The Moviegoer

At the Metropolitan

It's hard to find exactly the right word to characterize 20th Century Fox's new Technicolor musical, "Call Me Mister." The movie isn't painful, any more than anesthesia is painful. At the same time it's not "anesthetic," because it's noisy enough to keep you awake. Probably the most accurate description was given by a young actress who called it "the most 'nothing' picture I've ever seen."

If you expect anything like the stage version of "Call Me Mister," you'll be sadly disappointed. There are only a few pitiful vestiges of the revue, notably the "Going-Home Train" scene and the sketch about the Air Force's boy general. The plot concerns a G.I. in Japan (Dan Dailey) and his legally separated wife (Betty Grable.) The wife is with a female entertainment outfit called the WOOF's or WAP's or something equally non-existant. After a great deal of childness, the movie ends in a clinch while a gushing fountain gushes and revolving stages revolve.

Betty Grable is still Betty Grable, although she seems to get older every year. Dan Dailey is a big guy who is pleasant enough. He can't sing or dance, but that's no reason to pick on him. The only person who seems to know what he's doing is Danny Thomas, a comedian who happens to be funny even though he is in the same movie with the others. "Call Me Mister" is a "nothing" movie. That's an achievement of a sort.