Sunny Anna Neagle

Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Director: Herbert Wilcox
Starring: Anna Neagle,Ray Bolger,John Carroll
IMDB: 5.6
Genres: Musical
Studio: Synergy Ent

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The beautiful Anna Neagle stars as a circus performer who falls in love with a rich car dealer’s son, against her family’s wishes. Features some spirited dance numbers with Ray Bolger.

Who stole our hearts away

No doubt that Herbert Wilcox had to pay a pretty penny to Jack Warnerfor the rights to film the musical Sunny again. Warner had already doneso in 1930 with the original Broadway star Marilyn Miller and had doneso faithfully following the plot of the Broadway show. A circus isretained here and Anna Neagle is a circus performer. The setting ischanged from Southampton in the United Kingdom and New York to NewOrleans during the Mardi Gras season.

There Neagle meets and falls in love with John Carroll who is the heirto a really big fortune with one of the first automobile dealerships inthe Big Easy. But New Orleans society and the circus don’t really mixand the path to happiness is littered with traps.

Ray Bolger plays the circus ringmaster and has a couple of really nicespecialty dancing. Most of the Kern-Harbach-Hammerstein score is guttedand some public domain songs are used, but of course the big hit of theshow Who is sung and danced by Carroll and Neagle. And Neagle in herdancing is most reflective of Marilyn Miller.

The film could use some restoration work, but it’s still a mostentertaining piece as is the version with Marilyn Miller herself.

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