Dan Dailey, June Haver. A widowed comic strip writer is raising his 10-year-old son Joe solo when a pretty young nightclub star moves in next door. Always having used real life events with his son as the premise for the comic strip, suddenly his newfound love life threatens not only his time and relationship with his son, but also the integrity of his work. 1953/color/92 min/NR/fullscreen.
Twentieth Century Fox produced The Girl Next Door
, an interesting 1953 musical about an unusual romance and its effects on the happiness of a young boy. June Haver stars as international stage sensation Jeannie Laird, who returns to America a major star after singing and acting in Europe. Her accountant (Dennis Day) has purchased a house on her behalf, and soon Jeannie finds herself neighbors with a widower, Bill Carter (Dan Dailey), a cartoonist raising a young son, Joe (Billy Gray). Despite her fame, Jeannie falls for the low-key Bill, and he feels the same, causing a crisis of jealousy for poor Joe. The film pretty much follows the course of their relationship and Joes struggles to deal with the reality of a woman in his life. Between domestic crises in Bills house, The Girl Next Door
offers some lavish song-and-dance numbers featuring its two leads. The lanky Dailey is fun to watch, with his ever-present smile and gazelle-like movements, while Haver steams things up with her adventurous dancing and staging of different songs. Dennis Day is charming as an unlikely beau for Jeannies best friend (Cara Williams), and his lovely voice makes one think of Irish tenors from glory days past. Special features include a brief documentary on Billy Gray, who later played Bud on Father Knows Best
and whose career took a hit when he was popped for marijuana possession. --Tom Keogh