I can definitely see how the primary goal in the film was to make the soldiers happy. It certainly seems like that goal was completed, at least in my mind.
Betty Grable in Pin Up Girl is not the best musical in the world, but it is certainly not the worst either. It features a fairly basic plot, but has some excellent musical performances that cause the film to shine brightly. Considering the age of the film, I figured the music would be cheesy and dull, but the music was the exact opposite. The film comes recommended for those of you who enjoy the classic music films.
Betty Grable in Pin Up Girl is presented in a 1:33:1 aspect ratio. The film, as expected from its age, shows a lot of grain and discoloration in a majority of the scenes. Darks, especially blacks, were so bright that it made some of the night scenes pretty difficult to make out. In some of the scenes with Grable, her face looked so bright that it seemed like a spotlight was placed directly above her, which is a shame because she has a natural type beauty to her. For the film being part of Fox’s Marquee Musicals, I expected the picture to be a little bit better.
We get to choose from either a English Mono or English Stereo track. The dialogue is rather clear and easy to understand while the musical performances are pretty basic, despite the actual performances being interesting. The audio is nothing fantastic, but it does its’ job.
We’re given a few features here
- Commentary by Film Historian/Author Richard Schickel: Schickel tells about how the concept of Pin Up Girls came about while pointing out some facts and improbabilities of the film. Schickel has a monotone type voice that can almost put the viewer to sleep at points. While his voice can be a bit bland, Schickel does provide an interesting commentary if you want to hear a lot of historical facts.
- Still Photo Gallery: Here we get a host of different black and white phots from the film.
- Deleted Scene: Here we get an alternate musical number This Is It that was eventually replaced by the song Listen to your Teacher. I can tell why the song was deleted as the original was much peppier and suited the film’s concept a lot better.
- Trailer: Here we get the Theatrical Trailer for the film.
While the DVD doesn’t boast rather splendid picture or audio, classical purists will enjoy the music from the film which is exactly what the film is suppose to do. Recommended for exactly those types of people.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary with Film Historian/Author Richard Schickel
- Still Photo Gallery
- Deleted Scene