Bloodhounds of Broadway

At the Paramount and Fenway

Twentieth Century Fox's newest technicolor extravaganza, Bloodhounds of Broadway, should rate as one of the worst musicals of the year. The standard of acting is so poor that any Oscars for the film must go to two sleepy-eyed bloodhounds who meander their way through the very routine Damon Runyon plot--which has such a strong resemblance to the stage show Guys and Dolls that legal action has been started. For the movie's sake it's too bad that the alleged plagiarism wasn't more obvious.

The scriptwriters have taken a lot of Runyon characters and wrapped them up according to ordinary musical formula. This is, however, one slight twist: instead of two men chasing a girl, there are two girls after a fidgety bookie, called Brain Foster (Scott Brady). Virtue, of course, triumphs in the end and Mitzi Gaynot as a showgirl managers to win the doublin reward of marrying Foster, but not without several chases in which the ubiquitous bloodhounds play a conspicuous part.

Miss Gaynor scampering around culivens the movie and her songs manage to salvage several scenes, but unfortunately she is often cut short soon after she starts to sing. Her namesake, Mitzi Green, also turns in an adequate performance as a Broadway Big-sister. But Brady's portrayal of the bookie tails to do even partial justice to several situations in the plot which are in trinsically annusing. There is the usual gallery of Run von crecentics, and they are handled little better.

Much of the blame for this film must go to director Harmon Jones who seemed to have no scuse of transition and the intelligent use of fading shots. Perhaps the most amazing break in this very chopply arranged tin comes near the end when what is supposed to be a tender courtroom scene suddenly turns into a burlesque show with Miss Gaynor's legs in the center of the screen.

There is much fine Runyon material here, but it was badly mangled in producing the film.