18-year-old Angela, reared in a New England town by her Aunt Betsy, receives an inheritance which she uses to go to New York, ostensibly for voice training, but she is pursuing Major Hilary... See full summary »
Felix E. Feist
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When Jimmie Monahan's father is absent to aid the war effort, young Jimmie works hard to lift his family's spirits. Finding he has a dancing and musical talent he organizes a show at the nearby aircraft plant to raise morale.
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"Top Man" is a cute movie. Decent and fun. But it's definitely not up to par with some of the other Donald O'Connor-Peggy Ryan musicals, like "Mister Big" or "Patrick the Great". The songs and dances in "Top Man" are alright. I particularly liked the gypsy number done by O'Connor and Ryan at towards the end of the movie. And Susanna Foster gets some nice songs, too. It was also a joy to see Lillian Gish in a talkie, since I've only seen her in silents.
The only thing about this movie that bothers me is the cast. Yes, this sounds silly, since I was just praising the cast for their talent. And they are all very talented. But, take this for example. O'Connor was 17, and Ryan and Foster were 18. However, Foster looks as if she's in her 20's and sings like she's in her 30's. Thus, her being the love interest for O'Connor is a bit strange. Don't get me wrong. Foster has a gorgeous voice. In fact, she's one of my very favorite singers. But here's what I find very odd: The same year that "Top Man" was made (1943), Foster was in the lavish production of "The Phantom of the Opera", playing the lead, Chrstine. So, the same year Foster's in a very sophisticated and high class movie, they put her in a corny little teenage musical?
Anyways, "Top Man" is cute and all. But if you want some better O'Connor and Ryan, check out "Mister Big", "Patrick the Great", or "The Merry Monahans", where O'Connor has better love interests.
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