Two Tickets to Broadway (1951)
“Get set for a Racy Romp up and down the Big Street!”
Director: James V. Kern
Cast: Tony Martin, Janet Leigh, Gloria DeHaven
Synopsis: Nancy Peterson comes from her tiny hometown to New York with dreams of Broadway stardom. At the bus station, her luggage accidentally gets mixed up with singer Dan Carter’s bags. The two begin working on a musical act with Dan backed by Nancy and her friends.
Two Tickets to Broadway, an RKO musical, lacks the budget and star names of its rival studio MGM, but does manage to inject a welcome dose of humour to make up for its other shortcomings.
Beautiful women are thrown at the screen, perhaps in an attempt to divert attention away from the paper-thin plot, and some lacklustre tunes — and a youthful Janet Leigh looks absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, Tony Martin, her leading man, lacks the screen presence to make much of an impact: he has the kind of face that is more suited to noir-type gangster characters than a romantic crooner, and suffers from a distinct lack of expression. That said, he has a wonderful singing voice. Best scenes are shared by Joe Smith and Charles Dale (in roles originally intended for Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy) as a pair of bickering delicatessen owners. Eddie Bracken, as the supposed comedy relief, succeeds only fitfully, and his character is far too annoying.
One highlight of the movie is the performance by a trapeze act called the Charvelles, whose sequence is both funny and impressive — in addition, an unexpected (and effective) slow-motion sequence shows the gracefulness of their stunts to great effect.
(Reviewed 20th April 2002)