Kiss the Boys Goodbye

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Musical, USA, 1941, 85 min.

Synopsis New York chorus girl Cindy Lou Bethany becomes frustrated when she prepares for an audition for a Broadway musical, but the auditions close and her roommate, Gwen Abbott, is hired to be secretary to Top Rumson, the show's financial backer. Gwen tells Cindy that the director, Lloyd Lloyd, and composer, Dick Rayburn, have been sent to the South on a talent search for a classic Southern belle type to star in the show, although their shows usually feature Myra Stanhope, an actress whose style is hopelessly inappropriate for this show. Desperate for work, Cindy returns to her aunt Lily Lou and uncle Jefferson Davis Bethany's home in the South and schemes to get Lloyd and Rayburn to audition her. Uncle Jeff waylays Lloyd and Rayburn off their train and brings them to Magnolia Manor, where Cindy, donning a nineteenth-century dress and manner, proceeds to sing for her captive audience, backed by a chorus of black singers. Lloyd, who remains steadfastly in support of Myra, knows he is being framed and resents Cindy's presumption. However, Rayburn is delighted by Cindy and unknown to Lloyd, asks her to return to New York with them. Cindy, who previously worked hard to lose her Southern accent, continues to play up her heritage, much to the irritation of Lloyd, who does not want to have to direct an apparent amateur. When the show's producer, Bert Fisher, arranges for their "discovery" to be introduced to the press during an evening at Rumson's home, Lloyd finally relents and arranges for Cindy to sing a love song. However, Cindy learns from Gwen that Lloyd has been planning to star Myra all along and Cindy vengefully decides to perform a striptease that she had prepared with Rayburn. The audience and Lloyd are impressed with her sophisticated revue, which ends as she tosses her lace pantaloons onto Myra's head and dives into the pool. Myra then picks a fight with Cindy, who loses her temper and pushes the actress into the pool. Cindy packs to leave, and unable to take the strain any longer, admits her ruse and insists that she did it out of desperation. Cindy returns to the South and Lloyd realizes he has just lost a fine actress. At Magnolia Manor, Cindy is surprised when she is serenaded by Lloyd, backed by a chorus, and the couple, finally admitting their love for each other, embrace.

Directed by Victor Schertzinger  

Starring Don Ameche, Mary Martin, Oscar Levant, Virginia Dale, Barbara Jo Allen, more...

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