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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Ladies of the Chorus

1948 | United States | 61 min | More...
A still from Ladies of the Chorus (1948)
  • Watched on C: 3 stars (out of 5)
    on Tue Aug 30, 2022 via Watch TCM

    Marilyn Monroe plays a burlesque dancer who falls in love with a society gentleman. Her mother, a fellow dancer played by Adele Jergens, disapproves.

    Through flashbacks, we learn Jergens was once a Burlesque Queen—the star of the show. She became engaged to a gentleman from Boston, only for his parents to ship him to Europe upon discovering she was a dancer. The pregnant Jergens never saw him again. She had the baby, Monroe’s character, then returned to burlesque, not as the Queen, but as a mere chorus line dancer. Now, Monroe’s ascended to Queen status, and Jergens worries her daughter will suffer the same fate.

    Nothing revolutionary, but a well-executed sixty-one-minute confection. The burlesque numbers lead by Jergens and Monroe shine. Dave Barry’s brief, uncredited turn as Ripple the Decorator provides effective comic relief. And I appreciated the refreshing lack of melodramatic cruft. For example, Monroe’s suitor proves amiable, with no trite scheming ex-girlfriend to pad the running time. More films could learn from this one’s example.