Tell It to a Star (1945)

(Image: Scooter Movie Shop)
(Image: Scooter Movie Shop)

Gene Ritchie (Robert Livingston) leads the band of the Hotel Tamarind in Palm Springs, Florida.

One day during rehearsal, he is given an odd message. The hotel’s cigarette girl, Carol (Ruth Terry), has sent him a letter requesting an audition with him.

Horace Lovelace (Franklin Pangborn), manager of the hotel, believes that Carol is trying to use the hotel’s wealthy guests to further her singing career, and he fires her. Further complicating things, Carol’s uncle Ambrose (Alan Mowbray) comes to town. He’s a racketeer who hopes to take advantage of the hotel’s guests.

The hotel owner’s wife, Mrs. Whitmore (Isabel Randolph), decides to re-hire Carol, and she just may get the chance to make it big on the stage despite her uncle’s racketeering ways.

Frank McDonald directs the B-musical Tell It to a Star (1945).

Tell It to a Star is a lovely and lively little film. Clocking it at barely over an hour, it is a fast-paced and light story that makes for an easy watch.

Ruth Terry is incredibly lovable lead for the film. Terry was a native of Benton Harbor, Michigan who rose to fame on the stage, radio, big screen and small screen from the late 1930s through the 1960s. She began her first professional singing gig at the age of twelve, and retired from the business in the mid-1960s when she married her second husband.

Her voice is beautiful and her performance as an actress is solid as well in this film. She brings the perfect naïve enthusiasm and sweetness to her goal-oriented character of Carol.

Musical performances aside from those of Carol are just as enjoyable.

Ruth Terry as Carol, in her first performance with the band (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Ruth Terry as Carol, in her first performance with the band (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

The story itself is somewhat predictable, but predictability doesn’t do much to bring the film down. A light and airy mood is maintained from the beginning, cluing the viewer in right away to the fact that the film isn’t going to provoke deep thought or require much in the way of intellectual investment. It’s a sugary and fun piece of musical fluff.

Music and comedy are both utilized successfully here, with neither element overtaking the other. B-musicals are often problematic in that they offer great music, but very little in the way of plot. Though the plot of Tell It to a Star is predictable and a bit silly, it’s still much more existent than the plots of some of the other musicals of this type, and the film has many great comedic moments.

Tell It to a Star is such a lovely little film, making the very most of its short running time with very good comedic performances and very good musical numbers. This one’s definitely worth a watch. The score: 4/5

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One thought on “Tell It to a Star (1945)

  1. I can’t believe how much Ruth Terry looks like my sister-in-law in that photo. In fact, I had to look at it twice to make sure she isn’t my sister-in-law!

    This looks like a delightful film. Thanks for recommending.

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