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This'll Make You Whistle

“Producer, actor-singer-dancer, writer and theatre manager Jack Buchanan is best known in this country for an early talkie - Lubitsch's Monte Carlo - and a very late one, The Band Wagon. He was initially and primarily a stage performer, and his many films of the '30s and '40s generally reflected the light froth of his theatrical work. His films included such standard stage derivations as Brewster's Millions and The Middle Watch; generally his approach was light, romantic and tuneful, though very occasionally he stepped over into... a little melodrama too. His films usually had sparkle, variable (but usually good) production values and snappy scores, and on the whole they date far less than other similar British musicals of the same period. This'll Make You Whistle was directed personally by Herbert Wilcox, which automatically put it into a higher budgetary bracket than usual, and the care shows. The film has pace, surprisingly elaborate sets, and a handful of charming songs - with the really delightful ‘I'm In A Dancing Mood' as an especial standout. In its relaxed manner and overall plot and style, This'll Make You Whistle is remarkably like the same year's Astaire-Rogers entry, Top Hat - but it is clearly an accidental overlapping, for Buchanan's movie style and format had been clearly established well before the first Astaire-Rogers film. There's a rather surprising running joke about a black baby - race gags were rare in British films of the '30s - but otherwise the humour is gentle and unspectacular, playing second fiddle to plot-line and music. The print is rather well-worn, with more splices and jump cuts than we would normally deem acceptable, but... no print exists in this country and tonight's print is the best of only two or three that seem to exist in England.... Missing alas is the brief scene where Jack meets Jean (lovely Jean Gillie, who later toughened up for Hollywood's Decoy in the '40s). Otherwise, despite occasional rocky condition, the print is complete.”

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