Biographies of faded big-band stars were good box office in the 50s; this 1954 study of the legendary lost-in-action Miller is much better than most, thanks to the participation of director Anthony Mann and star James Stewart. The least expressionistic of Mann's 50s films, it establishes a serene, Technicolor picture of the American Dream functioning smoothly, only to shatter the icy perfection with stunning abruptness. Stewart was then in his most creative period; he gives Miller a dark, sullen quality that suggests an inner conflict far beyond the emotional range of the script. With June Allyson, Harry Morgan, and Frances Langford; cameos by Louis Armstrong and Gene Krupa. 116 min.
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