Till the Clouds Roll By

[2 stars] [IMDB Link] [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

Another free-to-me Amazon streamer. Summary: it's long, star-studded, only occasionally interesting. I thought it would be better.

It's the biopic of Jerome Kern (played by Robert Walker), starting off with the Broadway debut of Show Boat, to instant acclaim. Taking a cab ride to the post-show reception at the Waldorf, Kern starts reminiscing about his past life to the cabbie, and… well, we get to hear and see that.

Except (as I learned from the IMDB reviews) most of the story he relates is entirely fictional. Apparently Kern's life was even more boring than what this movie made up. Van Heflin plays a fictitious collaborator, with a fictitious daughter, who has dreams of Broadway glory outpacing her fictitious talent. When this is pointed out to her, she fictitously flees, heartbroken. Van Heflin (fictitiously) kicks the bucket, with a deathbed plea to Kern to track her down and make up, which he does.

But the fictitious plot is simply meant to string together the numerous production song-and-dance numbers. Some of these songs are great ("Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "I Won't Dance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes") and the others I thought were pretty forgettable. I did mention star-studded, right? Performers: Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Angela Lansbury, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, June Allyson, Van Johnson. (I had no idea that Van Johnson was that good.)