The dependably great Jack Carson in a fine performance as a sweet, not-very-talented vaudevillian with a pure heart and the misfortune to fall in love with Joan Leslie, who for the purposes of the story is supposed to have an abundance of “it” or “oomph” (a Pepsodent smile, perhaps) but evinces as lamentably little talent as ever.

Stage sister Ida Lupino, little sister Joan Leslie, dream of escape  Dennis Morgan is quite good as the smarter member of Carson’s dance team, and Ida Lupino, in top form, pulls out all the stops as the stage sister (the script rumored to be based on the real-life antics of Ginger Rogers’s mother, Lela, to make her little girl a star—but her little girl was a damned good actress and dancer who, as we all know, worked till her shoes bled) whose misplaced ambition lands on poor Miss Leslie. Vincent Sherman directs, from Daniel Fuchs’s and Peter Viertel’s script, and James Wong Howe’s cinematography makes the shadows rich and deep.