Bundle of Joy, a musical remake of the 1939 film Bachelor Mother about a woman who discovers a foundling and then has trouble convincing people it isn't her own child, appears to have been one of those projects put together for the wrong reasons. Specifically, it was designed to fulfill a perceived audience desire to see musical film star Debbie Reynolds and singing star Eddie Fisher, who had married in September 1955, in a movie together. Unfortunately, instead of being produced in a first-class manner at Reynolds' studio, MGM, it was shot at RKO with a low budget, a poor script, a second-rate director (Norman Taurog, who was thought to be good at working with non-acting singers because of his work on recent Martin & Lewis films), and a mediocre song score by Josef Myrow and Mack Gordon. Of his movie debut in a starring role, Fisher was unsparing in his autobiography, Eddie: My Life, My Loves. "As bad as I was," he wrote, "the picture was even worse, a bomb." The soundtrack isn't any better. There are featured songs for Fisher and Reynolds as well as a duet for them, and some vocal work for co-star Nita Talbot, plus lots of scoring. Not all of this music made it into the picture, the song "What's So Good About Good Morning" and the instrumental "Tempo Fugit" being left on the cutting-room floor. Reynolds and Fisher do their best with the material, and Hugo Winterhalter turns in his usual competent but not particularly inspired work in arranging and conducting. But the results are forgettable, and the album is only of interest to fans of the singers. Unfortunately, the movie appeared just when Fisher's reign as a pop singer was ending, and it prevented him from moving his career toward the cinema.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann