By the Light of the Silvery Moon was a sequel to Warner Bros' On Moonlight Bay (1951); both films were loosely based on the Penrod stories by Booth Tarkington. Penrod himself (played by Billy Gray) takes a back seat to the main plot, concerning the hot-and-cold romance between Doris Day and Gordon MacRae.
Gordon will not marry Doris until he is financially able to do so, which results in several breakups and reunions before the final clinch at the local ice rink. A silly subplot involves Penrod's suspicions that an attractive French schoolteacher (Maria Palmer) is not only romancing his father (Leon Ames), but is also an enemy spy! Set shortly after the end of World War I, Silvery Moon takes full advantage of that era's popular songs.
The film isn't quite as good as On Moonlight Bay, but fans of Day and MacRae went home happy. Also: watch closely, and you'll spot Merv Griffin in a minor role.