Sing Your Way Home (1945)
Anthony Mann directed this below average musical comedy written by William Bowers from a story by Edmund Joseph and Bart Lytton. Fortunately at least for director Mann and writer Bowers better things were in their futures. The Allie Wrubel-Herb Magidson song “I’ll Buy That Dream” did receive an Academy Award nomination the last for Magidson who’d received his Oscar for “The Continental” in The Gay Divorcee (1934); Wrubel would receive his the next year for “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Song of the South (1946).
Jack Haley plays egotistical reporter for the New York Chronicle Steve Kimball who’s written a book about his war experiences and now wants to get back to the states from France to go on a speaking tour. But wartime transatlantic travel is in high demand so in order to get passage his editor arranges for Kimball to chaperon a troupe of fifteen youth singers who’d been touring in Europe. A friend of one of the boys Bridget Forrester (Marcy McGuire) becomes the sixteenth when she stows away on the ship. Also booked on the ocean liner is singer Kay Lawrence (Anne Jeffreys) who makes her acquaintance to Kimball in a most unusual way. Emory Parnell plays the ship’s stern captain who’s gets so annoyed at Kimball that he bans him from using its radio facilities such that the reporter has to get Bridget to help him. To keep the radio operator from knowing what he’s doing he has Bridget translate his text using a code book that makes his messages appear to be love letters.
Among the film’s songs is two intertwined love triangles Steve with Kay with Bridget looking in from the outside and Bridget’s friend who’s jealous of her with Steve though the newspaper man is completely unaware of her crush on him. Have you figured out where this one is going? Of course Kay intercepts one of Steve’s coded messages and gets the wrong idea. But to get her out of the way Bridget lets Kay think that the notes are what they seem and that Steve has been sending dozens of such love notes during the voyage. So Kay volunteers to send the message and adds her own sentence to the end of the letter. Her un-coded words are translated into an unbelievable development in the war effort and Steve’s editor wrestles with whether it could be true to print or not. Since the correspondent had always been right previously the editor decides to print the incredible story – that the nations have accepted Steve’s peace plan – which gets him the publisher and Steve (upon his arrival in New York) thrown in jail; Ed Gargan plays their jailer. But Bridget suspects that something’s wrong so she goes to visit the club where Kay is singing. When Kay learns the truth of her error she clears up the matter and all ends well.
Uncredited character actors appearing in the cast include Chester Clute as passenger Heathcliffe who’s always having something dumped on his head Olin Howland as a steward who suspects there’s a stowaway among the youthful singers and Grady Sutton as the ship’s counter salesman that tries to talk Steve out of buying his own book because its author is too self-centered.