Coney Island

1943

Comedy

3
IMDb Rating 6.3/10 10 540 540

Director

Top cast

Betty Grable as Kate Farley
George Montgomery as Eddie Johnson
Cesar Romero as Joe Rocco
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
885.71 MB
1280*934
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
Seeds 7
1.61 GB
1480*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
Seeds 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 6 / 10

A lesser Lang!

Copyright 18 June 1943 by 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. New York release at the Roxy: 16 June 1943. U.S. release: 18 June 1943. Australian release: 20 July 1944. Lengths: 8,837 feet, 98 minutes (Australia); 8,666 feet, 96 minutes (U.S.A.).

SYNOPSIS: Temporary tavern partners on Coney Island woo dumb blonde showgirl. Time: around 1910.

NOTES: Newman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, but dipped out to Ray Heindorf's This Is the Army.

COMMENT: The plot divides Coney Island into two neat sections. The first half is delightfully jolly. Newman really deserved his Oscar nomination, this first half is such an absolute wow, a nostalgic musical whizbang of zap evergreens, zestily orchestrated and zippily played.

Playing the lead in her first really big solo hit (Coney Island grossed a staggering $3½ million in its initial domestic release), Betty Grable is outstandingly convincing as an ultra-dumb showgirl. Certainly an unusual role (Hollywood usually prefers heroines to compliment their physical charms with at least a modicum of intelligence), Betty draws it with bouncy gusto.

Unfortunately, in the second half of the film, the character's circumstances change. True, she's as dumb as ever (which is a point in the script's favor), but instead of laughing at her stupidity as before, we are required to sympathize. The emphasis changes from ribaldry to sentiment. How stupidity can be sentimentalized beats me - it's a feat that taxed the powers of Bernard Shaw in Pygmalion - but Seaton has a crack at it anyway. As a result the plot falls apart. It's no longer believable. I mean no-one could be that dumb.

Dramatically, the character's self-centered naivety is so appalling, the film's romance is a mere charade. What a pity Seaton didn't stay with comedy!

Of course, the story is of secondary importance in a musical. The primary purpose of the device after all is to introduce more glamour into the film. This happens all right. But stunningly costumed and dazzlingly color-photographed as the production numbers are, they are much less entertaining than the rowdy, earthy, zesty simplicity of the vaudeville numbers they supplant. And they're even less interesting musically. Despite their elaborate staging, not one of the later songs is the least bit catchy.

How we long to get back to Coney Island! But no! Betty is uptown, wallowing in anemic glamour. If only she would throw off a few sparks of her old rowdy self (in which she seemed to be limning a boisterous Betty Hutton impersonation), but she obviously loves the bland, demure bit, inviting us to sentimentalize with her stupidity which she now plays for tears rather than laughs. It doesn't work.

Lang's blandly straightforward direction doesn't help. He too was obviously more interested in the strident vitality of the Coney scenes. When the action moves uptown, it is comparatively dull.

George Montgomery makes a personable hero, while the rest of the support cast led by the delightful Phil Silvers, is a joy. We wish that Andrew Tombes had played the "banker" with less straight a face, but Charles Winninger, Paul Hurst, Frank Orth, Alec Craig, Dewey Robinson and Harry Masters are divertingly preposterous.

Production values are magnificent, with superb photography, gaudy sets, opulent costumes - and that marvelous Fox sound. Perlberg remade the film (again with Grable in the lead) in 1950 as Wabash Avenue.

Reviewed by blanche-2 6 / 10

Betty Grable Shines

Nothing like a 20th Century Fox musical for color and energy!

Coney Island, remade later as Wabash Avenue, stars Betty Grable.

Grable stars here with George Montgomery, Cesar Romero, Phil Silvers, and Charles Winninger. The story is one of rivalry and deceit and un-pc segments.

Grable looks gorgeous. She so vivacious and sparkly, it's no wonder she was so popular. The acting is good - I love Phil Silvers, he's always funny. Montgomery and Romero were so handsome, they made good rivals for Betty's affection.

The music was nothing to write home about, though the scenes when Betty was working for Hammerstein were lavish.

Enjoyable.

I have a statement: I again protest at Turner Classic Movie trying to rewrite history. Their books, the 50 Greatest Leading Men and the 50 Greatest Leading Ladies don't include actors who were pretty much exclusive to 20th Century Fox. Betty Grable was in the top 10 box office for 10 years, and she's not included. Tyrone Power was the 21st most popular male in film history, and that includes Harrison Ford, Hanks, Cruise, etc. According to the Cogerson Book, the 50 Greatest Stars: Statistically Speaking, and he didn't make it either. When TCM did a documentary on 1939, they quickly mentioned Jesse James was #4 box office that year - very quickly. After all, they don't own it. (I realize that the top box office lists aren't all the same).

Reviewed by Doylenf 7 / 10

One of my favorite Betty Grable musicals...

CONEY ISLAND was such a successful Fox musical that seven years later it was turned into another starring vehicle for Grable called WABASH AVENUE. It's a breezy turn-of-the-century show biz tale about two Coney Island hucksters and the tricks they play on each other to win patrons at their establishments.

Betty is the brassy singer with the garish costumes and exaggerated singing/dancing style that Montgomery has to tone down by tying her to a prop so she can't move but has to deliver her ballad ("Cuddle Up A Little Closer") without gyrating all over the stage. Naturally, the love/hate relationship blooms into romance with Grable and Montgomery making a pleasing match as a team.

Lost of comedy relief from PHIL SILVERS and CHARLES WINNINGER, some nice song and dance numbers for Grable, and the whole backstage story is easy to take, the usual misunderstandings and schemes backfiring before the fadeout to a happy ending.

For BETTY GRABLE's fans, this one has to be rated one of her best.

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