Unlike Warners, which fully respected his "The Music Man," Metro pretty much botched Meredith Willson's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" in 1964.
As thuddingly directed by Charles Walters and massacred by writer Helen Deutsch (working from Richard Morris's stage libretto), it dropped songs and truncated the plot. Ah, but the feeble film isn't a total loss.
Smack-dab in the middle is "He's My Friend," a production number that Willson wrote especially for the movie. Guided by choreographer Peter Gennaro, star Debbie Reynolds, Gus Trikonis (Goldie Hawn's first husband) and, again, the remarkable Grover Dale stomp their hearts out, mixing the Irish Jig with some incredible high kicks. It's one of the best.
The number: "He’s My Friend”
The composer: Meredith Willson
The singers: Harve Presnell and company
The choreographer: Peter Gennaro
The dancers: Debbie Reynolds, Grover Dale, Gus Trikonkis and company
The cinematographer: Daniel L. Fapp
The film editor: Fredric Steinkamp
The production designers: Preston Ames and George W. Davis