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Guest dredagain

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Recently run on TCM. Lush and colorful story of Al Jolson and Julie Benson (Ruby Keeler) that is a sham as biography but captures the essence of Jolson and his era in show business.


Larry Parks is good at moving and mouthing the songs (all sung by Jolson) although he looks nothing like him. Evelyn Keyes (who knew she could dance?) is good but is as far from Keller as possible (Keeler was alive and obviously not a willing participant of the film).


But it's William Demarest, as Steve Martin, who basically steals the show as the old-time vaudeville trouper who discovers Jolson as a kid (Scotty Beckett) and makes him part of the act, touring the country and teaching him everything until he breaks out on his own. Parks and Demarest both won Oscar nominations.


Bill Goodwin is good as the manager, Tamara Shayne and Ludwig Donath play the parents. And yes that's Al Jolson in the long shots during the "Swanee River" number.

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