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An Old-Fashioned Girl 1949
Description: A melody teacher (Gloria Jean) in 1870s Boston works difficult to succeed, while her wealthy distant relatives search their fortunes turning.
Released: 19 Jan 1949 Director: Arthur Dreifuss Writers: Louisa May Alcott (novel), Arthur Dreifuss (adaptation), Arthur Dreifuss (screenplay), McElbert Moore (adaptation), McElbert Moore (screenplay) Actors: Gloria Jean, Jimmy Lydon, John Hubbard, Frances Rafferty Genres: Comedy, Musical
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An Old-Fashioned Girl Reviews:

The film more or less follows the story of Louisa May Alcott's ebook of the same name, although the film begins about a third of the method through the book, skips over some things and over-condenses others, particularly the last chapter, which is reduced to a several lines of dialog in the movie. The storyline is sat in the 1870's among the snooty-rich of Boston. Polly Milton (Jean), the terrible relative to a rich family, refuses to enter their circle, preferring to create her method as a melody teacher. After much ado, Polly serves as a relatively young Miss Fixit, patching up things here and there. If you like the movie, do check out the book.The acting is first rate, especially 11 year old Elinor Donahue (of Father Knows Greatest fame), who is hilarious as the wise-cracking Maud, poking fun at her snobbish relatives.Songs for Jean contain "Beautiful Dreamer", "The Travel Song" (written for this film by Charles Previn), part of Schubert's "Where" (arranged by Charles Previn), and parts of another songs (such as an abbreviated "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"). Jean, Donahue, and Frances Rafferty sing a song named "Kitchen Serenade" which threatens at times to break into a gadget-added number typical to those performed by Spike Jones and his Town Slickers. Jean's voice is beautiful, as usual, and while the highest notes aren't inspected as they were early in her career, her lower register is much fuller and more mature.There's also an excerpt from the third movement of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor, performed by then 18 year old Sandra Berkova. Ms. Berkova (who was similar to conductor Lorin Maazel) was a kid prodigy who soon faded into obscurity. She only plays the work modestly well here, and her inclusion in the film was at the adamant insistence of director Arthur Dreifess, who was supposedly infatuated with Berkova (although not in a romantic way). The camera-work during the concerto is, to tell the least, weird. I haven't seen this film on TV in over thirty years. Finding it can be difficult, except that you can, as usual, purchase a copy from Gloria Jean herself at her website. IMDb privacy forbids the posting of URL's, but you can search the website with your favourite find engine and the words "Gloria Jean Kid Star" (or by putting those four words together, and adding a "." and "com" to the end).


A musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's ebook of the same title. It stars Gloria Jean, as a singing teacher in Boston, and the main singer of few songs. I saw the copy accessible at YouTube. It's in rather terrible shape, often excessively dark, with frequent miniskips. It's only 74 min. long vs. the 82 min. reported at the show site. Gloria sells DVD copies of many of the movies she was in. However, there was no mention of a DVD offering for this film. So, perhaps there is no better existent copy?........Gloria plays Polly Milton, distant cousin of the Shaw family. Frances Rafferty plays Frances Shaw, Polly's mate and approximate age mate. Elinor Donahue(of the "Father Knows Best" TV series.) play's Frances's younger(11y.o.) sister Maud. Jimmy Lydon plays brother Tom, approximately the same age as Polly, and Frances, and the boy Polly wants to marry. Irene Ryan(Granny, of "The Beverly Hilbillies" TV series) plays the easy traumatized Mrs. Shaw, while Douglas Wood plays Mr. Shaw. To finished the main characters, John Hubbard plays the very eligible bachelor Mr. Sydney: about a decade older than the another young adults. He is rather wealthy, handsome and has a sympathetic personality. He is involved in a love triangle with Polly and Frances. Meanwhile, Polly is involved in a love triangle with Tom and Trix, until Trix cancels the engagement when the Shaw's iron works business goes belly up. One complicating romance looks rather contrived. While Tom is in Michigan, working for Poly's brother, Polly gets a letter from her brother telling that Tom is sweet on a Marcia, and they may later marry. This makes Polly very depressed. However, when Tom arrives home for Christmas, he tells that it is Polly's brother, not him, who is engaged to Marcia. Did things change that fast, or did Polly's brother write down the wrong word in his letter(not likely)? In the end, things turn out well for Polly and for the Shaws. .......Polly leads in the singing of few songs, beginning with the joyous "The Travel Song", sung while she is in a wagon, moving from near Lincoln(Nebraska?) to her fresh home in Miss Mills' boarding house, in Boston, not far from the Shaws. At a party, Poly leads the singing of Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer", which functions as the de facto theme song, also heard during the opening credits, and also as snippets during the film. This is a very appropriate theme song, as we have 2 pretty dreamers in Polly and Frances. During the last half of the film, Polly, along with Frances and Maud sing and sort of dance to the novelty song "The Kitchen Serenade", while in the kitchen....... My rating of the movie does not take into consideration the terrible condition of the copy I saw and unexplained deletion of 8min. of run time..........I have reviewed many of the movies that contain Gloria Jean, many of which are no longer accessible at YouTube, but can be purchased via Gloria Jeans' web site. Her costars included Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Donald O'Connor, and Peggy Ryan.



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