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I Dood It

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With Singin’ in the Rain, Meet Me in St. Louis, and other musicals from MGM’s Golden Age well entrenched as best-selling video collectibles, the studio has been recycling some older song-and-dance titles of less-than-golden reputation. A couple of the latest batch, Eleanor Powell vehicles in crisply clean black-and-white prints, turn out to be not too tarnished.

I Dood It teams Powell and the ever-clownish Red Skelton in a vague remake of the Buster Keaton vehicle Spite Marriage, with a spy plot tossed in between songs by Cole Porter, Count Basie, and others. The musical numbers — with Powell, Lena Horne, and Jimmy Dorsey’s orchestra — show glimmers of Vincente Minnelli’s later style and imagination. But due to wartime budget restrictions, a patriotic finale from Powell’s 1936 Born to Dance was spliced in here. B-

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