We are given a glimpse into Ann's ability to convey a range of emotions in a dramatic setting, and such scenes inevitably stand out in what were really stories of light fluff.
Donald O'Connor, Jack Oakie, Peggy Ryan
Donald O'Connor, Peggy Ryan, and Jack Oakie
From my book, Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star.:
Here, Ann is not the breezy and self-confident sophisticate she was in Chip off the Old Block. She’s playing closer to her own age, looks younger with the World War I-era long ringlets and old-fashioned clothing, and she immediately draws our sympathy for her anxiety over performing, of not being good enough and not pleasing her mother and Mr. Miljan, who coaches her. She has to make good because they have to eat; otherwise, she’s not sure she belongs in this world of theatre—just a sad, sweet girl, doing her best to keep up, though she is overwhelmed.
We see at once that Ann Blyth has, in her second film, already established her ability to appear completely different to her previous movie role. Her versatility, the most striking and notable feature of her acting career, is a quality she came in with from day one. As we will see, this very talent of simply being versatile could be useful in exploiting new opportunities; but it could also hold one back in an industry that seemed always to hire based on type.