Doll Face

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Doll Face
Poster - Doll Face (1945).jpg
Film poster
Directed by Lewis Seiler
Produced by Bryan Foy
Written by Harold Buchman (adaptation)
Gypsy Rose Lee (play The Naked Genius)
Leonard Praskins (writer)
Cinematography Joseph LaShelle
Edited by Norman Colbert
Release dates
  • December 31, 1945 (1945-12-31)[1]
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Title card
Chorus performs "Dig You Later (A-Hubba Hubba Hubba)" in the Show-within-a-show.

Doll Face is a 1945 American film directed by Lewis Seiler starring Vivian Blaine as "Doll Face" Carroll.

The film is also known as Come Back to Me in the United Kingdom.

Plot summary[edit]

"Doll Face" Carroll is an entertainer looking to expand her reportoire. After a failed audition, where she is recognized as a burlesque performer from the Gayety Theatre, her manager and fiancé Mike Hannegan suggest she writes an autobiography to project a more literate image and he hires Frederick Manly Gerard as a ghostwriter. Doll Face agrees on the condition she is allowed to dedicate the book to Mike with "For the love of Mike".

Another performer in the burlesque show, Chita Chula, remarks that if the book is a success and Doll Face leaves the show it will probably have to close down. Mike then decides to produce a Broadway show of his own with the financial aid of the performers themselves. Frederick offers to put up any money missing. Chita Chula (portrayed by Carmen Miranda) is sceptical she can pull it off, but Mike assures her she'll "probably wound up being another Carmen Miranda!", something Chita Chula perceives as an insult.

Mike leaks word on the book to the press and, riding the publicity, argues the show got all the press it needs and that the book, although all but finished, needs not to be published. Doll Face, however, decides to go through with it and goes to Jamaica with Frederick for some final touch-ups. Boat engine trouble leaves them marooned on an island and when Mike finds them he misreads the situation and breaks up with her. Without "Doll Face" as headliner, the Gayety Theatre struggles and Mike is forced to finally shut it down.

Doll Face releases her book The Genius DeMilo and when Mike sees she dedicated the book to Frederick instead of him, he regrets leaving her. After Doll Face refuses to talk to Mike he sends a lawyer to stop her show in the middle of opening night since she is under contract not to appear in any show not produced by him. She agrees to see him and he asks her forgiveness. They reunite, she tricks the producer of her show to give Mike a 25% share and co-producer credit so the show can continue.

Differences from play[edit]

The film is based on the 1943 play The Naked Genius written by Gypsy Rose Lee.



Carmen Miranda and Dennis O'Keefe in in movie scene.
Carmen Miranda in the musical number Chico, Chico from Puerto Rico
  • Vivian Blaine - "Somebody's Walking in My Dream" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • Perry Como and Martha Stewart - "Somebody's Walking in My Dream" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • Perry Como and chorus girls - "Red Hot and Beautiful" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • Vivian Blaine and male quartet - "Red Hot and Beautiful" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • Perry Como - "Here Comes Heaven Again" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • Perry Como and Vivian Blaine - "Here Comes Heaven Again" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • Perry Como and Martha Stewart - "Dig You Later (A-Hubba Hubba Hubba)" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • Carmen Miranda, Bando da Lua and chorus - "Chico Chico" (Music by Jimmy McHugh, Lyrics by Harold Adamson)
  • "The Parisian Trot" (Music by Lionel Newman, lyrics by Charles E. Henderson)

Production and filming[edit]


The studio Twentieth Century-Fox reportedly paid Louise Hovick (Gypsy Rose Lee) much money for the rights to The Naked Genius. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote that "some one (not Miss Hovick) made a terrible deal. [...] the only distinction in its writing is a persistence in grammatical mistakes. The only remarkability about its pattern is a monotonous fidelity to form."[2] and "Forget the plot, and concentrate on the production numbers performed with gusto by Blaine, Como, and Carmen Miranda."[3]

"A very surprising choice, I think, is Carmen Miranda for "Doll Face". Not that she isn't one of out best dancers, and certainly one of our most persuasive personalities, but she is so different from Joan Blondell, who created the role on the stage in "Naked Genius" from which "Doll Face" is taken" said Louella Parsons.[4]

The newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that: "The is a certain dramatic interest in this 20th Century Fox story of back-stage ambitions in a New York down-town burlesque show [...] The film has its faults, chiefly technical; for example, the sudden transition of the blonde and her new boyfriend from an open boat in a choppy sea off the Jersey coast to a similar boat in an obvious studio tank in the same action sequence. Dennis O'Keefe makes a handsome, hard-hitting manager and performs with great sincerity. Perry Como sings in an even more attractive manner than hitherto, and Vivian Blaine is more than adequately attractive, if a trifle too polished, as the "burleycue" blonde. Carmen Miranda appears in a straight part with only one singing number. The innovation is not a success, but the fault is the director's not Carmen's."[5]

DVD release[edit]

The film was released on DVD in June 2008 as part of Fox's "The Carmen Miranda Collection."[citation needed][6]


Nicky performs "Red Hot and Beautiful" at the burlesque Gayety Theatre. 
Doll Face performs "Red Hot and Beautiful" to an enthusiastic crowd. 
Nicky performing "Here Comes Heaven Again" 
Doll Face on her way to make the final ajustments to her autobiography. 
Frankie and Nicky perform "Somebody's Walking in My Dream". 
Frankie performing "Somebody's Walking in My Dream" 
Frankie and Nicky perform "Somebody's Walking in My Dream". 
A worried Mike searching for Doll Face. 
Mike finds Doll Face and Frederick. 
Nicky and Frankie rehearses "Dig You Later (A-Hubba Hubba Hubba)". 
Frederick suspects Doll Face is unhappy. Chita suggests he should know. 
Rehearsing Nicky's "Here Comes Heaven Again" proves too much for Doll Face. 


External links[edit]