James Gleason and Rita Hayworth.
Down to Earth was made at the height of Rita Hayworth's career. She had just come off the success of her most famous role, Gilda, the previous year. It is a sequel, of sorts, to Columbia's 1941 hit Here Comes Mr. Jordan. Which would be remade as Heaven Can Wait in 1978. All three movies feature a airplane in the clouds scene. Down to Earth like wise was the inspiration for Xanadu, in 1980.
Rita Hayworth plays the muse, Terpsichore, who becomes offended when a Broadway play is being put together that does not portray her correctly. The play has inaccuracies, that offend her precious ego. The swing songs have offensive lines like, "She put the ants in the dancers pants." and "There's a law against men beating their wives, which inhibits about a million guy's lives."
With the help of a messenger and Mr Jordan, she comes down to Earth. She gets Max, who was Joe Pendleton's boxing manager, to be her agent. He gives her the alias of Kitty Pendleton. One of the funniest lines is when the messenger asks Mr Jordan when Max will come to heaven, and Mr Jordan responds that agents never go to heaven. She pushes her way onto the stage during rehearsal. The director/writer, Danny, takes one look at the lovely Rita and gives her the lead role. Firing the girl already hired for the part.
Kitty goes about flirting and convincing Danny to make changes to the show that fit her sensibility. The show becomes a bore and ticket sales decline. Mr Jordan shows up to inform Kitty that Danny is in trouble, and that a hit show may literally save his life. Being that Kitty and Danny have fallen in love, she changes her attitude.
Although her acting is not always convincing here, Rita Hayworth was just plain gorgeous. She is the best thing about the movie, but it is hardly enough. For a musical, there are no memorable songs. The only one that sticks with me is the one where she sings to two different men in uniform. She sings that she wants to marry them both, and they both agree. Were the 1940's really so innocent that no one at the time imagined the sexual scenario the song suggests? The final line of the song is that both men will be sleeping at the "Y", but still?
Photos © Copyright Columbia Pictures Corporation (1947)