Everything I Have is Yours DVD Review: A Disjointed MGM Musical Programmer

Husband-and-wife duo Marge and Gower Champion get upgraded to top billing.
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The lone starring vehicle for husband-and-wife duo Marge and Gower Champion, Everything I Have is Yours is several spritely dance setpieces punctuated by long stretches of backstage musical plot contortions, most of them predicated on women’s inherent fragility. Here, it’s apparent why the Champions’ usual movie status was the secondary couple supporting stars like Betty Grable and Jack Lemmon (Three for the Show) or Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson (Show Boat, Lovely to Look At); they’re terrific dancers but not exactly the most charismatic actors.

Unlike top-tier backstage musicals that smartly integrate plot and musical numbers, Everything I Have is Yours is sharply disjointed and displays only a minimum level of self-awareness about its thinly veneered scenario in which the Champions play fictionalized versions of themselves. Still, Robert Z. Leonard’s direction is admirably lucid, the gliding, steady camerawork often setting the musical scenes apart from the film that’s surrounding them. It’s just as well; the film barely tries to explicate most of its numbers, so they might as well be discrete experiences.

The Champions star as Pamela and Chuck Hubbard, a husband and wife about to get their big break on Broadway. Opening night is a sensation and a sure sign of a long, successful run, but Pamela faints and discovers she’s pregnant. Naturally, there will be dire consequences if she even thinks of returning to the stage, so while she endures a casually effortless pregnancy (apparently a fake belly was not in the budget), Chuck soldiers on in the role alongside promoted understudy Sybil (an ultra-sultry Monica Lewis). Years later, Pamela has begrudgingly maintained her status as stay-at-home mom, but when she makes plans to return to the stage, an increasingly controlling Chuck balks.

Marge and Gower aren’t too compelling as cutesy lovebirds (especially no thanks to his screenwriter-y habit of mimicking her ailments) or feuding artists, but the love and the longing the script can’t convey is evident in their wonderful dance routines, choreographed by Gower and Nick Castle. A barroom meeting in their stage show is torrid and playful at turns, the pair caroming all over a garish, fantastical set, while a real-life skip down a sidewalk of department store windows turns equally artificial, their lively back-and-forth seemingly transporting them into a musical of their own making. Eventually, the film reaches a fairly perfunctory dream ballet climax, but it hardly feels like the film’s most otherworldly sequence.

Warner Archive resurrects this little-seen Technicolor musical with a workmanlike transfer that presents solid clarity and detail if underwhelming, slightly faded color reproduction. The lone extra on the burn-on-demand disc is a trailer. 

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