Tea For Two In this reworking of “No, No, Nanette,” wealthy heiress Nanette Carter bets her uncle $25,000 that she can say “no” to everything for 48 hours. If she wins, she can invest the money in a Broadway show featuring songs written by her beau, and of course, in which she will star. Trouble is, she doesn’t realize her uncle’s been wiped out by the Stock Market crash.
We’re All Hams, Underneath!”
Tea For Two This very early Doris Day effort is a re-working of the stage show, “No, No, Nanette!”. In order to get her chance to appear in a musical, Nanette has to promise to say ‘no’, for a prescribed period of time, to everything that is asked of her.
Set notionally in 1929, the period of the original show, but barely even attempting historical accuracy, the film is really only a vehicle for Doris, Warners’ new star. So little regard is had to period feel that Doris performs one number in a New Look dress. Soft-focus close-ups and jerky dialogue trundle the action from one musical set piece to the next.
The opening number in the rehearsal room is well-presented, with an attractive New York cityscape beyond the window and a nice ‘infinite regression’ effect in the wall mirrors. Doris sings and dances appealingly throughout, especially in “Crazy Rhythm” (in which Gene Nelson has a terrific athletic dance solo).
Gordon MacRae as Tommy gives us his usual thoroughly dependable (if uninspiring) male lead, and Patrice Wymore does her customary ‘beautiful bad girl’ as Bea Darcy. Pauline the wise-cracking secretary is played by Eve Arden (27 years later, the principal of Rydell High in “Grease”). The ‘Charleston’ sequence is a knockout, and Gene Nelson’s bannister dance in “Oh Me, Oh My!” is astonishingly good. The character of Mabel Wylie (Virginia Gibson) is introduced, but then not persevered with, suggesting that some plot sections were later edited out.
Verdict – A pleasant Doris vehicle with songs cleverly embedded in a so-so plot.