Atlantic City (1944) DVD
Atlantic City (1944) Director: Ray McCarey Writers: Arthur Caesar (story), Doris Gilbert (screenplay) Stars: Constance Moore, Stanley Brown, Charley Grapewin Definitely no relation to the 1980 Louis Malle film of the same name, 1944's Atlantic City is a tuneful Republic musical, not quite an "A" picture but certainly not a "B". Brad Taylor (who formerly acted at Columbia under the name of Stanley Brown) stars as Brad, an early-20th-century entrepreneur who decides to transform the sleepy oceanside community of Atlantic City, New Jersey into a mecca for vacationers and thrill-seekers. One of Taylor's visionary notions is the creation of a bathing-beauty contest, and that's where prim-and-proper heroine Marilyn Whitaker (Constance Moore) comes in. The plot is essentially an excuse to trot out several venerable entertainers doing their tried-and-true specialties. Guest stars include Belle Baker, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong, Buck & Bubbles, and Joe Frisco, not to mention Al Shean (of Gallegher and Shean) and Gus Van (of Van and Schenck). Also adding to the general frivolity are Jerry "Ahhh, Yes!" Colonna and up-and-coming Dorothy Dandridge. Atlantic City demonstrated that Republic could make a 20th Century-Fox style musical even without Betty Grable.