Without getting into the background psychology, there is something about people that often leads them to root for the underdog and delight in ridiculing those who see themselves as being “above everyone else.” This was certainly true during the war, and the feeling that a private or corporal had somehow outfoxed the sergeant or captain would have been a morale booster for enlisted men. Since Panorams were located on military bases, this Soundie, Move It Over, was a natural. But since undermining authority was forbidden, the humor here is gentle and inoffensive. The Soundies catalog describes the short as a “timely sample of army humor that will be appreciated by civilians and servicemen alike,” and this is likely a fair assessment of the film.
Move It Over is an interesting Soundie that works in many ways. The USO camp show theme allows for the presence of many female models who appear alongside vocalists Madeline Lee (voiced by Iris Howard) and Betty Bradley. A quintet of male vocalists, pictured as soldiers, balance the performance on screen.
While this Jack Barry-Pyrmen Smith effort is a cut-rate affair – there are only two simple sets, and the shots vary between long shots and close-ups – it has a certain charm that helps distract the viewer, if only briefly, from the horrors that were occurring overseas. The title song was written by Sonny Skyler, a vocalist whom we encountered in an earlier short featuring Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra. The Soundie was produced during the recording ban/musicians’ strike so musical director and pianist Charles Touchette turned to a small group of non-union musicians to supply the musical support. Vocalists were not covered by the ban, and the male quintet, personnel unknown, achieves a strong and attractive blend.