I Love Melvin (1953): Don Weis’ Musical, Starring Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds

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Don Weis directed I Love Melvin, a naive, second-tier MGM musical, starring Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.

Small-time actress Judy Schneider dreams of becoming a Hollywood star, as she struggles along playing a human football in kitschy Broadway musical.

In Central Park, she bumps into Melvin, the bumbling assistant to Look magazine photographer. Melvin is smitten with Judy and endures disapproval from her father who wants her to marry Harry Flack, the boring heir to a paper box company.

He exaggerates his importance at the magazine to impress Judy and her family and promises to get her on the cover, using the photo shoots as excuse to spend time with her.

His charade is exposed when her picture doesn’t appear on the cover and she discovers he is just an assistant. Too ashamed to face her, Melvin abandons his job and disappears into Central Park.

While hiding in the Park he sees Judy’s picture on the cover of Look. The editor made her a cover girl so that he would see it and come out of hiding.

The film was a commercial flop, earning $1,316,000 in the U.S. and $654,000 overseas, resulting in loss of $290,000.

Donald O’Connor as Melvin Hoover
Debbie Reynolds as Judy Schneider aka Judy LeRoy
Una Merkel as Mom Schneider
Richard Anderson as Harry Flack
Allyn Joslyn as Frank Schneider
Les Tremayne as Mr. Henneman
Noreen Corcoran as Clarabelle Schneider
Jim Backus as Mergo
Barbara Ruick as Studio Guide
Robert Taylor as himself (cameo in Judy’s dream)

Lyrics by Mack Gordon, and music by Josef Myrow

“Lady Loves” (Reynolds)
“We Have Never Met as Yet” (Reynolds and O’Connor)
“Saturday Afternoon Before the Game” (Chorus)
“Where Did You Learn to Dance” (Reynolds and O’Connor)
“I Wanna Wander” (O’Connor)
“Life Has Its Funny Ups and Downs” (Noreen Corcoran)


Directed by Don Weis
Screenplay by George Wells, Ruth Brooks Flippen (additional dialogue); Story by Laszlo Vadnay
Produced by George Wells
Cinematography Harold Rosson
Edited by Adrienne Fazan
Music by George Stoll
Distributed by MGM
Release date: March 20, 1953
Running time 77 minutes
Budget $1.3 million
Box office $1.9 million


TCM showed the movie on Sep 16, 2021.