Stuck for a musical vehicle for the fast-rising Doris Day, Warners took the Booth Tarkington ‘Penrod’ stories that had been filmed before and (making the central character Day’s younger brother) crossed them with Meet Me in St Louis, added period songs and set the whole thing in a small Indiana town around 1917.
Day and Gordon MacRae are more than pleasant company, but it’s the supporting cast (and colour photography) that really makes this one glow: Leon Ames (especially good) as the easily exasperated father suspected of drunkenness (due to the rumour-mongering of his young son, Wesley (Billy Gray); Rosemary DeCamp as mother; Ellen Corby as the schoolma’am and Mary Wickes as the acid family maid.
The movie was so popular that the studio immediately filmed By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) as a direct sequel with all the actors playing the same characters.
Miss Mary Stevens
Roy Del Ruth