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In 1946, Columbia knew it had all the makings of a blockbuster by reworking the "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" theme along with teaming up some of the original cast members with Hollywood's brightest star, Rita Hayworth. The prospects might have been too promising, as they enabled Hayworth's agents at the William Morris company to renegotiate her already lucrative studio contract. In DOWN TO EARTH, Rita Hayworth's talents are absolutely show-stopping, and with the release of this film, it's easy to see why she earned the reputation as the Silver Screen's one and only Love Goddess.
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Rita Hayworth really was a screen goddess in the late 1940s--so why not cast her as Terpsichore, the goddess of dance? That's the premise of this splashy Technicolor musical, which borrows some devices (and cast members) from Here Comes Mr. Jordan. Rita descends to earth to inject authenticity into a Broadway show about Terpsichore, posing as an actress and turning the head of impresario Larry Parks (then in the brief moment between his Jolson Story smash and his blacklisting). This leads to an overblown, pretentious out-of-town tryout, an amusing sequence that predicts the highbrow disaster in The Band Wagon. In general, this film is funnier than its reputation, although it doesn't add up to anything and the song score is tepid (with one delightfully weird number where Rita considers bigamy with Parks and dancer Marc Platt). And Rita? Very creamy looking in a series of lavish gowns--and hardly down to earth. --Robert Horton
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