Sinatra's Debutant Dilemma
Things are looking dire for Mr. Drake (Leon Errol) and his staff as the bank is about to foreclose on him. In desperate need to raise money they decide to pass of scullery maid Millie Pico (MichÃ¨le Morgan) as Mr. Drake's debutant daughter in order to hook themselves a wealthy man to get them out of trouble. The trouble is that Millie has eyes for some one else and she confides in the neighbour across the street, Frank (Frank Sinatra), of her woes.
Whilst "Higher and Higher" has a reasonable cast which includes Mary Wickes, Jack Haley, MichÃ¨le Morgan, Marcy McGuire and Barbara Hale it is only the fact that it also stars Frank Sinatra which makes it worth watching. That doesn't mean that "Higher and Higher" is a bad movie just a forgettable musical b-movie from 1943 with little to make it stand out other than the sharp cheek bones of Frank Sinatra in a supporting role.
Now technically there is nothing wrong with "Higher and Higher", in fact the storyline of a lowly maid with no heirs or graces being forced to try and act like a debutant is quite amusing if a little predictable as she struggles and makes some comical mistakes. But whilst amusing enough there is nothing to make it feel like this was a movie made for any other reason than to give some actors something to do and to see how a young Frank Sinatra would do in front of the camera. As such this is one of those movies which paradoxically entertains yet also struggles to keep hold of your full attention with only a few scenes where the jokes really work achieving it.
What this really means is that "Higher and Higher" ends up all about the musical side and once again whilst there is nothing wrong with the musical numbers none of them stay with you after the movie has finished. Now whilst Frank Sinatra dominates most of these musical numbers and looks and sounds great it is the bubbly performance from Marcy McGuire which makes them entertaining, mainly because it is over the top bubbly. But again I have to say the musical side is nice but as forgettable as the movie is.
And I am going to sound like a broken record here because whilst "Higher and Higher" has a good cast which alongside Frank Sinatra features MichÃ¨le Morgan, Jack Haley, Barbara Hale and Victor Borge none of their performances or characters is memorable. In truth it is only because "Higher and Higher" stars Frank Sinatra, or at least in third billing, that it is worth watching.
What this all boils down to is that "Higher and Higher" whilst it doesn't really have anything wrong is ultimately forgettable and it is only because of a fresh faced Frank Sinatra that it is worth watching.