Here Come the Waves (1944)
While this may be a rather formulaic picture in the career of Bing Crosby, it does feature some funny hi-jinks with Betty Hutton in a dual role and allows us to hear Bing croon the classic, “You’ve Got to Accentuate the Positive.”
With more than a handful of similarities to the 1954 favorite White Christmas, Bing stars here as a world famous crooner and film star who decides to enlist in the navy and do his part for the war effort. He has a good pal in Sonny Tufts when the two aren’t vying for the affection of Betty with the dark hair as opposed to Betty #2 playing the dizzy twin sister in the blonde hair. Hutton is a whole lot of fun here with plenty of energy on screen. Especially when under the blonde hair.
Blonde haired Betty (Suzy) is a nutty fan of Bing’s who is more than a little obsessed. She’s convinced that she’s the girl for Bing and swoons at his crooning and faints at his touch when she finally meets him through her childhood friend Tuft. Dark haired Betty (Rosemary) thinks little of Bing and that he’s just a skirt chasing star of film and stage.
Care to guess which Betty that Bingle is going to fall for?
The twins are actually nightclub entertainers (White Christmas again) who enlist in the Waves during the second world war. With Bing in the navy, all our principles are bound to be spending plenty of time together when Bing is “volunteered” to put on a show for morale (White Christmas) and serve as an enlistment advertisement for women across the nation to join the Waves.
Blonde haired Betty is more than a bit excited to be working with Bing. Our singing box office star less so, “But that Suzy, that is rough duty.”
Once Bing gets the chance to have dark haired Betty to himself, he’s quick to get on her good side allowing her to see he’s not the cad she imagined and when he cuts loose with a romantic number while taking an evening stroll with Miss Hutton, she quickly melts in his arms.
Still that doesn’t mean there going to live happily ever after just yet. Like any romance on film, there are bound to be misunderstandings and spats before the final fade out and dance number.
The big showcase number at the close is rather amusing as it features a role reversal as part of the gag that lends itself to song. Bing and Sonny are home waiting for theirs sailors to arrive at port. The women are taking the male part and call up their boys upon docking. Naturally the boys are hanging by the phone waiting for the call and promptly ready themselves for an evening on the town. First though they’ll be some minor spats over what they’re going to wear and arguing over wearing the same suits/outfits. In essence the duo are cackling at each other like a couple of old hens.
Since this was a war time production, producer/director Mark Sandrich does turn the finale into a piece of propaganda when Hutton gives her rally speech for enlistment.
Sonny Tufts really serves as a Bob Hope replacement here. Much of his interaction with Bing is very similar to Bob and Bing’s antics without the Hope comebacks. Bing and Sonny both would prefer dark haired Betty as opposed to the dumbed down sister. Much like the Road pics where Bing usually seemed to get the upper hand and the prize known as Dorothy Lamour.
This black and white feature was issued by Bing’s home studio of Paramount and is readily available on DVD should you be looking for a chance to accentuate the positive yourself.