Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

I Love Melvin (1953)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

I Love Melvin (1953)

In director Don Weis' energetic, much-neglected, but formulaic light-weight musical:

  • in the opening to the title sequence, an unidentified backstage performer, in front of her marquee-styled mirrror, inscribed the film's title - in bright red lipstick - on a mirror
  • the opening number "A Lady Loves (To Love)" - performed by ambitious Broadway musical chorus girl and aspiring actress Judy Leroy (Debbie Reynolds) in a purple feathered-costume with a black-top-hatted male chorus - revealed to be a daydream when she was shaken awake by her mother ("Come on, get up, it's late!")
  • the scene of the first meeting between the musical's two eventual lovers - Judy and lowly assistant Melvin Hoover (Donald O'Connor), working for ornery LOOK Magazine photographer Mergo (Jim Backus). Both were daydreaming when they bumped or collided into each other in Central Park after walking along two sides of the same tall hedge, and they sang the song "We Have Never Met, as Yet" together
  • the sequence of Judy's theatre show, Quarterback Kelly, with an amazing, acrobatic sequence of "Saturday Afternoon Before the Game" (Reynolds portrayed the inflated, light brown pigskin football!)
  • after their first meeting, the scene of Melvin's exaggerated boasting and flattering claims that caused Judy to believe he was a famous magazine photographer who would shoot her for a two-page spread and possibly put her on the magazine's cover
  • Judy's and Melvin's deceptively-simple dance duet "Where Did You Learn To Dance?" performed in Judy's living room after he had taken photographs of her in various poses to show her backstage and city life - shots of Judy vacuuming, ironing, washing her hair, and visiting NYC sites
  • Melvin's roller-skating (and tap-dancing) act in a park gazebo (and his swinging from lamp posts and stomping - in homage to Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain) to entertain Judy's younger sister Clarabelle Schneider (Noreen Corcoran) who had just finished singing "Life Has Its Funny Little Ups and Downs" with him
  • Melvin's crazy romp through the travel agency sections of the Look Magazine offices while singing "I Wanna Wander" - and entering into various locales and personas (via changing backdrops, props and quick costume changes)
  • Judy's fanciful dance ("If I Had a Million Dollars" sequence) with a trio of Gene Kellys and Fred Astaires - and afterwards imagining that she was receiving an Oscar award - another dream
Melvin in Park Gazebo
"If I Had a Million Dollars"
"Melvin Where Are You?"
  • the wish-fulfillment ending after Melvin was dejected, ashamed, and had run away and abandoned his job; he disappeared for three weeks, and awoke back in Central Park on one of the benches; he discovered that Judy had been put on the cover of Look Magazine and an inside article was written about him, beseeching him to come back: "Melvin Where Are You?" - the happy conclusion was orchestrated by Judy to identify him, entice him to come out of hiding, and bring them together

Daydream: "A Lady Loves (To Love)"

Judy Meeting Melvin Hoover (Donald O'Connor): "We Have Never Met, As Yet"

"Saturday Afternoon Before the Game"

Judy as Brown Pigskin Football

"Where Did You Learn to Dance?"


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