Traditional American values and warm nostalgia blend seamlessly in this WB film based on Booth Tarkington's Penrod stories. Starring a young Doris Day and Gordon MacRae and set in Indiana during WWI it is more a sweet story of love and family values scattered with songs than a traditional Hollywood musical. The sets of Indiana during the early 20th century are marvelous and a cast that includes Leon Ames, Jack Smith, Ellen Corby and Rosemary De Camp give Doris Day and Gordon MacRae all the fun and drama they need to fall in love.
Doris Day is the baseball playing tomboy, Margie, who meets William (MacRae) in the unlikliest manner when she takes a gun away from her mischievous little brother, Wesley, and almost shoots him in the process! Love blooms, of course, and soon she trades her cleats for high heels as she and William overcome her father's objections and the enlistment of William and his entire graduating class of Indiana U into the army.
Along the way we get snowball fights and the sweet angst of young and innocent love, not to mention some really nice songs. A few belly laughs are provided as Margie's little brother, Wesley, makes up a horrible story about his family based on a flicker he has seen to sidestep some homework that has the whole town talking!
Perhaps because this film so often gets compared to the perfect musical of American nostalgia, "Meet Me in St. Louis," it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Doris Day shows that glowing magic that endeared her to audiences around the world and the film itself is a warm and wonderful reminder of America and its values. The end of this film will leave a warm feeling in your heart just as it did the public in 1949 and is a reminder of a more innocent time. A good film for the entire family.