Tonight's Saturday Night Cinema feature is the musical Tonight and Every Night. It stars the gorgeous and electrifying Rita Hayworth, so even when it's formulaic it's spectacular. The girl can't help it. Rita Hayworth's "Anywhere" number is particularly deelish. The whole sensibility of pro-freedom, pro-victory is utterly refreshing juxtaposed to the ghouls of today's clinically depressed and unhappy Hollywood.
The colors, the dancing, the music, the sets. It is so lovely, all of it. This confection of a film is art in motion. Enjoy.
NY Times Review, By BOSLEY CROWTHERPublished: March 9, 1945
With a blitzed London theatre as the locale and the-show-must-go-on as the theme—you know, chin up and face the music while the bombs are coming down—Victor Saville has shaped a very pleasant and sentimentally romantic musical film for Columbia under the title of "Tonight and Every Night." He has got some melodious songs for it, he has dressed it in lovely pastel shades and he has given it all to Rita Hayworth and a most agreeable cast to play. If your taste is for gaiety touched with pathos, you will find it at the Music Hall. Our ventured guess is that it will be there for quite a little while.
Mr. Saville has fetched his story from the mildly successful play of Leslie Storm called "Heart of a City." And it is the story of a London revue troupe, starring the quite American Miss Hayworth, which continues to give nightly shows despite the blitz and some rather heavy pressure upon the hearts of Miss Hayworth and other stars. That pressure derives from her involvement with a most charming RAF man, played by Lee Bowman, who, at one point—well, you know how things are during a war.
By the grace of some able script writing and Mr. Saville's directorial care, the story never drops to maudlin bathos. In fact, it rather keeps a gallant air. And it permits an appropriate succession of music and dance interludes. Miss Hayworth is fetching in the first one, "What Does an English Girl Think of a Yank?" and she puts forth some radiance and talent in a ballet number, "Cry and You Cry Alone." "You Excite Me" is her Hit Parade tempter and she teams very nicely with Janet Blair in a comic song skit, wherein the two play service ladies, called "The Boy I Left Behind."
Miss Blair draws the song plum, however. It is the title number and it is smartly produced against a highly original background representing an animated newsreel screen. And Marc Platt, the interpretive dancer who helped make "Oklahoma!" what it is, gets the nod as the show's big sensation with the brilliant solo dance that he does. Mr. Platt's flying leaps in this picture should carry him to Hollywood heights.
A glowing word, too—and that is meager—for the film's exceptional décor, for the svelte and subtle use of subdued colors in settings and costumes. It is pleasant to see a color picture which avoids the shocking, livid hues and gratifies the visual sense rather with mellow, sophisticated shades. Indeed, Mr. Saville's whole picture is in a smooth and sophisticated style. It is nice to be able to recommend it for a musical hour and a half.
TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT, screen play by Lesser Samuels and Abem Finkel; based on the play "Heart of a City," by Leslie Storm; music by Jule Styne; lyrics by Sammy Cahn; produced and directed by Victor Saville for Columbia Pictures. At the Radio City Music Hall.
Rosalind Bruce . . . . . Rita Hayworth
Judy Kane . . . . . Janet Blair
Paul Lundy . . . . . Lee Bowman
Tommy Lawson . . . . . Marc Platt
Angela . . . . . Leslie Brooks
The Great Waldo . . . . . Professor Lamberti
Toni . . . . . Dusty Anderson
Leslie Wiggins . . . . . Stephen Crane
Photographer . . . . . Jim Bannon
May Tolliver . . . . . Florence Bates
Sam Royce . . . . . Ernest Cossart
Rev. Gerald Lundy . . . . . Philip Merivale
David Long . . . . . Patrick O'Moore
Croup Captain . . . . . Gavin Muir