It's hard to get more mediocre than If I'm Lucky, a musical remake of Thanks a Million that is relatively easy enough to sit through but which fails to make much of an impression. The original satirical thrust of Million is diluted in Lucky, and making the main character a radio star who, at least partially, gets involve din this mess to lure listeners, doesn't wash. It might if the part were written to be played in a zany and "way out" style and if it were then cast with someone other than the blandly personable Perry Como. But that is decidedly not the case, and so one watches and wonders why the filmmakers didn't either take a different route with their star or cast a different type for the picture. Como sounds great, of course, but he just doesn't have a magnetic cinema personality. Vivian Blaine comes off better, and Harry James is fun as long as he's surrounded by music. Carmen Miranda brings zest and energy, but her big solo cried out for color. And none of the musical performers have been given a song that is in the least bit distinguished. Phil Silvers gets a great deal of laughs, despite the fact that most of his jokes are weak, which says something about the man's ability.
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The second of Perry Como's two starring vehicles for 20th Century-Fox, If I'm Lucky is an easygoing remake of 1937's Thanks a Million. Como plays the old Dick Powell role as Allan Clark, an entertainer who is maneuvered into politics by conniving manager Wally (Phil Silvers, in the role originated by Fred Allen). It all begins when Clark, hired to appear at a political rally for bibulous gubernatorial candidate Magonnagie (Edgar Buchanan), wins the hearts of the voters. One thing leads to another, and before long Clark himself is on the way to the governor's chair. With a newly acquired set of scruples, the singer-politico publicly reveals that his backers are crooks, but wins the election all the same! Though the satirical edge of Thanks a Million is muted in the remake, the musical numbers by Perry Como and costar Vivian Blaine help to take up the slack.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler