Sobran mentions the greats:
Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, Fredric March, Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, William Powell, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Richard Burton, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Gregory Peck, Montgomery Clift.all of which, he says, "You can't picture... without recalling how they sounded."
How right he is. And yet, as I polish off a current viewing of Holiday in Mexico, I can't help but notice that his list misses that great baritone, Mr. Walter Pidgeon. Pidgeon's voice, as well as his polished, manly air, is displayed pleasingly in Holiday, a feel-good, lighthearted flick typical of the mid-forties musical.
The plot and style are standard fare for the genre, and why shouldn't they be? What is more irresistibly charming than Walter Pidgeon as a smooth ambassador to Mexico and single parent to Jane Powell, a hopeless energetic (and, at times, romantic) teenage vocal performance genius? What could be more exceedingly cute than Roddy McDowell as the English Amassador's son who wants to be more than best friends with the American Ambassador's daughter? Who makes better music than Xavier Cugat and Jose Iturbi? What's not to like about Technicolor?
Holiday in Mexico is a reminder of what was once important in Hollywood, a relic of family values-based filmmaking. The aim of Holiday is simple, wholesome, uplifting entertainment. It not only delights our senses but ministers to our hearts. And that makes it well worth anyone's while.
Besides, Walter Pidgeon had a phenomenal voice.
(photo from doctormacro.com)