Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tonight's Movie: Where Do We Go From Here? (1945)

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? is a strange little Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin musical which finds Fred MacMurray, Joan Leslie, and June Haver traveling through time. The movie is so odd it may be a bit difficult to describe. The film's sheer wackiness seems to foreshadow the later Fox musical THAT LADY IN ERMINE (1948).

Bill Morgan (MacMurray) is frustrated by his 4F status, especially as lovely USO hostess Lucilla (Haver) is attracted by uniforms. With no uniform, Bill is relegated to washing dishes in the USO kitchen. He's assisted by sweet Sally (Leslie); unfortunately Bill is oblivious to Sally's interest in him.

Later that night Bill is sorting scrap metal and rubs an old lamp, letting out a genie (Gene Sheldon). The genie sends Bill careening back through time, to Washington's army, Christopher Columbus's ship, and then old New Amsterdam, where everyone speaks backwards Yoda-style. Will Bill end up in the army in the right century, with the right girl by his side?

The film's best moments are a pair of duets between MacMurray and Leslie, particularly "Love Remains." MacMurray does his own singing, and he does quite a good job. Leslie is dubbed by her regular singing voice from several movies, Sally Sweetland.

It's also fun to see MacMurray playing opposite his future wife, June Haver. She's so tiny next to MacMurray! Haver is particularly amusing as an Indian maiden.

The film's funniest gag involves the usage of the 20th Century-Fox fanfare near the end of the film. Be listening for it.

However, much of the film left me cold, especially when Leslie and Haver aren't on screen. There is an extended musical sequence with Christopher Columbus that I simply found boring. The Hessians singing a German drinking song, with all the barmaids wearing blond wigs, didn't do much for me either. Given the cast and my love for musicals, I wanted to like the film more than I did; perhaps I'll give it another chance at some point in the future.

Anthony Quinn plays an Indian chief who sells Manhattan, and Alan Mowbray is George Washington.

This film was directed by Gregory Ratoff. It was shot in Technicolor by Leon Shamroy and runs 74 minutes.

This movie isn't available on DVD or video, but it is shown from time to time on Fox Movie Channel.

For more on this film, visit Lou Lumenick's blog at the New York Post.


  1. I'd watch this one just to see Fred and June together on screen!

  2. It's worth it, Tom!

    FYI, this is a "dummy" blog that I'm using to practice a layouts template, which I'm finding completely different from the "classic" template I've had since 2005. I have to upgrade my blog to layouts in order to rescue my archives from Autopagination oblivion but wanted to know how it all works before I hit the upgrade button. It's soooo different! Not sure if I'll ultimately delete this blog once I make the upgrade in the coming weeks.

    Best wishes,

  3. I'm not sure I know what the difference is between the "classic" layouts and "new" layouts...are there new layouts? I'll have to check them out because I've been thinking about creating a third blog. Also, I don't know what Autopagination this going to affect everyone?

  4. Hi Tom,

    If you search my blog there are two posts on Autopagination. (If you can't pull them up just let me know and I'll get you the links.) Autopagination affects all Blogspot users. It is arbitrarily, automatically cutting off the front page of a blog at a certain length based on images and words. The worst problem is that in the archives of older "classic" templates, half of each month is inaccessible.

    On newer "layouts" blogs there is a button built into the template at the bottom of the screen called "older posts" (you have one -- you must have a "layouts" blog) which is also present in the archives so new readers can scroll through the entire archives. Classic blogs don't have this "older posts/newer posts" button.

    I'm also finding that layouts don't have the ability to have the post title be a link, which is why increasingly people haven't realized that my post title is a link (which used to be common at the time I started blogging in 2005 and everyone was using Classic). You have a layouts blog if you "drag and click" "gadgets." Classic templates are set up entirely using HTML. I've learned in my research that I'm going to need to manually reconstruct things like my blogroll when I convert, which is why I'm practicing here on the layouts format. Just getting the "Contact Me" link and "Recent Posts" were major triumphs for someone "non-techie" like me (grin). Hope this info helps! I have thought about putting a post at the top of this blog explaining what I'm doing here but since I started Sunday evening I've been so busy working on figuring out how it works I didn't have time yet. :)

    Best wishes,

  5. Thanks for explaining to me, Laura.

    I started my blog in 2008 and yes, I have the "layouts" template; I can "drag and click" gadgets. I found it to be an extremely helpful feature because I have alot of sidebar widgets; I like to create banner ads to promote special features, and the "drag and drop" functionally helps me to easily reorganize them.

  6. Hey Laura---I was curious about what template you have...I checked the options and it seems like you have the "Dots" template.

    I created a "new blog" just to test a few things...your title/header doesn't seem to look right since it's too high.

    I've found a way to re-create the title using the HTML gadget, so you can change fonts, etc.

    Also, it's possible to move the "Header" down to the bottom of the page...

    To see what I'm talking about, go check out this test page I just created (only took me a few minutes)

  7. Hi Tom!

    You're right, I have the Dots template... The title of this blog is one of the things that's bugging me and why I haven't made a layouts move...I haven't been able to fix it. My son thinks it might move down with different words but I don't know. That's a good idea to try it in HTML.

    Sorry for the delay in responding, I didn't get email notification about the comments here for some reason!