DuBarry Was a Lady
Time Out saysProduced by Arthur Freed, who should have known better, this adaptation of the Cole Porter musical ditches most of the songs - and the lusty bawdiness that went with them - to fashion a vehicle for Skelton and Ball, in the process interpolating more 'suitable' numbers (including a dismal girlie calendar item). It begins well with Ball (dubbed by Martha Mears) singing the title song with suitably costumed chorus, exquisitely shot by Karl Freund in delicate pastels. The colour then glossies up, and acres of unfunny comic business are expended on Skelton, a nightclub cloakroom attendant loved by the cigarette girl (O'Brien) but smitten by singer Ball. Ball loves an aspiring songwriter (Kelly), but has set her sights on a millionaire, and settles for Skelton when he wins a sweepstake. Hit with a Mickey Finn, Skelton imagines the situation transposed to 18th century France: 30 minutes of witless parody which supposedly sorts out the romantic tangle. Kelly has a good song-and-dance solo (staged by Charles Walters) to one of the surviving Porter songs, 'Do I Love You'; another, 'Friendship' is perfunctorily sung by the cast to bring the curtain down.