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Index to all films on Class Act

Index to films on this page


Mad About Music top of page
Mad About Music
Universal, 1938, B/W, 96 minutes, ***½
Released February, 1938

Gloria's (Deanna) mother (Gail Patrick) is a big movie star. She and Gloria's father are separated, and she has sent Deanna to an all-girls school in Switzerland, because it just wouldn't look right to her public for a glamorous movie star to have a fourteen-year-old daughter. Deanna has manufactured a father for the benefit of the other girls at the school, and when Richard Todd (Herbert Marshall) shows up, she grabs him and pretends he's her imaginary father. Herbert Marshall is perfect for the role, and the film is a lot of fun. Deanna sings "I Love to Whistle," and "Chapel Bells."

This is a really cute film. Deanna is bubbly and bouncy and a lot of fun. Her story about her big game hunter father gets bigger and bigger, and when Herbert Marshall comes along, he has to really think on his feet to help Deanna out of her troubles.

Producer: Charles R. Rogers
Associate Producer: Joe Pasternak
Director: Norman Taurog
Assistant Director: Frank Shaw
Screen Play by: Bruce Manning, Felix Jackson
Original Story by: Marcella Burke, Frederic Kohner
Musical Director: Charles Previn
"A Serenade to the Stars," "Chapel Bells," "I Love to Whistle"
Music and Lyrics by Jimmy McHugh, Harold Adamson
Vocal Supervision: Charles E. Henderson
Orchestrations: Frank Skinner
Art Director: Jack Otterson
Associate: John Ewing
Gowns: Vera West
Miss Patrick's Gowns: Edith Head
Sound: Joseph Lapis, Bernard B. Brown
Director of Photography: Joseph Valentine
Film Editor: Ted Kent

Awards: Academy Award Nominations for Best Original Story (Marcella Burke and Frederick Kohner), Best Cinematography (Joseph Valentine), Best Score (Charles Previn and Frank Skinner), Best Interior Decoration (Jack Otterson)

Cast: Deanna Durbin [Gloria Harkinson], Herbert Marshall [Richard Todd], Gail Patrick [Gwen Taylor], Arthur Treacher [Tripps], William Frawley [Dusty Turner], Marcia Mae Jones [Olga], Helen Parrish [Felice], Jackie Moran [Tommy], Elizabeth Risdon [Annette Fusenot], Nana Bryant [Louise Fusenot], Christian Rub [Pierre], Charles Peck [Henry], Sid Grauman [Himself], Cappy Barra's Harmonica Ensemble [Themselves], Additional Cast: Joan Tree [Patricia], Franklin Pangborn [Hotel Manager], Bert Roach [Fat Man], Martha O'Driscoll [Pretty Girl], The Vienna Boys Choir [Themselves]

Musical Program: [0:05] I Love to Whistle (sung by Deanna Durbin and School Girls while bicycling); [0:22] Ave Maria (sung by Deanna Durbin and The Vienna Boys Choir); [0:50] Chapel Bells (sung by Deanna Durbin accompanied by Herbert Marshall at the piano onscreen); [1:01] excerpt from finale of 1812 Overture (Cappy Barra's Harmonica Ensemble); [1:03] I Love to Whistle (sung and played by Cappy Barra's Harmonica Ensemble at party, joined by Deanna Durbin and audience); [1:10] I Love to Whistle (sung by Deanna Durbin, joined by train passengers); [1:21] Serenade to the Stars (excerpt sung by Deanna Durbin); [1:33] Serenade to the Stars (sung by Deanna Durbin)




Magic of Lassie, The top of page
The Magic of Lassie
Lassie Productions / International Picture Show Co, 1978, Color, 100 minutes, ***
Released August, 1978

Enchantment awaits as an all-star cast including James Stewart, Mickey Rooney, Stephanie Zimbalist and Pernell Roberts join Lassie in a full-length adventure the whole family will love.

In the beautiful wine country of northern California, Clovis Mitchell (Stewart), his grandchildren Chris and Kelly, and Lassie live on the family vineyard, land they love as much as they love each other. When the wealthy Mr. Jamison (Roberts) offers to buy the vineyard, Clovis turns him down. But he can't prevent Jamison, who is armed with proof of ownership, from taking Lassie away to Colorado. But neither man has reckoned on the powerful attachment between Chris and his dog. Lassie soon escapes from Jamison's estate and begins her long trek home. In the meantime, Chris has run away to search for Lassie. Their adventures on the long road back to each other will thrill, amuse, delight and amaze. In addition to the many beguiling performances, the film boasts seven songs sung by Pat and Debby Boone. For heartwarming entertainment, there's no magic like The Magic of Lassie!  [from back of VHS sleeve]

This attempt to rejuvinate the "Lassie" series was a total critical flop (I have no idea why). Critics called it a bomb or a "dog." But the film has many good moments. Stewart is wonderful, as always, and Alice Faye turns in her last performance. Debbie Boone and The Mike Curb Congregation sing the song score. It's an enjoyable film, and Lassie fans should find it as enchanting as any of the Lassie entries. [JJ]

Jack Wrather Presents
Produced by: Bonita Granville Wrather; William Beaudine, Jr.
Executive Producer: Jack Wrather
Directed by: Don Chaffey
Assistant Director: Don Torpin
Story by: Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman
Screenplay by: Jean Holloway, Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman
Music and Lyrics by: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Music Supervised, Arranged and Conducted by: Irwin Kostal
Introducing: The Mike Curb Congregation
"Banjo Song" Choreographed by Martin Allen
Art Director: George Troast
Set Decorator: Carl Biddiscombe
Costumer: Ed Wynigear
Make-Up: Robert N. Norin
Hairdresser: Jo McCarthy
Sound: Ryder Sound Services
Director of Photography: Michael Margulies
Color by CFI
Film Editor: John C. Horger
Filmed at Hop Kiln Winery, Griffin Vineyard, Healdsburg, California

Cast: Mickey Rooney [Gus], Pernell Roberts [Jamison], Stephanie Zimbalist [Kelly Mitchell], Michael Sharrett [Chris Mitchell], Alice Faye [Alice], Gene Evans [Sheriff Andrews], Mike Mazurki [Apollo], Robert Lussier [Finch], Lane Davies [Allan], William Flatley [Truck Driver], James V. Reynolds [Officer Wilson], Rayford Barnes [Reward Seeker], W. D. Goodman [Mighty Manuel], Hank Metheney [Referee], Buck Young [T.V. Announcer], David Himes [Father], Ron Honthaner [Official], Ed Vasgersian [Lee], Bob Cashell [Ed], Robin Cawiezell [Girl in Casino], Gary Davis [Motorcycle Officer], Ralph Garrett [Kennelman], Pete Kellett [Security Guard], Klause Hense [Helicopter Pilot], Carl Nielsen [Mr. Kern], Regina Waldon [Mrs. Kern], Mike Curb Generation (Roger Jenkins, Jr., Maureen Smith, Nanci Bergman, Lynda Chase, Eddie D'Angelo, Mark McGee, Mary Bennett); James Stewart [as Clovis Mitchell], Lassie is Owned and Trained by Rudd Weatherwax, Debby Boone [offscreen vocals], Pat Boone [offscreen vocals]

Musical Program: [0:00] That Hometown Feeling (sung by James Stewart, Stephanie Zimbalist and Michael Sharett behind titles); [0:16] Brass Rings and Daydreams (sung offscreen by Debby Boone); [0:28] I Can't Say Goodbye (sung offscreen by The Mike Curb Congregation); [0:33] Nobody's Property (sung offscreen by The Mike Curb Congregation); [0:44] Traveling Music (sung by Mickey Rooney); [0:52] Nobody's Property (reprised by The Mike Curb Congregation); [1:01] There'll Be Other Friday Nights (sung offscreen by Debby Boone); [1:08] A Rose Is Not a Rose (sung by Alice Faye along with record of Pat Boone on jukebox at truck stop); [1:16] When You're Loved (sung offscreen by Debby Boone); [1:28] Banjo Song (sung by The Mike Curb Congregation onscreen); [1:35] Thanksgiving Prayer (spoken in verse by James Stewart); [1:36] When You're Loved (reprised offscreen by Debby Boone)




Major and the Minor, The top of page
The Major and the Minor
Paramount, 1942, B/W, 101 minutes, ****
Released September, 1942

Screen icon Ginger Rogers masquerades as a schoolgirl in The Major and the Minor, the directorial debut of legendary writer-director Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot).

After a year in New York (and twenty-five jobs), Susan Applegate (Rogers) decides that she's giving up on big city life, figuring it's time to go home. Only the train fare has gone up since she last rode, so she disguises herself as a 12-year old named "Sue Sue," and manages to get a ticket for child's fare. Now on board, the conductors are on to her scheme so she ends up hiding out in a compartment, not knowing it's already occupied by Major Kirby (Ray Milland), a military academy instructor with poor eyesight. When the railroad tracks flood and the train stalls, Kirby demands that Sue Sue accompany him to the academy, since she's without parental supervision. There she'll be able to get a ride to her home town.

Now, Susan must remain in character as the academy's young cadet vie for her attention... and she finds herself falling for the Major, whom, she is convinced, is about to marry a woman who's all wrong for him!

Produced by: Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Written by: Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder
Suggested by a Play by Edward Childs Carpenter
From a Story by Fannie Kilbourne
Music Score: Robert Emmett Dolan
Art Direction: Hans Drier, Roland Anderson
Costumes: Edith Head
Makeup Artist: Wally Westmore
Sound Recording by: Harold Lewis, Don Johnson
Director of Photography: Leo Tover
Edited by: Doane Harrison
Military school exteriors were photographed at St. John's Military Academy, Delafield, Wisconsin

Cast: Ginger Rogers [Susan Applegate], Ray Milland [Major Kirby], Rita Johnson [Pamela Hill], Robert Benchley [Mr. Osborne], Diana Lynn [Lucy Hill], Edward Fielding [Colonel Hill], Frankie Thomas [Cadet Osborne], Raymond Roe [Cadet Wigton], Charles Smith [Cadet Korner], Larry Nunn [Cadet Babcock], Billy Dawson [Cadet Miller], Lela Rogers [Mrs. Applegate], Aldrich Bowker [Reverend Doyle], Boyd Irwin [Major Griscom], Byron Shores [Captain Durand], Richard Fiske [Will Duffy], Norma Varden [Mrs. Osborne], Gretl Dupont [Mrs. Shackleford], Additional Cast: Marie Blake [Bertha], Billy Ray [Cadet Sommerville], Stanley Desmond [Cadet Shumaker], Billy Cook, John Bogden, Bill Clauson, Don Wilmot, Jim Pilcher, David McKim, Billy O'Kelly, Buster Nichols, Bradley Hail, Ralph Gilliam, Kenneth Grant, Dickie Jones, Dick Chandlee, Jack Lindquist, Stephen Kirchner [Cadets], James Conaty [Officer], Tom Dugan [Con Man in Railraod Station], Mary Field [Wilbur and Margie's Mother in Train Station], Freddie Mercer [Wilbur, Little Boy in Train Station], Carlotta Jelm [Margie, Little Girl in Train Station], George Anderson [Man with Esquire Magazine], Bess Flowers, Sam Harris, Edmund Mortimer [Guests at Cadet Ball], Archie Twitchell [Sergeant at Main Gate], Ken Lundy [Elevator Boy], Dell Henderson [Doorman], Alice Keating [Nurse], Milton Kibbee [Station Agent], Edward Peil, Sr. [Stationmaster], Will Wright [Ticket agent #1], William Newell [Ticket Agent #2], Stanley Andrews [Conductor #1], Emory Parnell [Conductor #2], Ralph Brooks [Extra in Train Car]

Musical Program: Not a musical, but contains some background and incidental music: [1:03] Ginger Rogers and Raymond Roe dancing (no music); [1:07] Blues in the Night (instrumental played on radio, danced by Raymomd Roe); [1:08] We Do (?) (sung by Cadets); [1:11] Lover (waltz [instrumental] danced by Ginger Rogers and Cadets at Ball); [1:14] unidentified waltz (danced by Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland and by Cadets and guests at the Ball)




Make a Wish top of page
Make a Wish
Principal Productions / RKO, 1937, B/W, 75 minutes, **½
Released August, 1937

While at summer camp in the Maine woods, little Bobby Breen befriends composer Basil Rathbone, who left the city to try and break his creative block, and is soon playing matchmaker for his widowed singer mother and Rathbone. Lively family musical also stars Marion Claire, Leon Errol; songs include "Music in My Heart," "Old Man Rip."

Producer: Sol Lesser
Associate Producer: Edward Gross
Director: Kurt Neumann
Assistant Director: Joseph Boyle
Screenplay by: Gertrude Berg, Bernard Schubert, Earle Snell
additional dialogue by William Hurlbut and Al Boasberg
(from an original story by Gertrude Berg)
Musical Score: Oscar Straus
Musical Direction: Hugo Riesenfeld
Musical Supervision: Abe Meyer
Music Published by: Leo Feist, Inc.
Songs: "Make a Wish," "Music in My Heart," "Old Man Rip," "Birchlake Forever" Music by Oscar Straus, Lyrics by Louis Alter and Paul F. Webster. "Campfire Dreams" Music and Lyrics by Louis Alter and Paul F. Webster.
Art Direction: Willy Pogany and Harry Oliver
Dance Direction: Larry Ceballos
Costume Supervision: Albert Deanno
Gowns: Brymer
Photography: John Mescall
Sound Engineer: Hugh McDowell
Film Editor: Arthur Hilton

Awards: Academy Award nomination for Best Score

Cast: Bobby Breen [Chip Winters], Basil Rathbone [Johnny Selden], Marion Claire [Irene Winters], Henry Armetta [Moreta], Leon Errol [Brennan], Donald Meek [Joseph], Billy Lee [Pee Wee], Ralph Forbes [Walter Mays], Leonid Kinskey [Moe], Herbert Rawlinson [Dr. Stevens], Spencer Charters [Station Agent], Johnny Arthur [Antoine], Lew Kelly [Mailman], Charles Richman [Wagner], Fred Scott [Minstrel], Lillian Harmer [Clara], Barbara Barondess [Secretary], Dorothy Appleby [Telephone Girl], Richard Tucker [Grant], Phillip McMahon [Chunky], Billy Lechner [Judge], Jackie Egger [Bud], Dorr's St. Luke's Choristers [vocals]

Musical Program: [0:02] Birchlake Forever (Bobby Breen and Boys Chorus); [0:13] Taps (excerpt sung by Boys); [0:14] Campfire Dreams (sung by Bobby Breen and Boys Chorus); [0:16] Taps (excerpt sung by Bobby Breen); [0:28] Make a Wish (sung by Basil Rathbone then by Bobby Breen); [0:35] Polly Wolly Doodle (Bobby Breen and Boys); [0:39] Old Man Rip (sung by Boys then by Bobby Breen); [0:45] Music in My Heart (sung by Marion Claire); [0:50] Birchlake Forever (sung by Bobby Breen and Boys); [1:08] Music in My Heart (reprised sung by Marion Claire and Bobby Breen); [1:10] Music in My Heart (sung by Marion Claire, Fred Scott, Bobby Breen and Children; danced by Children); [1:14] Make a Wish (reprised by Bobby Breen and Chorus); [1:15] Birchlake Forever (Bobby Breen and Boys behind end credits)




Make Mine Music top of page
Make Mine Music
Walt Disney / RKO, 1946, Color, 74 minutes, ***
Premiere release April, 1946
General release August, 1946

A collection of musical shorts with animation. The first short is "The Martins and the Coys" (subtitled "A Rustic Ballad"), about a feud between two hillbilly families. Next up is "Blue Bayou" ("A Tone Poem"), sung by The Ken Darby Chorus and set to animation of egrets flying over a moonlit bayou. Benny Goodman provides the music for "All the Cats Join In" ("A Jazz Interlude"), featuring pencil sketches of teenage bobby-soxers jitterbugging at a malt shop. "Without You" ("A Ballad in Blue"), sung by Andy Russell, is an abstract piece with rain pouring down a windowpane which is reflecting changing colors. Jerry Colonna narrates the story of "Casey at the Bat" ("A Musical Recitation"), the famous poem about the mighty baseball player who strikes out. Dinah Shore sings "Two Silhouettes" ("Ballade Ballet") in which Tatiana Riabouchinska and David Lichine of the Ballet Russe perform. Sterling Holloway narrates the tale of "Peter and the Wolf" ("A Fairy Tale with Music"), accompanied by the classic Prokofiev score. "After You've Gone" is a visualization of the Benny Goodman number, with various musical instruments engaged in a dueling jam session. The Andrews Sisters sing the story of "Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet" ("A Love Story"), about two hats in a store window who fall in love and try to reunite after being bought and separated. The closing segment is "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met" ("Opera Pathetique"), with Nelson Eddy providing all of the voices for this story of a giant whale with an incredible singing voice who aspires to perform at the opera.

See also: Melody Time

Produced By: Joe Grant
Production Supervisor: Joe Grant
Directors: Jack Kinney, Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Bob Cormack, Josh Meador
Story: Homer Brightman, Dick Huemer, Dick Kinney, John Walbridge, Tom Oreb, Dick Shaw, Eric Gurney, Sylvia Holland, T. Hee, Ed Penner, Dick Kelsey, Jim Bodrero, Roy Williams, Cap Palmer, Jesse Marsh, Erwin Graham
Music Director: Charles Wolcott
Associates: Ken Darby, Oliver Wallace, Edaward Plumb
Songs by: Ray Gilbert, Eliot Daniel, Allie Wrubel, Bobby Worth
Art Supervision: Mary Blair, Elmer Plummer, John Hench
Animation: Les Clark, Eric Larson, Ward Kimball, John Lounsbery, Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston, John Sibley, Fred Moore, Hal King, Hugh Fraser, Judge Whitaker, Jack Campbell, Harvey Toombs, Cliff Nordberg, Tom Massey, Bill Justice, Phil Duncan, Al Bertino, Hal Ambro, John McManus, Ken O'Brien
Effects Animation: George Rowley, Andy Engman, Jack Boyd, Brad Case, Don Patterson
Sound Recording: C. O. Slyfield, Robert O. Cook
Process Effects: Ub Iwerks
In Technicolor
Color Consultant: Mique Nelson

Cast: Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Nelson Eddy, Dinah Shore, The Andrews Sisters, Jerry Colonna, Andy Russell, Sterling Holloway, The Pied Pipers, The King's Men, The Ken Darby Chorus, Tatiana Riabouchinska, David Lichine

Musical Program: [0:00] Make Mine Music (sung behind titles by ); [0:01] A Tone Poem: Blue Bayou (sung by the Ken Darby Chorus, visuals are two egrets in a bayou); [0:06] A Jazz Interlude: All the Cats Join In (a CariCATture) (featuring Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, visuals are cartoon drawings of teenagers going to a drugstore to dance); [0:11] A Ballad in Blue: Andy Russell singing Without You (visuals are a cartoon of a blue rainy day); [0:14] A Musical Recitation by Jerry Colonna entitled Casey at the Bat (introduction sung by The Ken Darby Chorus, visuals are a cartoon baseball game ca. 1900, Jerry Colonna narrates and sings based on the famous poem "Casey at the Bat"); [0:23] Ballade Ballet: Tania Riabouchinska and David Lichine - The Dance, Dinah Shore - the Song Two Silhouettes (visual is hand-drawn silhouettes of Tani and David dancing); [0:27] A Fairy Tale with Music: Peter and the Wolf (by Sergei Prokofiev, told by Sterling Holloway, visuals are cartoon renderings of Peter and animals); [0:42] The Goodman Quartet (Cozy Cole, Sid Weiss, Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman) After You've Gone (visuals are cartoon renderings of musical instruments); [0:45] A Love Story (sung by the Andrews Sisters): Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet (a cartoon rendition of the story of a fedora and a blue bonnet falling in love); [0:53] Opera Pathetique (presenting Nelson Eddy - who does ALL the voices for the tragic story of... The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (visuals are a cartoon whale who sings opera. Nelson Eddy sings and narrates); The Martins and the Coys (The King's Men) [included in film, but deleted for the videotape]




Mame top of page
Mame
Warner Bros., 1974, Color, 131 minutes, ***
Released March, 1974

You're invited to party hearty - and in fabulous style - with this lavish 1974 screen version of the beloved Broadway musical. Lucille Ball brings star sparkle to the title role, a high-living grande dame who's outlandishly eccentric and, when suddenly faced with raising an orphaned nephew, fiercely loving. Veterans of the New York stage original join her: Beatrice Arthur as best friend Vera, Jane Connell as prim governess Agnes, choreographer Onna White and director Gene Saks. As Mame's husband Beauregard, Robert Preston (The Music Man) sings "Loving You," written specially for the film. Jerry Herman's songs, from "It's Today" to "We Need a Little Christmas" to "If He Walked Into My Life," rank among the best show tunes ever. For a grand time, bring home Mame.   [from back of DVD case]

Lucille Ball fans should love this one - it plays more like a tribute to Lucille Ball than a work of fiction.

Produced by: Robert Fryer and James Cresson
Directed by: Gene Saks
Screenplay by: Paul Zindel
Based on the Broadway Musical "Mame" by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee and Jerry Herman
Based on the Novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
and the Stage Play "Auntie Mame" by Lawrence and Lee
Music and Lyrics by: Jerry Herman
Musical Adaptation by: Jerry Herman
Production Designer: Robert F. Boyle
Music Supervision: Fred Werner
Orchestrations by: Ralph Burns
Dance Music Arrangements by: Peter Howard
Music Directors: Ralph Burns and Billy Byers
Song Score: Jerry Herman
Musical Numbers Choreographed by: Onna White
Art Director: Harold Michelson
Set Decorator: Marvin March
Costumes Designed by: Theadora Van Runkle
Mens' Wardrobe: Bruce Walkup, Robert Modes
Ladies' Wardrobe: Nancy McArdle, Renita Reachi
Makeup: Fred Williams
Miss Ball's Makeup: Hal King
Hair Stylist: Jean Burt Reilly
Miss Ball's Hair Styles: Irma Kusely
Sound: Al Overton, Jr.
Director of Photography: Philip Lathrop
Special Photographic Effects: Albert Whitlock
Filmed in Panavision, Technicolor
Film Editor: Maury Winetrobe
Photographed on location and at the Burbank Studios, Burbank, California

Cast: Lucille Ball [Mame Dennis], Beatrice Arthur [Vera Charles], Robert Preston [Beauregard], Bruce Davidson [Older Patrick], Kirby Furlong [Young Patrick], Jane Connell [Agnes Gooch], George Chiang [Ito], Joyce Van Patten [Sally Cato], Doria Cook [Gloria Upson], Don Porter [Mr. Upson], Audrey Christie [Mrs. Upson], John McGiver [Mr. Babcock], Bobbi Jordan [Pegeen], Patrick Laborteaux [Peter], Lucille Benson [Mother Burnside], Ruth McDevitt [Cousin Fan], Burt Mustin [Uncle Jeff], James Brodhead [Floorwalker], Leonard Stone [Stage Manager], Roger Price [Teacher], John Wheeler [Judge Bregoff], Ned Wertimer [Fred Kates], Alice Nunn [Fat Lady], Jerry Ayres [Bunny], Michelle Nichols [Midge], Eric Gordon [Boyd], Barbara Bosson [Emily]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture (played by Orchestra behind titles, includes vocal of St. Bridget by Jane Connell); [0:06] It's Today (sung and danced by Lucille Ball and party guests); [0:12] It's Today (reprised by Lucille Ball and party guests); [0:19] Open a New Window (sung by Lucille Ball, Kirby Furlong and Chorus); [0:31] The Man in the Moon (sung by Beatrice Arthur, danced by Chorus); [0:39] My Best Girl (sung by Kirby Furlong and Lucille Ball); [0:50] We Need a Little Christmas (sung and danced by Lucille Ball, Jane Connell, George Chiang, Kirby Furlong); [0:58] We Need a Little Christmas (reprised by Lucille Ball, Jane Connell, George Chiang, Kirby Furlong, Robert Preston); [1:11] Mame (sung and danced by Robert Preston and Chorus, segment danced by Robert Preston and Lucille Ball, segment danced by Lucille Ball and Chorus - a very Onna White production number); [1:18] Loving You (sung by Robert Preston, danced by Preston and Lucille Ball); [1:22] The Letter (to the tune of "Mame," sung by Kirby Furlong, then by Bruce Davidson); [1:29] Bosom Buddies (sung by Lucille Ball and Beatrice Arthur); [1:36] Bosom Buddies (reprise sung and danced by Lucille Ball and Beatrice Arthur); [1:42] What Do I Do Now? (Gooch's Song) (sung by Jane Connell); [1:53] If He Walked into My Life (sung by Lucille Ball); [2:00] It's Today (short reprisal sung by Beatrice Arthur and Chorus); [2:03] Open a New Window (reprised by Chorus); [2:09] Open a New Window (reprised by Lucille Ball); [2:09] Mame (reprised by Chorus at end of filme)




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Mammy top of page
Mammy
Warner Bros. / Vitaphone, 1930, B/W & Color, 83 minutes, ***
Released March, 1930

Jolson is a Minstrel Man with Meadows' Merry Minstrels. He is framed for attempted murder when one of the company players secretly loads a prop gun with real bullets. But who is the real bad guy? An interesting glimpse into the world of the Minstrel shows of yesteryear.

This film presents a minstrel show, along with backstage drama, just as it was in the early part of the 20th century. This is as close as we can ever come to seeing the real thing!

Apparently, this film originally had a color sequence. But there is no color sequence in the laserdisk print I have -- either it was trimmed from the print, or perhaps it was converted to black-and-white. The finale scene does have some faded color to it, so perhaps the color just faded over the years. At any rate, the print released to home video is all black-and-white.

Producer: Walter Morosco
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Screen Play and Dialogue by: Gordon Rigby & Joseph Jackson
Based on the Play and Music "Mr. Bones" by Irving Berlin
Vitaphone Orchestra Conducted by: Louis Silvers
Song Score: Irving Berlin
Sound: George Groves
Photography by: Barney McGill
Color Scenes by Technicolor
Edited by: Owen Marks

Cast: Al Jolson [Al Fuller], Lois Moran [Nora], Lowell Sherman [Westy], Louise Dresser [Mother], Hobart Bosworth [Meadows], Tully Marshall [Slats], Mitchell Lewis [Tambo], Jack Curtis [Sheriff], Additional Cast: Stanley Fields [Pig Eyes], Ray Cooke [Props]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture: "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy" (instrumental arrangement played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:00] Here We Are (instrumental arrangement played and marched by Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [0:03] Let Me Sing and I'm Happy (sung by Al Jolson); [0:05] (There'll Be A) Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight (excerpt played by Meadows' Merry Minstrels, fades to background); [0:07] Here We Are (sung by Al Jolson and Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [0:08] Who Paid the Rent for Mrs. Rip Van Winkle? (sung by Al Jolson); [0:12] When You and I Were Young Maggie (sung by the Big City Quartet); [0:14] Yes, We Have No Bananas (comic rendition sung to the tune of Miserere from the opera IL TROVATORE, sung by Al Jolson with Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [0:23] Here We Are (instrumental arrangement played by Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [0:25] My Mammy (instrumental arrangement played by Meadows' Merry Minstrels, partly sung by Al Jolson); [0:26] Here We Are (instrumental arrangement played and marched by Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [0:33] (Across the Breakfast Table) Looking at You (sung by Al Jolson); [0:37] (Across the Breakfast Table) Looking at You (reprised by Al Jolson); [0:39] Pretty Baby (excerpt sung and danced by Al Jolson); [0:49] Medley of old Minstrel numbers: Here We Are / Oh Dem Golden Slippers / In the Morning (sung by Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [0:52] Why Do They All Take the Night Boat to Albany (sung by Al Jolson); [0:58] Old Folks at Home (sung by Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [0:59] Let Me Sing and I'm Happy (sung by Al Jolson); [1:11] To My Mammy (sung by Al Jolson); [1:19] Here We Are (instrumental arrangement played and marched by Meadows' Merry Minstrels); [1:21] Let Me Sing and I'm Happy (sung by Al Jolson)

Al Jolson in "Mammy"
Al Jolson in "Mammy"




Man of La Mancha top of page
Man of La Mancha
United Artists, 1972, Color, 129 minutes, ***½
Released December, 1972
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

I had the good fortune to see this play on-stage by the Broadway touring company in the early 1970s. Yes, the stage version, complete with wonderful singers and fantastic sets, was much better than the movie. But, I like the movie version, too. Admittedly, one has to wonder about the casting, but O'Toole's interpretation is interesting, and his acting superb (as always). The principals seem a bit lost from time to time, but their acting and the powerful story seem to overcome the production's (relative) weaknesses, in my opinion. Sophia Loren's portrayal of Dulcinea is really quite good. It's the story one must focus on, as well as the music. Definitely worth watching!

Produced and Directed by: Arthur Hiller
Associate Producer: Saul Chaplin
Executive Producer: Alberto Grimaldi
Production Manager: Luciano Piperno
Screen Play by: Dale Wasserman
Based on the Musical Play "Man of La Mancha" written by Dale Wasserman
Original Production Staged by Albert Marre
Produced on the New York Stage by Albert W. Selden and Hal James
Suggested by the book Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Music by: Mitch Leigh
Lyrics by: Joe Darion
Music Adapted and Conducted by: Laurence Rosenthal
Musical Associate: Herbert Spencer
Choreography by: Gillian Lynne
Assistant Choreographer: Roy Jones
Sets and Costumes: Luciano Damiani
Set Dresser: Arrigo Breschi
Makeup: Charles Parker, Euclide Santoli and Giuseppe Annunziala
Hairdressing: Amalia Paolelli, Ramon Gow and Ada Palombi
Sound by: David Hildyard and Richard Portman
Photographed by: Giuseppe Rotunno
Special Effects: Adriano Pischiutta
Color by DeLuxe
Edited by: Robert C. Jones

Awards: Academy Award nomination for Best Song Score

Cast: Peter O'Toole [Don Quixote de La Mancha / Miguel Cervantes / Alonso Quijana], Sophia Loren [Dulcinea / Aldonza], James Coco [Sancho Panza], Harry Andrews [The Innkeeper / The Governor], John Castle [Sanson Carrasco / The Duke], Brian Blessed [Pedro], Ian Richardson [The Padre], Julie Gregg [Antonia], Rosalie Crutchley [The Housekeeper], Gino Conforti [The Barber], Marne Maitland [Captain of the Guard], Dorothy Sinclair [The Innkeeper's Wife], Miriam Acevedo [Fermina], Dominic Bartó, Poldo Bendandi, Peppi Borza, Mario Donen, Fred Evans, Francesco Ferrini, Paolo Gozlino, Teddy Green, Peter Johnston, Roy Jones, Connel Miles, Steffen Zacharias, Lou Zamprogna [Muleteers], Simon Gilbert [singing voice for Peter O'Toole]

Musical Program: [0:20] Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote) (sung by Simon Gilbert dubbing for Peter O'Toole and James Coco); [0:30] It's All the Same (sung by Sophia Loren); [0:39] Dulcinea (sung by Simon Gilbert dubbing for Peter O'Toole and Mens Chorus); [0:43] I'm Only Thinking of Him (sung by Julie Gregg, Rosalie Crutchley, and Ian Richardson); [0:52] I Really Like Him (sung by James Coco); [0:55] The Barber's Song (sung by Gino Conforti); [0:58] Golden Helmet of Mambrino (sung by Simon Gilbert dubbing for Peter O'Toole, James Coco, Gino Conforti, and Mens Chorus); [1:09] Little Bird, Little Bird (sung by Mens Chorus); [1:16] The Impossible Dream (The Quest) (sung by Simon Gilbert dubbing for Peter O'Toole); [1:25] Dubbing (Knight of the Woeful Countenance) (sung by Harry Andrews, Sophia Loren, James Coco); [1:31] The Impossible Dream (The Quest) (reprise, sung by Simon Gilbert dubbing for Peter O'Toole); [1:35] Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote) (reprise, sung by Simon Gilbert dubbing for Peter O'Toole and James Coco); [1:37] Aldonza (sung by Sophia Loren); [1:47] A Little Gossip (sung by James Coco); [1:55] Dulcinea (reprise, sung by Sophia Loren); [1:56] The Impossible Dream (The Quest) (reprise, sung by Simon Gilbert dubbing for Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren); [1:59] The Psalm (sung by Ian Richardson); [1:31] The Impossible Dream (The Quest) (reprise, sung by Sophia Loren and Prisoners)




Man Who Knew Too Much, The top of page
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Paramount, 1956, Color, 120 minutes
Released April, 1956 (France)
Released June, 1956 (USA)

Dr. Ben McKenna, his wife Jo and their son Hank are on a touring holiday of Africa when they meet the mysterious Louis Bernard on a bus. The next day Bernard is murdered in the local marketplace, but before he dies he manages to reveal details of an assassination about to take place in London. Fearing that their plot will be revealed, the assassins kidnap Hank in order to keep the McKenna's silent. Ben and Jo go to London and take matters into their own hands.

Of course this is not a musical, but it is the movie for which the song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera Sera)" was written. Doris Day sings it here for the first time. The song would become her signature song. And the music plays an important - if not essential - role in the film's climax.

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Associate Producer: Herbert Coleman
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Angus McPhail, John Michael Hayes
(based on a story by Charles Bennett and D. B. Wyndham-Lewis)
Original Song Score: Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
Background Score: Bernard Herrmann
Art Direction: Henry Bumstead, Hal Pereira
Set Decoration: Sam Comer, Arthur Krams
Cinematography: Robert Burks
Editor: George Tomasini

Cast: James Stewart [Dr. Ben McKenna], Doris Day [Jo McKenna], Brenda de Banzie [Lucy Drayton], Bernard Miles [Edward Drayton], Ralph Truman [Buchanan], Daniel Gelin [Louis Bernard], Mogens Wieth [Ambassador], Alan Mowbray [Val Parnell], Hillary Brooke [Jan Peterson], Christopher Olsen [Hank McKenna], Reggie Nalder [Rien], Richard Wattis [Assistant Manager], Noel Willman [Woburn], Alix Talton [Helen Parnell], Yves Brainville [Police Inspector], Carolyn Jones [Cindy Fontaine], Bess Flowers [Albert Hall Attendee], Alfred Hitchcock [Cameo as Man in Morocco Marketplace]

Musical Program: Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) (sung by Doris Day and Christopher Olsen in Hotel Room); Storm Cloud Cantata (At Albert Hall - sung by Covent Garden Choir, Solist Barbara Hewitt, with the London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Bernard Herrmann); Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) (Doris Day at Embassy); We'll Love Again (sung by Doris Day in background at Embassy)




Marjorie Morningstar top of page
Marjorie Morningstar
Beachwold Pictures / Warner Bros., 1958, Color, 123 minutes, ***
Released April, 1958

Natalie Wood turns in a captivating performance as Herman Wouk's heroine in this faithful adaptation of his novel. An aspiring actress with stars in her eyes discovers only rejection and heartbreak along the road to fame and fortune. Co-stars Gene Kelly, Claire Trevor and Martin Balsam.

A very good film. Not really a musical, but there is some singing and dancing in it. My only problem with this film is that I think Gene Kelly gets carried away with the self-pity, and it puts a bit of a damper on the whole production. But, overall the movie is fun and enjoyable with really great performances by Natalie Wood, Claire Trevor, Everett Sloane and Ed Wynn.

Produced by: Milton Sperling
Directed by: Irving Rapper
Assistant Director: Don Page
Screen Play by: Everett Freeman
Based upon the novel Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
Song: "A Very Precious Love" music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music Composed by: Max Steiner
Vocal Arrangements: Lyn Murray
Orchestrations by: Murray Cutter, Gus Levene
Musical Supervision by: Ray Heindorf
Dances and Musical Numbers Staged by: Jack Baker
Art Director: Malcolm Bert
Set Decorator: Ralph Hurst
Costume Consultant: Howard Shoup
Makeup Supervisor: Gordon Bau
Sound by: Stanley Jones
Director of Photography: Harry Stradling
Film Editor: Folmar Blangsted
Interior scenes photographed at Schroon Manor and Camp Cayuga Boys and Girls Camp, Schroon Lake, New York

Awards: Academy Award nomination for Best Song ("A Very Precious Love")

Cast: Gene Kelly [Noel Airman], Natalie Wood [Marjorie Morgenstern], Claire Trevor [Rose Morgenstern], Everett Sloane [Arnold Morgenstern], Martin Milner [Wally], Ed Wynn [Uncle Samson], Carolyn Jones [Marsha Zelenko], George Tobias [Greech], Martin Balsam [Dr. David Harris], Jesse White [Lou Michaelson], Edd Byrnes [Sandy Lamm], Paul Picerni [Phillip Berman], Alan Reed [Puddles Podell], Ruta Lee [Imogene], Eddie Foster [Carlos], Patricia Denise [Karen], Howard Best [Seth], Lester Dorr [Elevator Operator], Carl Sklover [Leon Lamm], Jean Vachon [Mary Lamm], Elizabeth Harrower [Miss Kimble], Guy Raymond [Mr. Klabber], Leslie Bradley [Blair], Maida Severn [Tonia Zelenko], Fay Nuell [Helen Harris], Fred Rapport [Nate], Harry Seymour [Frank], Shelley Fabares [Seth's Girl Friend], Walter Clinton [Mr. Zelenko], Pierre Watkin [Civil Official], Reginald Sheffield [Clerk], Sandy Livingston [Betsy], Peter Brown [Alec], Gail Ganley [Wally's Girl Friend], Russell Ash [Harry Morgenstern], Rad Fulton [Romeo]

Musical Program: [0:08] Jewish Hymn; [0:17] O Tamarack (sung by Girls at Camp Tamarack); [0:19] Southwind Blues (?) from Princess Jones (danced by Karen and Bob, then danced by Gene Kelly and Karen); [0:24] A Very Precious Love (sung by Gene Kelly at the piano [onscreen], this melody is also used as a theme in the background score); [0:47] Fiesta: Rock Cucaracha (danced by Natalie Wood and Ensemble); [0:58] A Very Precious Love (sung by guests at beach party); [1:59] A Very Precious Love (sung by Gene Kelly at the piano [onscreen])




Mary Poppins top of page
Mary Poppins
Disney, 1964, Color, 139 minutes, ****
Released August, 1964
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

They don't get any better than this! It's practically perfect in every way. Great story, great music, great acting... Intelligent casting of Wynn, Owen, Lanchester, Baddeley, Darwell and Treacher lends an aura of authentic old-world charm, critical to the mood of the story. The Chimney Sweep dance is one of the best song and dance numbers ever filmed, and the animated scene is Disney at their best. On a sadder note, this film marks the end of a long and successful acting career for Jane Darwell (the Bird Lady). This was her last film; she died 3 years later, making the scene "Feed the Birds" even more poignant since then.

A true classic that has withstood the test of time. I've watched it regularly, and I've never grown tired of it!

Setting: London, 1910

Producer: Walt Disney
Co-Producer: Bill Walsh
Directed by: Robert Stevenson
Assistant Directors: Joseph L. McEveety, Paul Feiner
Screenplay by: Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi
Based on the "Mary Poppins" books by P. L. Travers
Music and Lyrics by: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Music Supervised, Arranged and Conducted by: Irwin Kostal
Choreography by : Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood
Art Directors: Carroll Clark, William H. Tuntke
Set Decorators: Emile Kuri, Hal Gausman
Costumes and Design Consultant: Tony Walton
Costumes Executed by: Bill Thomas
Consultant: P. L. Travers
Make-Up: Pat McNalley
Hair Stylist: La Rue Matheron
Special Effects: Peter Ellenshaw, Eustace Lycett, Robert A. Mattey
Animation: Franklin Thomas, Hal Ambro, Oliver M. Johnston Jr., Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Hamilton Luske, Cliff Nordberg
Sound Supervisor: Rober O. Cook
Director of Photography: Edward Colman
Filmed in Technicolor
Film Editor: Cotton Warburton

Awards: Academy Award Winner of 5 Academy Awards: Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Song ("Chim Chim Cheree"), Best Original Score (Sherman Bros.), Best Film Editing (Cotton Warburton) and Best Visual Effects (Peter Ellenshaw, Eustace Lycett, Hamilton Luske); Academy Award nominations for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi), Best Color Cinematography (Edward Colman), Best Adapted Score (Irwin Kostal), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color), Best Costume Design (Color), Best Sound

Cast: Julie Andrews [Mary Poppins], Dick Van Dyke [Bert], David Tomlinson [Mr. Banks], Glynis Johns [Mrs. Banks], Hermione Baddeley, Reta Shaw [The Domestics], Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber [The Children], Elsa Lanchester [Katie Nanna], Arthur Treacher [The Constable], Reginald Owen [Admiral Boom], Ed Wynn [Uncle Albert], Jane Darwell [The Bird Woman], Arthur Malet [Mr. Dawes, Jr.], Navckid Keyd (Dick Van Dyke's name scrambled) [Mr. Dawes, Sr.], Additional Cast: Cyril Delevanti [Mr. Grubbs], Lester Matthews [Mr. Tomes], Clive L. Halliday [Mr. Mousely], Donald Barclay [Mr. Binnacle], Marjorie Bennett [Miss Lark], Alma Lawton [Mrs. Corry], Marjorie Eaton [Miss Persimmon], Doris Lloyd [Depositor], Major Sam Harris [Citizen]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture (played by Ochrestra behind Credits, includes vocal excerpt of "Chim Chim Cheree" by Chorus); [0:03] Jolly Holiday / Chim Chim Cheree / Step in Time (Dick Van Dyke's one-man band bit); [0:08] Sister Suffragette (sung by Glynis Johns); [0:13] The Life I Lead (sung by David Tomlinson); [0:18] The Life I Lead (continued by David Tomlinson); [0:19] The Perfect Nanny (sung by Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber); [0:32] A Spoonful of Sugar (sung by Julie Andrews); [0:37] Pavement Artist (Chim Chim Cheree); [0:42] Animated sequence: Jolly Holiday (sung and danced by Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews, animated farm animals and penguins); [0:57] Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (sung and danced by Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews and Chorus); End of animated sequence [0:59] Chim Chim Cheree (short reprisal by Dick Van Dyke); [1:02] Stay Awake (sung by Julie Andrews); [1:05] Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (reprised by Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Hermione Baddeley and Reta Shaw); [1:10] I Love to Laugh (Ed Wynn, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke); [1:20] A British Bank (sung by David Tomlinson and Julie Andrews); [1:24] Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag) (sung by Julie Andrews and Chorus); [1:30] Fidelity Fiduciary Bank (sung by Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson and Bankers); [1:39] Chim Chim Cheree (sung by Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber); [1:47] Chim Chim Cheree (reprised by Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews); [1:47] Step in Time (sung and danced by Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews and Chimney Sweeps with Hermione Baddeley and Glynis Johns -- great number!); [1:57] A Man Has Dreams / The Life I Lead / A Spoonful of Sugar (sung by David Tomlinson and Dick Van Dyke); [2:14] Let's Go Fly a Kite (sung by David Tomlinson, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Glynis Johns, Dick Van Dyke and Chorus); [2:17] Let's Go Fly a Kite (played by Orchestra and sung by Chorus behind end credits)




Maytime top of page
Maytime
MGM, 1937, B/W, 132 minutes, ****
Released March, 1937
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

The entire story is told as a flashback as aging Miss Morrison (Jeanette) tells young Barbara Roberts (Lynne Carver) the story of her life. Marcia Mornay and Paul Addison met in Paris, and fell in love. Marcia was a major opera star, and Paul was a music student under the tutelage of August Archipenko (Herman Bing). Marcia was fanatically loyal to her mentor and manager, Nicolai Nazaroff (Barrymore), and was afraid to let herself fall in love with Paul. But, they had a number of secret outings together, and she fell in love with him in spite of herself. But when Nicolai asked Marcia to marry him, she agreed, more out of fear than love. But she never forgot Paul, and years later met him again when he costarred in an opera in New York.

I won't spoil the ending. The film is somewhat remiscent of "Svengali," especially with John Barrymore in the role of Nicolai. It's a wonderful and moving film! Probably the best of all the Jeanette MacDonald / Nelson Eddy films. If you're planning on watching only one "Eddy-Mac," make it this one!

Produced by: Hunt Stromberg
Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard
Screen Play by: Noel Langley
Based on the Play by Rida Johnson Young, Music by Sigmund Romberg
Special Lyrics by: Bob Wright and Chet Forrest
French Adaptation: Gilles Guilbert
Opera Sequences: William von Wymetal
Russian Opera based on: Fifth Symphony by Tschaikowsky
Dances Staged by: Val Raset
Musical Adaptation and Direction by: Herbert Stothart
Musical Score: Herbert Stothart and Edward Ward
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Associates: Frederic Hope, Edwin B. Willis
Gowns by: Adrian
Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
Photographed by: Oliver T. Marsh
Montage Effects by: Slavko Vorkapich
Film Editor: Conrad A. Nervig

Awards: Academy Award nominations for Best Score and Best Sound

Cast: Jeanette MacDonald ["Miss Morrison" / Marcia Mornay], Nelson Eddy [Paul Allison], John Barrymore [Nazaroff], Herman Bing [Archipenko], Tom Brown [Kip], The Don Cossack Chorus [vocals], Additional Cast: Lynne Carver [Barbara Roberts], Rafaela Ottiano [Ellen], Charles Judels [Cabby], Paul Porcasi [Composer Trentini], Sig Rumann [Franchon], Walter Kingsford [Rudyard], Edgar Norton [Secretary], Guy Bates Post [Emperor Louis Napoleon], Iphigenie Castiglioni [Empress Eugenie], Anna Demetrio [Madame Fanchon], Frank Puglia [Orchestra Conductor], Adia Kuznetzoff [Czaritza's Minister - Student at Cafe], Howard Hickman, Harry Hayden, Harry Davenport and Robert C. Fischer [Opera Directors], Harlan Briggs [Bearded Director], Frank Sheridan [O'Brien, a director], Billy Gilbert [Drunk], Ivan Lebedeff [Empress's Dinner Companion], Leonid Kinskey [Student in Bar], Don Cossack Chorus [Singers], Mariska Aldrich [Opera Singer], Alexander Schoenberg [French Proprietor], Henry Roquemore [Publicity Man], Russell Hicks [Bulliet, the Voice Coach]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:01] May Pole (cited as "Now Is the Month of Maying" by some sources) (sung by Childrens Chorus at May Day Festival); [0:08] Will You Remember (Sweetheart) (excerpt sung by Nelson Eddy); [0:12] Mazurka (played by Orchestra, danced by guests of Emperor Louis Napoleon); [0:15] Napoleonic Waltz (danced by guests of Emperor Louis Napoleon); [0:17] Les Filles de Cadiz (sung by Jeanette MacDonald for the Emperor Louis Napoleon); [0:21] Le Regiment de Sambre et Meuse (sung by Jeanette MacDonald and The Don Cossack Chorus -- very rousing number!); [0:34] Students' Drinking Song (Part 1: Plantons la vigne) (sung by Nelson Eddy and Chorus); [0:36] Students' Drinking Song (Part 2: Vive l'Opera) (sung by Nelson Eddy and Chorus); [0:42] Virginia Ham and Eggs (or simply "Ham and Eggs") (contains elements of Caro Nome, Largo al Factotum, La Donna e Mobile, O Du Mein Holder Abendstern, Anvil Chorus, William Tell Overture (and maybe more), sung by Nelson Eddy and Chorus); [0:56] Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny (sung by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald); [1:03] Excerpts from LES HUGEUNOTS: Nobles Seigneurs, Salut (sung by Mens Chorus) / Une Dame Noble et Sage (Page's Aria) (sung by Jeanette MacDonald); [1:15] Santa Lucia (sung by unidentified male singer, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald at fair); [1:17] Will You Remember (Sweetheart) (arranged as a waltz, danced by Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy and May Day Chorus); [1:20] Will You Remember (Sweetheart) (sung by Nelson Eddy); [1:25] Will You Remember (Sweetheart) (sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy); [1:28] Montage of excerpts from various operas, including "Miserere," "Liebestod," "Sempre Libera" and The Last Rose of Summer (used in the opera MARTHA) and Chi mi frena ("The Sextet" from the opera LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, sung by Jeanette MacDonald); [1:42] Scene from Czaritza (opera sequence written specifically for this film, based on Fifth Symphony by Tschaikowsky, sung by Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy and Ensemble); [2:08] Will You Remember (Sweetheart) (sung by Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald and Chorus in final scene); There is considerable confusion in the literature about some of the songs written for the film, including "May Pole," "Students' Drinking Song," the opera written for the film "Czarita," and others. I have tried to indicate a sort of majority opinion, but the citations here may be in error.




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Meet Me in Las Vegas top of page
Meet Me in Las Vegas
MGM, 1956, Color, 112 minutes
Released March, 1956

Rancher Dan Dailey is unsuccessful at the casinos until he finds a good luck charm, ballerina Cyd Charisse, in this star-studded musical salute to the City of Neon. With Agnes Moorehead, Paul Henreid, and cameos ranging from Frank Sinatra to Peter Lorre. Songs include "If You Can Dream," "The Girl with the Yaller Shoes," and "Frankie and Johnny" (sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.).

"In the early days of our contry's history, the West was a place from which men took vast quantities of gold. Now -- at last -- they're bringing it all back."

Produced by: Joe Pasternak
Directed by: Roy Rowland
Assistant Director: George Rhein
Screen Story and Screen Play by: Isobel Lennart
Songs: Music by Nicholas Brodszky, Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Music Supervised and Conducted by: George Stoll
Music to "Frankie & Johnny" Ballet Adapted by: Johnny Green
Lena Horne's Number Arranged and Conducted by: Lennie Hayton
Orchestrations by: Albert Sendrey and Skip Martin
Vocal Supervision by: Robert Tucker
Music Coordinator: Irving Aaronson
Dances and Musical Numbers Created and Staged by: Hermes Pan
"Rehearsal Ballet" and "Sleeping Beauty Ballet" Created and Staged by Eugene Loring
Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Urie McCleary
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis, Richard Pefferle
Costumes by: Helen Rose
Hair Styles by: Sydney Guilaroff
Make-Up Created by: William Tuttle
Recording Supervisor: Dr. Wesley C. Miller
Director of Photography: Robert Bronner
Special Effects: Warren Newcombe
Filmed in CinemaScope, Eastman Color
Color Consultant: Charles K. Hagedon
Film Editor: Albert Akst

Awards: Academy Award nomination for Best Score, Musical (George Stoll and Johnny Green)

Cast: Dan Dailey [Chuck Rodwell], Cyd Charisse [Maria Corvier], Agnes Moorehead [Miss Hattie], Lili Darvas [Sari Hatvani], Jim Backus [Tom Culdane], Oscar Karlweis [Loisi], Liliane Montevicchi [Lilli], Cara Williams [Kelly Donavan], George Kerris [Young Groom], Betty Lynn [Young Bride], The Slate Brothers [Themselves], Pete Rugolo [Conductor], John Brascia [Specialty Dancer], John Harding [Worried Boss], Benny Rubin [Croupier], Jack Daly [Meek Husband], Henny Backus [Bossy Wife], Jerry Colonna [MC at Silver Slipper], Paul Henreid [Maria's Manager], Frankie Laine [Guest Star at Sands], Mitsuko Sawamura [Japanese Girl], Marc Wilder [Prince Charming], Guests: Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, Tony Martin, Lena Horne, Peter Lorre, Vic Damone, Elaine Stewart, Pier Angeli

Musical Program: [0:00] Meet Me in Las Vegas (sung before and behind titles by The Four Aces); [0:01] If You Can Dream (sung behind titles and into openeing scene by The Four Aces and Chorus); [0:06] Rehearsal Ballet (danced by Cyd Charisse and Ensemble); [0:11] The Gal with the Yaller Shoes (sung by Dan Dailey); [0:26] If You Can Dream (sung by Lena Horne); [0:34] I Refuse to Rock 'n' Roll (sung by Cara Williams); [0:38] My Lucky Charm (sung by Jerry Colonna, sung and danced by Chorus Girls joined by Cyd Charisse); [0:53] Sleeping Beauty Ballet (excerpt danced by Cyd Charisse and Ensemble); [1:00] unidentified number (sung in Japanese by Mitsuko Sawamura); [1:02] My Lucky Charm (sung and danced by Dan Dailey and Mitsuko Sawamura); [1:16] The Gal with the Yaller Shoes (sung by Dan Dailey and Ranch Hands, danced by Dailey, Ranch Hands, Cyd Charisse and Agnes Moorehead); [1:31] Hell Hath No Fury (sung by Frankie Laine and Chorus, danced by Chorus Girls); [1:41] Frankie and Johnny (with special lyrics sung by Sammy Davis, Jr. and danced by Cyd Charisse and Ensemble); [1:49] If You Can Dream (sung by the Four Aces offscreen); [1:51] The Gal with the Yaller Shoes (excerpt sung by the Four Aces offscreen behind end credits)




Meet Me in St. Louis top of page
Meet Me in St. Louis
MGM, 1944, Color, 114 minutes, ****
Premiere release November, 1944
General release January, 1945
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

The story of the Smith family in turn-of-the-century (not this century -- the other one) St. Louis, eagerly anticipating the World's Fair and nearly having to uproot themselves and move to New York. One of Judy Garland's best, and one of the best musicals of all time. Judy introduces the classic "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "The Trolley Song." Margaret O'Brien won an Oscar for her portrayal of Tootie Smith. Wonderful film directed by the legendary Vincente Minnelli. A must-see!

Produced by: Arthur Freed
Directed by: Vincente Minnelli
Screen Play by: Irving Brecher and Fred Finklehoffe
Based on the Book by: Sally Benson
"The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next Door," "Skip to My Lou," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (by) Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane
Musical Adaptation: Roger Edens
Musical Direction: Georgie Stoll
Orchestrations: Conrad Salinger
Dance Direction: Charles Walters
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Lemuel Ayers, Jack Martin Smith
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
Associate: Paul Huldschinsky
Costume Supervision: Irene
Costumes Designed by: Sharaff
Make-Up Created by: Jack Dawn
Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
Director of Photography: George Folsey
Photographed in Technicolor
Technicolor Color Director: Natalie Kalmus
Associate: Henri Jaffa
Film Editor: Albert Akst

Awards: Academy Award Nominations for Best Screenplay (Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finkelhoffe); Best Color Cinematography (George Folsey); Best Score - Musical (George Stoll) and Best Song ("The Trolley Song")

Cast: Judy Garland [Esther Smith], Margaret O'Brien ["Tootie" Smith], Mary Astor [Mrs. Anna Smith], Lucille Bremer [Rose Smith], Leon Ames [Mr. Alonzo Smith], Tom Drake [John Truett], Marjorie Main [Katie (Maid)], Harry Davenport [Grandpa], June Lockhart [Lucille Ballard], Henry H. Daniels, Jr. [Lon Smith, Jr.], Joan Carroll [Agnes Smith], Hugh Marlowe [Colonel Darly], Robert Sully [Warren Sheffield], Chill Wills [Mr. Neely], Additional Cast: Donald Curtis [Dr. Terry], Mary Jo Ellis [Ida Boothby], Robert Emmet O'Connor [Motorman], Darryl Hickman [Johnny Tevis], Leonard Walker [Conductor], Victor Kilian [Baggage Man], John Phipps [Mailman], Mayo Newhall [Mr. Braukoff], Major Sam Harris [Mr. March], Sidney Barnes [Hugo Borvis], Myron Tobias [George], Kenneth Donner [Clinton Badger], Helen Gilbert [Girl on Trolley], Arthur Freed [singing voice for Leon Ames], Denny Markas [singing voice for Mary Astor]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture: "Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis" (sung by Chorus) / "The Boy Next Door" (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:03] Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis (excerpt sung by Joan Carroll, Harry Davenport, Judy Garland and Chorus); [0:08] The Boy Next Door (sung by Judy Garland); [0:15] Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis (sung by Judy Garland and Lucille Bremer); [0:29] Skip to My Lou (sung and danced by Judy Garland and Ensemble); [0:33] I Was Drunk Last Night (short excerpt sung by Margaret O'Brien); [0:34] Under the Bamboo Tree (sung and danced by Margaret O'Brien and Judy Garland); [0:41] Over the Bannister (excerpt sung by Judy Garland); [0:44] The Trolley Song (sung by Judy Garland and Chorus); [cut] Boys and Girls Like You and Me (sung by Judy Garland; cut from final print); [1:15] You and I (sung by Arthur Freed dubbing for Leon Ames and Denny Markas dubbing for Mary Astor); [1:39] Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (sung by Judy Garland)

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Meet the People top of page
Meet the People
MGM, 1944, B/W, 99 minutes
Premiere release June, 1944
General release September, 1944

The story centers around a show presented to the workers in a shipyard. Lucille Ball plays the part of a stage star who wants to prove to love-interest Dick Powell that she is not a snob, and is capable of winning the hearts of the "common worker." Fun show with a wide variety of talent.

Producer: E. Y. Harburg
Director: Charles F. Riesner
Screenplay: Sig Herzig and Fred Saidy
Music Director: Lennie Hayton
Song Score: various
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Choreography: Charles Walters, Jack Donohue, Sammy Lee
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis
Costume Design: Irene
Men's Costumes: Gile Steele
Director of Photography: Robert Surtees
Film Editing: Alexander Troffey

Cast: Lucille Ball [Julie Hampton], Dick Powell [William "Swanee" Swanson], Virginia O'Brien ["Woodpecker" Peg], Bert Lahr [Commander], Rags Ragland [Mr. Smith], June Allyson [Annie], Steven Geray [Uncle Felix], Paul Regan ["Buck"], Howard Freeman [Mr. Peetwick], Betty Jaynes [Steffi], John Craven [John Swanson], Morris Ankrum [Monte Rowland], Miriam Lavelle [Miriam], Ziggie Talent [Himeslf], Mata and Hari [Oriental Dancers], Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra [Themselves], The King Sisters [Themselves], Spike Jones and His City Slickers [Themselves], Kay Medford [Mrs. Smith], Joey Ray [Dance Director], Patsy Moran [Homely Girl], Joe Yule [Charlie], Pat West [Man], Roger Moore [Chauffeur], Celia Travers [Secretary], Robert Emmett O'Connor [Attendant], Fred "Snowflake" Toones [Pullman Porter], Bobby Blake (aka Robert Blake) [Jimmy, Age 7], Dickie Hall [Billy, Age 5], Russell Gleason [Bill], Myron Healey [Marine], Creighton Hale [Hotel Clerk], Leon Belasco [Dress Designer], Barbara Bedford, Katherine Booth (aka Karin Booth), Mary Ganley, Thelma Joel, Mary McLeod [Girls], Hazel Brooks, Lucille Casey, Linda Deane, Natalie Draper, Alice Eyland, Florence Lundeen, Peggy Maley, Noreen Nash, Erin O'Kelly, Eve Whitney, Kay Williams [Show Girls]

Musical Program: [0:00] I Can't Dance (I Got Ants in My Pants) (comic song and dance number sung and danced by Ziggie Talent with Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra); [0:14] In Times Like These (Dick Powell and Lucille Ball); [0:20] unidentified instrumental number (Spike Jones and His City Slickers); [0:22] Meet the People (Dick Powell and Chorus); [0:24] Meet the People (Lucille Ball and Chorus); [0:38] acrobatic dance (danced to unidentified instrumental by unidentified female dancer); [0:40] Shicklegruber (skit sung and acted by Spike Jones and His City Slickers); [0:48] small boy plays piano (he also appears in Babes on Broadway); [0:52] Heave Ho! ... Let the Wind Blow (Bert Lahr and Ensemble); [1:06] In Times Like These (Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra, vocal by Vaughn Monroe); [1:09] I Like to Recognize the Tune (June Allyson, Virginia O'Brien, The King Sisters and others with Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra); [1:13] unidentified instrumental number (danced by Mata and Hari); [1:29] Say That We're Sweethearts Again (Virginia O'Brien); [1:34] Smart to Be People (Lucille Ball, Dick Powell, Virginia O'Brien and Ensemble); [1:39] Meet the People (Chorus)


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Melody Time top of page
Melody Time
Walt Disney / RKO, 1948, Color, 75 minutes, ***
Released May, 1948

Animation set to contemporary music. Somewhat of a sequel to "Make Mine Music." Segments include: "Once Upon a Wintertime," two lovers rescued from an icy river by friendly animals; "Bumble Boogie," bee beset by musical instruments and symbols come to life; "Johnny Appleseed," story of the legendary pioneer tree-planter; "Trees," mood piece set to musical treatment of Joyce Kilmer's poem; "Little Toot," story of a heroic little tugboat who saves an ocean liner; "Blame it on the Samba," Donald Duck and Jose Carioca have the blues blown away at a Latin cafe; "Pecos Bill," story of the legendary cowpoke, his trusty mount Widowmaker and his sweetheart Slue Foot Sue.

See also: Make Mine Music

Producer: Walt Disney
Production Supervisor: Ben Sharpsteen
Directed By: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Jack Kinney, Wilfred Jackson
Cartoon Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Jack Kinney
Story: Winston Hibler, Erdman Penner, Harry Reeves, Homer Brightman, Ken Anderson, Ted Sears, Joe Rinaldi, Bill Cottrell, Art Scott, Jesse Marsh, Bob Moore, John Walbridge
"Little Toot" by Hardie Gramatky
Folklore Consultant: Carl Carmer
Musical Direction: Eliot Daniel, Ken Darby
Associate: Paul Smith
Special Arrangements by: Vic Schoen and Al Slack
Songs by: Kim Gannon, Walter Kent, Ray Gilbert, Johnny Lange, Allie Wrubel, Bobby Worth, Benny Benjamin, George Weiss
Directing Animators: Eric Larson, Ward Kimball, Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston, John Lounsbery, Les Clark, John Sibley, Hal King, Hal Ambro, Bob Cannon, Don Lusk, Ken O'Brien, Judge Whitaker, Edwin Aardal, Cliff Nordberg, Marvin Woodward, Harvey Toombs, Rudy Larriva
Sound Director: C. O. Slyfield
Sound Recording: Robert O. Cook, Harold J. Steck
Live Action Photography: Winton C. Hoch
Special Processes: Ub Iwerks
Color by Technicolor
Technicolor Color Director: Natalie Kalmus
Associates: Morgan Padelford, Robert Brower
Film Editors: Donald Halliday, Thomas Scott

Cast: Roy Rogers and Trigger with The Sons of the Pioneers, Luana Patten, Bobby Driscoll, Ethel Smith, Bob Nolan, Buddy Clark, The Andrews Sisters, Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians, Frances Langford, Dennis Day, Freddy Martin and His Orchestra, Jack Fina, The Dinning Sisters

Musical Program: [0:00] Melody Time (sung by Buddy Clark with The Dinning Sisters); [0:03] Once Upon a Wintertime (sung by Frances Langford and Chorus, visuals are cartoon couples and animals ice skating); [0:11] Bumble Boogie {special arrangement of "Flight of the Bumble Bee" by Rimsky-Korsakov} (played by Freddy Martin and His Orchestra, featuring Jack Fina at the Piano; visuals consist of a cartoon bumble bee flying around being chased by musical instruments); [0:14] Johnny Appleseed (featuring Dennis Day portraying the characters of The Old Settler, Johnny Apleseed and Johnny's Angel; partly spoken, partly sung by Dennis Day and Chorus; visuals are cartoon rendition of the Johnny Appleseed story); [0:33] Little Toot (sung by The Andrews Sisters; visuals are a cartoon story about a little tug boat); [0:41] Trees (Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians present their arrangement of "Trees," poem by Joyce Kilmer, music by Oscar Rasbach; visuals are trees, animals and weather); [0:46] Blame it on the Samba (Ethel Smith and The Dinning Sisters; visual of Ethel Smith at the organ underwater with cartoon characters); [0:52] Pecos Bill (spoken and sung by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers; visuals are cartoon rendering of desert scenery introducing the story of Pecos Bill; short segment of Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers with Luana Patten and Bobby Driscoll)




Merry Widow, The top of page
The Merry Widow
MGM, 1952, Color, 105 minutes
Released September, 1952

Sumptuous treatment of Franz Lehar's opera, starring Lana Turner as a wealthy widow who is wooed by dashing Fernando Lamas in order to get her fortune and save his country. When Lamas really falls in love with her, he risks being court-martialed. Una Merkel also stars; songs include "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Maxim's" and "The Merry Widow Waltz."

Produced by: Joe Pasternak
Directed by: Curtis Bernhardt
Screen Play by: Sonya Levien and William Ludwig
Based on the Operetta Written by Composer Franz Lehar and Authors Victor Leon and Leo Stein
Music by: Franz Lehar
Lyrics by: Paul Francis Webster
Musical Direction: Jay Blackton
Musical Numbers Created and Staged by: Jack Cole
Orchestrations by: Maurice DePackh
Musical Advisor: Irving Aaronson
Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse
Special Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie, Warren Newcombe
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis, Arthur Krams
Women's Costumes by: Helen Rose
Men's Costumes by: Gile Steele
Hair Styles Designed by: Sydney Guilaroff
Make-Up Created by: William Tuttle
Recording Supervisor: Douglas Shearer
Director of Photography: Robert Surtees
Special Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie, Warren Newcombe
Montage Sequences by: Peter Ballbusch
Color by Technicolor
Technicolor Color Consultant: Henri Jafffa
Color Consultant: Alvord Eiseman
Film Editor: Conrad A. Nervig

Awards: Academy Award Nominations for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color) - Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis and Arthur Krams; Best Costume Design (Color) - Helen Rose and Gile Steele

Cast: Lana Turner [Crystal Radek], Fernando Lamas [Count Danilo], Una Merkel [Kitty Riley], Richard Haydn [Baron Popoff], Thomas Gomez [King of Marshovia], John Abbott [Marshovian Ambassador], Marcel Dalio [Police Sergeant], King Donovan [Nitki], Robert Coote [Marquis De Crillon], Sujata [Gypsy Girl], Lisa Ferraday [Marcella], Shepard Menken [Kunjany], Ludwig Stossel [Major Domo], Additional Cast: Dave Willock [Attache], Wanda McKay [1st Girl], Anne Kimbell [2nd Girl], Edward Earle [Chestnut Vendor], Gwen Verdon [Specialty Dancer], Gregg Sherwood, Joi Lansing [Maxim's Girls], Trudy Erwin [singing voice for Lana Turner]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture: The Merry Widow Waltz (played by Orchestra and sung by Chorus behind titles); [0:10] Girls, Girls, Girls (sung by Fernando Lamas and Chorus); [0:16] Vilia (sung and danced by Ensemble, sung by Fernando Lamas); [0:26] Night (sung by Fernando Lamas); [0:47] Maxim's (intro spoken in verse by Richard Haydn and Fernando Lamas, then sung by Fernando Lamas); [0:51] Gypsy / Can Can (played by Orchestra, danced by Gwen Verdon and Chorus Girls); [0:53] Maxim's (sung by Fernando Lamas and Chorus Girls); [1:02] The Merry Widow Waltz (sung and danced by Fernando Lamas and Lana Turner, Trudy Erwin dubbing for Lana Turner); [1:27] The Merry Widow Waltz (played by Orchestra, danced by Fernando Lamas and Lana Turner and Chorus, short vocal segment by Trudy Erwin and Fernando Lamas, ending sung by Chorus); [1:43] The Merry Widow Waltz (sung by Chorus, danced by Fernando Lamas and Lana Turner)




Merry Widow, The top of page
The Merry Widow
MGM, 1934, B/W, 98 minutes, ***½
Premiere release October, 1934
General release November, 1934

Lavish early MGM musical, based on Franz Lehar's operetta, stars Jeanette MacDonald as the wealthy patron of a tiny European country whose sudden move to Paris throws the nation into a tizzy. Can playboy prince Maurice Chevalier woo her back? Delightful romantic comedy also stars Edward Everett Horton and Una Merkel. Songs include "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Vilia" and "Merry Widow Waltz." Very popular musical still being staged today in many venues.

Setting: The Kingdom of Marshovia in the year 1885

Producer: Irving Thalberg
Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
Music by: Franz Lehar
Screen Play by: Ernest Vajda and Samson Raphaelson
Based on Book and Lyrics by Victor Leon and Leo Stein ("Die Lustique Witwe")
Musical Adaptation by: Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by: Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Additional Lyrics by: Gus Kahn
Dances Directed by: Albertina Rasch
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Associates: Fredric Hope, Edwin B. Willis
Wardrobe by: Ali Hubert
Miss MacDonald's Gowns: Adrian
Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
Photographed by: Oliver T. Marsh
Film Editor: Frances Marsh

Awards: Academy Award for Best Interior Decoration

Cast: Maurice Chevalier [Danilo], Jeanette MacDonald [Sonia], Edward Everett Horton [Ambassador], Una Merkel [Queen], George Barbier [King], Minna Gombell [Marcelle], Ruth Channing [Lulu], Sterling Holloway [Orderly], Donald Meek [Valet], Herman Bing [Zizipoff], Additional Cast: Henry Armetta [Turk], Barbara Leonard [Maid], Akim Tamiroff [Maxim's Manager], Lucien Prival [Adamovitch], Luana Walters, Sheila Mannors, Caryl Lincoln, Edna Waldron, Lona Andre [Sonia's Maids], Claudia Coleman [Wardrobe Mistress], Charles Requa, George J. Lewis, Tyler Brooke, John Merkyl, Cosmo Kyrle Bellew [Escorts], Roger Gray, Christian J. Frank, Otto Fries, George Magrill, John Roach [Policemen], Jason Robards, Sr. [Arresting Officer], Gino Corrado, Perry Ivins [Waiters], Albert Pollet [Head Waiter], Virginia Field [Prisoner], George Baxter [Ambassador], Paul Ellis [Dancer], Leonid Kinskey [Shepherd], Jacques Lory [Goatman], Evelyn Selbie [Newspaper Woman], Wedgewood Nowell [Lackey], Frank Sheridan [Judge], Richard Carle [Defense Attorney], Morgan Wallace [Prosecuting Attorney], Ferdinand Munier [Jailer], A. S. Byron [Doorman], Lee Tinn [Chinese Man], Nora Cecil [Animal Woman], Matty Roubert [Newsboy], Tom Frances, Winter Hall [Priests], Dewey Robinson, Russ Powell, Billy Gilbert [Fat Lackeys], Arthur Housman, John "Skins" Miller [Drunks], Hector V. Sarno [Gypsy Leader], Bela Loblov [Gypsy Violinist], Jan Rubini [Violinist], Rolfe Sedan [Gabrielovitsch], Lane Chandler [Soldier], Patricia Farley, Shirley Chambers, Maria Troubetskoy, Eleanor Hunt, Jeanine Hart, Dorothy Wilson, Barbara Barondess, Dorothy Granger, Jill Dennett, Mary Jane Halsey, Peggy Watts, Dorothy Dehn, Connie Lamont [Maxim's Girls]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:01] Girls, Girls, Girls (sung by Maurice Chevalier and Chorus); [0:11] Vilia (sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Allen Rogers dubbing for Sterling Holloway); [0:17] Tonight Will Teach Me to Forget (sung by Jeanette MacDonald); [0:20] Melody of Laughter (sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Attendants); [0:32] Maxim's (sung by Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald and Ensemble); [0:35] Can-Can (danced by Girls Chorus); [0:41] Girls, Girls, Girls (sung by Maurice Chevalier while dancing with his girlfriends at Maxim's); [0:50] The Merry Widow Waltz (sung by Jeanette MacDonald, danced by Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier); [0:57] Maxim's (reprised by Jeanette MacDonald); [0:58] If Widows Are Rich (sung and danced by Jeanette MacDonald and Chorus at the Embassy Ball); [1:03] Russian Dance (danced by the Albertina Rasch Dancers); [1:11] The Merry Widow Waltz (reprised by Orchestra and Chorus, danced by Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, sung and danced by Chorus); [1:23] Melody of Laughter (reprised by Jeanette MacDonald and Chorus); [1:36] Finale: The Merry Widow Waltz (excerpt played by Orchestra)




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Midsummer Night's Dream, A top of page
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Warner Bros., 1935, B/W, 150 minutes, ****
Released October, 1935
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

In 1935, Max Reinhardt, the great German impresario stunned Hollywood with the premiere of this Shakespeare classic. Weekly Variety called it "Unquestionably the loveliest, fantastic imagery the screen has yet produced." Featuring the greatest dramatic stars of the time - James Cagney, Dick Powell and Olivia De Havilland, renowned comic Joe E. Brown and child star Mickey Rooney - the film was one of the most lavish and expensive made in its time.

The story follows the trail of a pair of young lovers, Hermia and Lysander, who take refuge in the forest to escape the wrath of the Duke of Athens. There, their lives are intertwined with a group of actors and a wonderful collection of supernatural creatures of the night, whose own romantic problems make for great mischief.

Compelling, funny and honest to the playwright's original, the production also includes ballets by Nijinska, a score by Mendelssohn and unforgettable costumes, sets and pure magic.  [from back of VHS sleeve]

"Proclamation: From Theseus, our noble and valiant Duke, homeward bound from his defeat of the Amazonian Army, come greetings to his loyal subjects. And the joyous news that, before this moon is old, he will wed Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, with pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.

Let masques and plays be readied against the nuptial day. To the actors chosen to play at the wedding of the Duke, a pension will be granted from the Ducal treasury to the amount of sixpence for each actor every day of his life.

Let every citizen of Athens give fitting welcome to our Noble Lord."

Producer: Max Reinhardt
Directed by: Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle
by William Shakespeare
Arranged for the screen by: Charles Kenyon and Mary C. McCall, Jr.
Music by: Felix Mendelssohn
Arranged by: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Ballets by: Bronislawa Nijinska
Dialogue Director: Stanley Logan
Musical Director: Leo F. Forbstein
Art Director: Anton Grot
Special Effects: Byron Haskin, H.F. Koenekamp and Fred Jackman
Choreography: Bronislawa Njinska and Nini Theilade
Art Director: Anton Grot
Set Decoration: Ben Bone
Costumes by: Max Ree
Cosmetician: Perc Westmore
Photographed by: Hal Mohr
Special Photographic Effects by: Fred Jackman, Byron Haskin, Hans Koenekamp
Edited by: Ralph Dawson

Awards: Academy Award Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Hal Mohr) and Best Film Editing (Ralph Dawson); Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Assistant Director (Sherry Shourds)

Cast: Ian Hunter [Theseus, Duke of Athens], Verree Teasdale [Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus], Hobart Cavanaugh [Philostrate, Master of Revels to Theseus], Dick Powell [Lysander, in love with Hermia], Ross Alexander [Demetrius, in love with Hermia], Olivia de Havilland [Hermia, in love with Lysander], Jean Muir [Helena, in love wtih Demetrius], Grant Mitchell [Egeus, Father to Hermia], Frank McHugh [Quince, the Carpenter], Dewey Robinson [Snug, the Joiner], James Cagney [Bottom, the Weaver], Joe E. Brown [Flute, the Bellows mender], Hugh Herbert [Snout, the Tinker], Otis Harlan [Starveling, the Tailor], Arthur Treacher [Epilogue], Victor Jory [Oberon, King of the Fairies], Anita Louise [Titania, Queen of the Fairies], Nina Theilade [Fairie attending Titania], Mickey Rooney [Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, a Fairy], Katherine Frey [Pease-Blossom], Helen Westcott [Cobweb], Fred Sale [Moth], Billy Barty [Mustard-Seed], [Fairies], Additional Cast: Sara Haden [Bottom's Wife], Carol Ellis [singing voice of Anita Louise], St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers [Background Vocals]

Musical Program: Overture, Scherzo, Nocturne and "The Wedding March" from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Op. 61) and selections from "Songs Without Words," "The Italian Symphony" (Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, "Italian") and "The Scotch Symphony" (Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56, "Scottish"), all by Felix Mendelssohn.
[0:01] Overture (played by Orchestra); [0:12] Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56, "Scott" ("Scotch Symphony") (played by Orchestra, segment sung by Olivia de Havilland, Dick Powell, Ross Alexander, Jean Muir, James Cagney, Joe E. Brown and Chorus); [0:27] Through This House Give Glimm'ring Light (Fairies awaken: Ballet danced by Fairies, sung by Chorus); [0:30] Over Hill, Over Dale, Through Bush, Through Brier (sung by Nina Theilade); [0:32] Spinning Song (Op. 67 No. 4) (Fairy Ballet: played onscreen by the Gnome Orchestra, danced by the Fairies); [0:40] ? (sung by Dick Powell); [0:43] ? (sung by the Mechanicals acting troupe); [0:46] ? Lullaby (sung and danced by the Fairies); [0:49] Through the forest? stirring love? (sung by Mickey Rooney); [0:59] ? (whistled by the Mechanicals acting troupe); [1:07] Kinderstucke (Pieces for Children) (sung by James Cagney); [1:08] Kinderstucke (Pieces for Children) (continued by James Cagney); [1:11] Kinderstucke (Pieces for Children) (continued by James Cagney and Carol Ellis dubbing for Anita Louise); [1:39] Lullaby (sung by Carol Ellis dubbing for Anita Louise with a little help from James Cagney); [1:14] Spinning Song (sung by the Fairies); [1:16] Wedding march (played by Orchestra, marched and danced by the Fairies); [1:39] Lullaby ("Sleep Thou") (sung by Anita Louise with a little help from James Cagney); [1:41] Fairy Ballet (danced by the Fairies); [1:57] Wedding March (played by Orchestra, sung by Chorus); [2:04] "Pyramus and Thisbe" play (performed by the Mechanicals acting troupe: James Cagney as Pyramus, Joe E. Brown as Thisbe, Hugh Herbert as the Wall, Otis Harlan as Moonshine, Dewey Robinson as the Lion); [2:18] Hand in Hand with Fairy Grace (sung by Carol Ellis dubbing for Anita Louise, sung by the Fairies); [2:20] Puck's Soliloquy (spoken in verse by Mickey Rooney); [2:21] Exit Music: Wedding March (played by Orchestra); other very short songs sung by various cast members




Million Dollar Mermaid top of page
Million Dollar Mermaid
(aka The One-Piece Bathing Suit)
MGM, 1952, Color, 115 minutes, ***
Released December, 1952

Esther Williams splashes and shines in this highly Hollywoodized but wholly enjoyable biography of 1890s swimming sensation Annette Kellerman. Fine support from Victor Mature, Walter Pidgeon, Jesse White, plus Busby Berkeley's eye-popping, show-stopping water carnival. Doesn't really qualify as a musical, but it's significant in that it's one of Esther Williams' best roles.

Producer: Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Screenplay: Everett Freeman
Music Director: Adolph Deutsch
Music: various
Choreography: Busby Berkeley
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Jack Martin Smith
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Richard Pefferle
Costume Design: Helen Rose, Walter Plunkett
Special Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie, Warren Newcombe
Cinematography: George J. Folsey
Film Editing: John McSweeney Jr.

Awards: Academy Award nomination for Best Color Cinematography

Cast: Esther Williams [Annette Kellerman], Victor Mature [James Sullivan], Walter Pidgeon [Frederick Kellerman], David Brian [Alfred Harper], Donna Corcoran [Annette Kellerman at age 10], Jesse White [Doc Cronnel], Maria Tallchief [Pavlova], Howard Freeman [Aldrich], Charles Watts [Policeman], Wilton Graff [Garvey], Frank Ferguson [Prosecutor], James Bell [Judge], James Flavin [Conductor], Willis Bouchey [Director], Adrienne d'Ambricourt [Marie, the housekeeper], Charles Heard [Official], Clive Morgan [Judge], Queenie Leonard [Mrs. Graves], Stuart Torres [Son], Leslie Denison [Purser], Wilson Benge [Caretaker], Elizabeth Slifer [Soprano], Al Ferguson [London Bobby], Vernon Downing [Newspaper Man], Creighton Hale [Husband], James L. Kelly, Pat Flaherty [Policemen], Paul Bradley [Defense Attorney], James Aubrey [Pawnbroker], Patrick O'Moore [Master of Ceremonies], George Wallace [Bud Williams], Paul Frees [Band Leader], Louis Manley [Fire-eater], Edward Clark [Elderly Man], Gordon Richards [Casey], Benny Burt [Bum], Rod Rogers [Marcellino, the clown], Harry Hines [Watchman], Clarence Hennecke [Newsboy], Genevieve Pasques [Maid], Tom Dillon [Process Server], Louise Lorimer [Nurse], Mack Chandler [Robbie the Prop Man]

Musical Program: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (only complete song sung); There are also a number of production numbers with background music and some short excerpts of other period songs.

Esther is arrested for indecent exposure
Esther is arrested for wearing a one-piece bathing suit in public




Miracle of Morgan's Creek, The top of page
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek
Paramount, 1944, B/W, 99 minutes
Released January, 1944

Trudy Kockenlocker, a small-town girl with a soft spot for American soldiers, wakes up the morning after a wild farewell party for the troops to find that she married someone she can't remember--and she's pregnant. Norval Jones, the 4-F local boy who's been in love with Trudy for years, tries to help her find a way out of her predicament. Trudy complicates matters further by falling for Norval, and events snowball from there.

Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton together are almost more than the heart can handle. This is one very funny movie! I love movies that make me laugh out loud, and this is definitely one of them!

Produced by: Preston Sturges
Written and Directed by: Preston Sturges
Music Score by: Leo Shuken, Charles Bradshaw
Musical Direction: Sigmund Krumgold
Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegté
Set Decoration: Stephen Seymour
Costumes: Edith Head
Makeup Artist: Wally Westmore
Sound Recording by: Hugo Grenzbach, Walter Oberst
Director of Photography: John F. Seitz
Edited by: Stuart Gilmore

Cast: Eddie Bracken [Norval Jones], Betty Hutton [Trudy Kockenlocker], Diana Lynn [Emmy Kockenlocker], William Demarest [Officer Kockenlocker], Brian Donlevy [Governor McGinty], Akim Tamiroff [The Boss], Porter Hall [Justice of the Peace], Almira Sessions [Justice's Wife], Emory Parnell [Mr. Tuerck], Alan Bridge [Mr. Johnson], Georgia Caine [Mrs. Johnson], Julius Tannen [Mr. Rafferty], Victor Potel [Newspaper Editor], Esther Howard [Sally], J. Farrell MacDonald [Sheriff], Connie Tompkins [Cecilia], Torben Meyer [Doctor], George Melford [U.S. Marshal], Jimmy Conlin [The Mayor], Harry Rosenthal [Mr. Schwartz], Chester Conklin [Pete], Frank Moran [1st MP], Budd Fine [2nd MP], Byron Foulger, Arthur Hoyt [McGinty's Secretaries], Nora Cecil [Head Nurse], Jack Norton [Man Opening Champagne], Joe Devlin [Mussolini], Bobby Watson [Hitler], Kenneth Gibson, Keith Richards [Secret Service Men], Hal Craig, Roger Creed [State Police], Jan Buckingham [Nurse], Judith Lowry [Nurse], Freddie Steele [Soldier], Robert Dudley [Man]

Musical Program: Not a musical. However, there are some excerpts of several Big Band numbers played in the background at the dance.




Monkey Business top of page
Monkey Business
20th Century-Fox, 1952, B/W, 97 minutes, ***½
Released September, 1952

In this comedy classic, a chimpanzee gets loose in Dr. Barnaby Fulton's (Cary Grant) lab and accidentally completes the youth formula Fulton has been working on for years. But the industrious chimp also dumps the potion into the office water cooler - which becomes clear only when Fulton's staff mysteriously grows younger and younger. The chemistry really explodes when his voluptuous secretary (Monroe) gets a taste of the potion.  [from back of DVD case]

Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection II DVD Box Set contains this film and Don't Bother to Knock, Let's Make Love, Niagara and River of No Return.

Produced by: Sol C. Siegel
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Screen Play by: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, I. A. L. Diamond
Story by: Harry Segall
Music: Leigh Harline
Orchestration: Earle Hagen
Musical Direction: Lionel Newman
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, George Patrick
Set Decorations: Thomas Little, Walter M. Scott
Wardrobe Direction: Charles LeMaire
Costumes Designed by: Travilla
Makeup Artist: Ben Nye
Sound: W. D. Flick, Roger Heman
Director of Photography: Milton Krasner
Special Photographic Effects: Ray Kellogg
Film Editor: William B. Murphy

Cast: Cary Grant [Dr. Barnaby Fulton], Ginger Rogers [Mrs. Fulton], Charles Coburn [Oliver Oxley], Marilyn Monroe [Lois Laurel], Hugh Marlowe [Hank Entwhistle], Henri Letondal [Dr. Jerome Kitzel], Robert Cornthwaite [Dr. Zoldeck], Larry Keating [G. J. Culverly], Douglas Spencer [Dr. Brunner], Esther Dale [Mrs. Rhinelander], George Winslow [Little Indian], Forbes Murray, Mack Williams, Paul Maxey [Board Members], George Eldredge [Mr. Peabody], Kathleen Freeman [Mrs. Brannigan], Olive Carey [Johnny's Mother], Charlotte Austin [Student], Emmett Lynn [Janitor], Jerry Sheldon [Guard], Harry Carter, Jerry Paris, Harry Bartell [Scientists], Harry Seymour [Clothing Store Salesman], Faire Binney [Dowager], Bill McLean [Bellboy], Dabbs Greer [Cab Driver], Heinie Conklin [House Painter], Harry Carey, Jr. [Reporter], Joseph Mell [Barber], Russ Clark, Ray Montgomery [Policemen], Marjorie Holliday [Oxley Receptionist], Maudie Prickett [Clerk], John McKee [Photographer], Gil Stratton [Yale Man], Robert Nichols [Garage Man], Olan Soule [Pickwick Arms Desk Clerk], Ruth Warren, Isabel Withers [Laundry Women]

Musical Program: Not a musical, though there are a few short musical numbers, including [0:50] The Whiffenpoof Song (excerpt sung by Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers and Chorus)




Monsieur Beaucaire top of page
Monsieur Beaucaire
Paramount, 1946, B/W, 93 minutes
Released September, 1946

High-flying costume comedy finds Bob Hope as a barber in the court of Louis XV who is saved from the guillotine by posing as a French nobleman. Political intrigue, sexy romance, hilarious one-liners and daring swashbuckling abound in this Hope gem. With Joan Caulfield, Patric Knowles, Marjorie Reynolds and Joseph Schildkraut.

Produced by: Paul Jones
Directed by: George Marshall
Screen Play by: Melvin Frank and Norman Panama
Based on the novel by Booth Tarkington
Music Score: Robert Emmett Dolan
Songs by: Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Vocal Arrangements: Ken Lane
Dances Staged by: Billy Daniels, Josephine Earl
Art Direction: Hans Dreier and Earl Hedrick
Set Decoration: Sam Comer and Ross Dowd
Gowns: Mary Kay Dodson
Men's Costumes: Gile Steele
Makeup Supervision: Wally Westmore
Sound Recording by: Gene Merritt, Don Johnson
Director of Photography: Lionel Lindon
Special Photographic Effects: Gordon Jennings
Process Photography: Farciot Edouart
Edited by: Arthur Schmidt

Cast: Bob Hope [Monsieur Beaucaire], Joan Caulfield [Mimi], Patric Knowles [Duc de Chandre], Marjorie Reynolds [Princess Maria of Spain], Cecil Kellaway [Count D'Armand], Joseph Schildkraut [Don Francisco], Reginald Owen [King Louis XV of France], Constance Collier [The Queen], Hillary Brooke [Mme. Pompadour], Fortunio Bonanova [Don Carlos], Douglas Dumbrille [George Washington], Mary Nash [The Duenna], Leonid Kinskey [Rene], Howard Freeman [King Philip of Spain], Dorothy Vernon [Servant], Jack Mulhall [Guard], Philip Van Zandt [Guard], Eric Alden [Swordsman], Helen Freeman [Queen of Spain], Alan Hale Jr. [Courier], Hugh Prosser, John Maxwell [Couriers], Lane Chandler [Officer], George Sorel [Duke], Anthony Caruso [Masked Horseman], Jean De Briac [Minister of Finance], Jean Del Val [Minister of War], John Mylong [Minister of State], Nino Pipitone [Lackey], Lynne Lyons [Signora Gonzales], Mona Maris [Marquisa], Charles Coleman [Major Domo], Brandon Hurst [Marquis], Buddy Roosevelt, Manuel Paris [Spanish Guards], Catherine Craig [Duchess], Noreen Nash [Baroness], Nina Borget [Wife], Robert "Buddy" Shaw [Husband], Sherry Hall [Sentry], Tony Paton [Waiter]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:36] A Coach and Four (sung by Patric Knowles); [0:46] We'll Drink Every Drop in the Shop (sung by Inn Patrons dubbed by Chorus offscreen); [1:07] unidentified instrumental (danced by Ensemble); [1:08] Warm As Wine (sung by Joan Caulfield)




Monte Carlo top of page
Monte Carlo
Paramount, 1930, B/W, 90 minutes, ****
Released August, 1930
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

On the verge of marrying a prince (Claude Allister), countess Helene Mara (Jeanette MacDonald) runs away, boarding the "Blue Express" train for Monte Carlo. In Monaco, with little money left, MacDonald checks into a posh hotel, and is spotted immediately in the casino by a wealthy count (Buchanan) who believes that touching MacDonald's golden tresses will bring him good luck. But when Buchanan strokes MacDonald's hair, it's the countess who begins winning magically.

The DVD box set (shown right) contains this film and The Love Parade, The Smiling Lieutenant, and One Hour with You. The sound and picture quality of each of the four DVDs is absolutely stunning!

Produced and Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
Screenplay: Ernest Vajda
From "The Blue Coast" by Hans Muller
And an episode from "Monsieur Beaucaire" by Booth Tarkington and Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland
Additional dialogue by Vincent Lawrence
Lyrics and Music by: Leo Robin, Richard A. Whiting and W. Franke Harling
Musical Score: W. Franke Harling and Richard Whiting
Costume Design: Travis Banton
Sound: Harry D. Mills
Photographed by: Victor Milner
Film Editing: Merrill G. White

Cast: Jack Buchanan [Count Rudolph Farriere], Jeanette MacDonald [Countess Helene Mara], Claude Allister [Duke Otto von Liebenheim], ZaSu Pitts [Bertha, the Countess' Maid], Tyler Brooke [Armand], John Roche [Paul, the Hairdresser], Lionel Belmore [Count Gustav von Liebenheim], Albert Conti [Master of Ceremonies], Helen Garden [Lady Mary in Stage Opera], Donald Novis [Monsieur Beaucaire in Stage Opera], Eric Bye [Lord Winterset], David Percy [Herald], Additional Cast: Billy Bevan [Train Conductor], Sidney Bracey [Hunchback at Casino], Frances Dee [Receptionist], Rolfe Sedan [Hairdresser], John Carroll [Wedding Guest Officer], Geraldine Dvorak [Extra in Casino]

Musical Program: [0:02] Day of Days (sung by Chorus); [0:06] She'll Love Me and Like It (sung by Claude Allister and Chorus); [0:11] Beyond the Blue Horizon (sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Chorus); [0:22] Give Me a Moment Please (sung by Jack Buchanan and Jeanette MacDonald over the telephone); [0:29] Trimmin' the Women (sung by Jack Buchanan, Tyler Brooke and John Roche); [0:42] Whatever It Is, It's Grand (sung by Jack Buchanan and Jeanette MacDonald); [0:48] She'll Love Me and Like It (reprised by Claude Allister and Jeanette MacDonald); [0:53] Always in All Ways (sung by Jack Buchanan and Jeanette MacDonald); [1:03] Give Me a Moment Please / Always in All Ways (reprised by Jack Buchanan and Jeanette MacDonald); [1:19] Monsieur Beaucaire (the opera - David Percy, Helen Garden, Erik Bey, Donald Novis and Chorus); [1:29] Beyond the Blue Horizon (reprised Jeanette MacDonald, Jack Buchanan and Chorus)




This web site is revised daily. Please check back often!



Moon Over Miami top of page
Moon Over Miami
20th Century-Fox, 1941, Color, 91 minutes, ***½
Released June, 1941

This sparkling 1941 musical tour of Miami's glamorous social set stars Betty Grable, Carole Landis, Don Ameche, Robert Cummings and Charlotte Greenwood.

Weary of their waitress jobs at a Texas drive-in, Kay and Barbara Latimer (Grable and Landis) gamble every cent they've got on an elaborate plot to land at least one rich husband. With Kay posing as a wealthy heiress, Barbara as her secretary and Aunt Susan (Greenwood) as their maid, they head for Miami in search of millionaires. It almost works: Although wealthy playboy Jeff Bolton (Robert Cummings) falls for the gorgeous Kay, she winds up losing her heart to Phil O'Neil (Don Ameche), who hasn't got a dime. And the complications continue from there in this enjoyable romp filled with love songs under the palms and lively nightclub extravaganzas. [from back of DVD case]

The Betty Grable Collection Vol. 1 DVD box set (shown right) contains this film and My Blue Heaven, The Dolly Sisters, and Down Argentine Way

Produced by: Harry Joe Brown
Directed by: Walter Lang
Screen Play by: Vincent Lawrence and Brown Holmes
Adaptation by: George Seaton and Lynn Starling
From a Play by Stephen Powys ("Three Blind Mice")
Lyrics and Music by: Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger
Dances Staged by: Hermes Pan
Musical Direction: Alfred Newman
Art Direction: Richard Day, Wiard B. Ihnen
Set Decorations: Thomas Little
Costumes: Travis Banton
Sound: Arthur von Kirbach, Roger Heman
Directors of Photography: Peverell Marley, Leon Shamroy, Allen M. Davey
Photographed in Technicolor
Technicolor Director: Natalie Kalmus
Associate: Morgan Padelford
Film Editor: Walter Thompson

Location Photography: Puddle Jumping at Florida Cypress Gardens, Winterhaven, Florida; Underwater and Diving Bell at Silver Springs, Ocala, Florida; Underwater Scenes at Rainbow Springs, Ocala Florida

Cast: Don Ameche [Phil O'Neil], Betty Grable [Kay Latimer], Robert Cummings [Jeffrey Bolton], Carole Landis [Barbara Latimer], Jack Haley [Jack O'Hara], Charlotte Greenwood [Susan Latimer], Cobina Wright, Jr. [Connie Fentress], Lynne Roberts [Jennie May], Robert Conway [Mr. Lester], George Lessey [William Bolton], Condos Brothers [Themselves, dance specialty], Jack Cole & Co. [Themselves, dance troupe], Robert Greig [Brearley], Minor Watson [Reynolds], Fortunio Bonanova [Mr. Pretto], George Humbert [Drivein Proprietor], Spencer Charters [Postman], Additional Cast: Larry McGrath [Bartender], Mel Ruick [Band Leader], Leyland Hodgson [Victor, the Waiter], Hermes Pan [Dancer]

Musical Program: [0:00] Moon over Miami (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:01] What Can I Do for You? (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Carole Landis as singing waitresses); [0:06] Oh Me, Oh Mi-Ami (sung by Chorus behind montage of scenes of Miami); [0:09] Oh Me, Oh Mi-Ami (sung by Betty Grable, Carole Landis and Charlotte Greenwood); [0:20] You Started Something (sung by Robert Cummings and Betty Grable, danced by the Condos Brothers and Betty Grable); [0:28] You Started Something (sung by Don Ameche while dancing with Betty Grable); [0:30] I've Got You All to Myself (sung by Don Ameche); [0:40] Is That Good? (sung and danced by Jack Haley and Charlotte Greenwood); [0:46] Loveliness and Love (sung by Don Ameche, Betty Grable and Chorus); [0:56] The Kindergarten Conga (sung by Betty Grable and Chorus; danced by Hermes Pan, Betty Grable and Chorus); [1:20] Seminole Legend (Solitary Seminole) (sung by Chorus, danced by Jack Cole & Co., the Condos Brothers and Ensemble); [1:30] You Started Something (sung by Betty Grable, Don Ameche, Carole Landis, Robert Cummings, Charlotte Greenwood and Jack Haley); [1:30] Oh Me, Oh Mi-Ami (sung by Chorus behind end credits)




Mother Wore Tights top of page
Mother Wore Tights
20th Century-Fox, 1947, Color, 107 minutes, ***½
Released September, 1947

One of pinup girl Betty Grable's most popular films, as well as her personal favorite, this box-office hit is packed with nostalgic moments and memorable song-and-dance numbers.

Celebrating the life and times of the vaudeville circuit, this affectionate, nostalgic tale traces the love affair of a beautiful dancer (Grable) and a comedian (Dan Dailey) who marry and raise a family while continuing to perform on the road. Filled with sketches, charming vignettes and sensational musical interludes, Mother Wore Tights is the first of four films pairing Grable with her favorite co-star, Dan Dailey. Alfred Newman's Oscar-winning musical score provides the perfect tone for this "beguiling and enchanting" (The Hollywood Reporter) family film.  [from back of VHS sleeve]

Produced by: Lamar Trotti
Directed by: Walter Lang
Screen Play by: Lamar Trotti
Based on the Book by Miriam Young
Lyrics and Music by: Mack Gordon and Josef Myrow
Dances Staged by: Seymour Felix and Kenny Williams
Musical Direction: Alfred Newman
Vocal Arrangements: Charles Henderson
Orchestral Arrangements: Gene Rose
Art Direction: Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright
Set Decorations: Thomas Little
Wardrobe Direction: Charles Le Maire
Costumes Designed by: Orry-Kelly
Makeup Artist: Ben Nye
Sound: Eugene Grossman, Roger Heman
Director of Photography: Harry Jackson
Photographed in Technicolor
Technicolor Director: Natalie Kalmus
Associate: Leonard Doss
Film Editor: J. Watson Webb, Jr.

Awards: Academy Award Won Academy Award for Best Score - Musical (Alfred Newman); Academy Award nominations for Best Color Cinematography (Harry Jackson) and Best Song ("You Do")

Cast: Betty Grable [Myrtle McKinley Burt], Dan Dailey [Frank Burt], Mona Freeman [Iris Burt], Connie Marshall [Mikie Burt], Vanessa Brown [Bessie], Robert Arthur [Bob Clarkman], Sara Allgood [Grandmother McKinley], William Frawley [Mr. Schneider], Ruth Nelson [Miss Ridgeway], Anabel Shaw [Alice Flemmerhammer], Michael Dunne (aka Stephen Dunne) [Roy Bivens], George Cleveland [Grandfather McKinley], Veda Ann Borg [Rosemary Olcott], Sig Rumann [Papa], Lee Patrick [Lil], Señor Wences [Specialty], Additional Cast: Maude Eburne [Mrs. Muggins], William Forrest [Mr. Clarkman], Kathleen Lockhart [Mrs. Clarkman], Chick Chandler [Ed], Will Wright [Withers], Frank Orth [Stage Doorman], Harry Cheshire [Minister], Billy M. Greene, David Thursby [Policemen], Tom Stevenson [Hotel Clerk], Ann Gowland [Mikie at Age 3], Joan Gerians [One-Month-Old Baby], Anne Baxter [Narrator], Kenny Williams [Dance Director], Eula Morgan [Opera Singer], Tom Moore [Man], Harry Seymour [Man], Lee MacGregor [Boy], Stephen Kirchner [Myrtle's Dancing Partner], Alvin Hammer [Clarence], Brad Slaven, Ted Jordan [Sailors], George Davis [Waiter], Karolyn Grimes [Iris at Age 6], Lotte Stein [Mama], Antonio Filauri [Papa Capucci], Imogene Lynn [singing voice for Mona Freeman]

Musical Program: [0:00] Main Title (Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Der-E played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:02] M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word That Means the World to Me) (short excerpt sung by Chorus); [0:02] Daddy, You've Been a Mother to Me (short excerpt sung by Chorus); [0:03] Burlington Bertie from Bow (excerpt sung and danced by Dan Dailey); [0:04] Medley (instrumental, played by Orchestra, danced by Betty Grable and Chorus); [0:09] You Do (sung and danced by Dan Dailey and Chorus Girls with Betty Grable as a Chorus Girl); [0:16] Burlington Bertie from Bow (sung and danced by Betty Grable); [0:27] Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey (sung in background by Chorus Girls); [0:31] This Is My Favorite City (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [0:39] You Do (sung by Betty Grable with Mens Chorus); [0:42] We're a Couple of Broadway Brothers (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [0:43] Kokomo, Indiana (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [0:53] The Mountain (performed by Señor Wences); [0:57] Silent Night (sung by Imogene Lynn dubbing for Mona Freeman); [1:03] Tra-La-La-La (sung by Betty Grable, Dan Dailey and Connie Marshall); [1:13] Lily of the Valley (sung by Betty Grable, Dan Dailey, Imogene Lynn dubbing for Mona Freeman, Connie Marshall and Hotel Guests); [1:22] Swingin' Down the Lane (sung by Imogene Lynn dubbing for Mona Freeman, Robert Arthur and Chorus); [1:23] Stumbling (sung by Imogene Lynn dubbing for Mona Freeman, then by Lee Patrick and Chick Chandler); [1:32] There's Nothing Like a Song (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [1:35] Kokomo, Indiana (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [1:37] (Rolling Down Bowling Green) On a Little Two-Seat Tandem (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [1:39] Fare-Thee-Well, Dear Alma Mater (sung by Girls Chorus); [1:42] You Do (sung by Imogene Lynn dubbing for Mona Freeman and Girls Chorus)




Mr. Imperium top of page
Mr. Imperium
MGM, 1951, Color, 87 minutes, **½
Released March, 1951

Lush romantic tale starring Ezio Pinza as a charismatic prince who falls for aspiring nightclub singer Lana Turner. When Pinza becomes king of his country, their love is lost... until he meets her years later after she has become a Hollywood star. Marjorie Main, Debbie Reynolds and Sir Cedric Hardwicke also star. Songs by Harold Arlen and Dorothy Fields.

One of Debbie Reynolds' earlier appearances on screen. She doesn't sing or dance, but Ezio Pinza does. Also features Marjorie Main and Lana Turner.

This is another film that has fallen into public domain. Most prints being sold on home video are black and white, though the movie was filmed in Technicolor. The VHS tape I have has the portion of the credits referring to color photography (etc.) trimmed from the print! Amazing the lengths some companies will go to trying to dupe their customers! Of course, some color films were distributed in black and white in order to save money (especially for second runs), so I don't know if this tape is from a B/W print or not. At any rate, it's worth watching!

Produced by: Edwin H. Knopf
Directed by: Don Hartman
Screen Play by: Edwin H. Knopf and Don Hartman
From the play by Edwin H. Knopf
Musical Direction: Johnny Green
Background Musical Score: Bronislau Kaper
Songs: Music by Harold Arlen, Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
Associate: Richard A. Pefferle
Costumes Designed by: Walter Plunkett
Hair Styles Designed by: Sydney Guilaroff
Miss Turner's Hairstyles by Larry Germain
Make-Up Created by: William Tuttle
Recording Supervisor: Douglas Shearer
Director of Photography: George J. Folsey
Special Effects: Warren Newcombe
Film Editors: George White and William Gulick

Cast: Lana Turner [Fredda Barlo], Ezio Pinza [Mr. Imperium], Marjorie Main [Mrs. Cabot], Barry Sullivan [Paul Hunter], Cedric Hardwicke [Prime Minister Bernand], Keenan Wynn [Motor Cop], Debbie Reynolds [Gwen], Ann Codee [Anna Pelan], Wilton Graff [Andrew Bolton], Giacomo Spadoni [Giovanni], Chick Chandler [George Hoskins], Joseph Vitale [Bearded Man], Mae Clarke [Secretary], Don Haggerty [Director], Jimmy Cross [Assistant Director], Tony Marlo [Lackey], Cliff Clark [Restaurant Proprietor], Matt Moore [Gateman], Mitchell Lewis [Old Watchman], Richard Simmons [Air Corps Colonel], Trudy Erwin [singing voice for Lana Turner]

Musical Program: [0:02] My Love and My Mule (Trudy Erwin dubbing for Lana Turner); [0:14] Let Me Look at You (Ezio Pinza); [0:25] Andiamo (Ezio Pinza and Trudy Erwin dubbing for Lana Turner); [1:03] You Belong to My Heart (Ezio Pinza, Trudy Erwin dubbing for Lana Turner, and the Guadalajara Trio)




Mr. Music top of page
Mr. Music
Paramount, 1950, B/W, 113 minutes, ***
Released December, 1950

Frothy musical comedy fun with Bing Crosby as a semi-retired songwriter who is lured back to help an on-the-skids Broadway producer stage a comeback show. Nancy Olson, Charles Coburn and Tom Ewell co-star, with special appearances by Groucho Marx, Peggy Lee, and Marge and Gower Champion. Songs include "Life Is So Peculiar," "High on the List." Fun movie!

Produced by: Robert L. Welch
Directed by: Richard Haydn
Suggested by a Play by Samson Raphaelson ("Accent on Youth")
Written for the Screen by: Arthur Sheekman
Music Direction: Joseph J. Lilley
Music Associate: Troy Sanders
Special Orchestral Arrangements: Van Cleave
New Songs: Lyrics by Johnny Burke, Music by James Van Heusen
Dances Staged by: Gower Champion
Art Direction: Hans Dreier and Earl Hedrick
Set Decoration: Sam Comer and Ray Moyer
Gowns: Edith Head
Makeup Supervision: Wally Westmore
Sound Recording by: Harry Lindgren and John Cope
Director of Photography: George Barnes
Process Photography: Farciot Edouart
Editorial Supervision: Doane Harrison
Edited by: Everett Douglas

Cast: Bing Crosby [Paul Merrick], Nancy Olson [Katherine Holbrook], Charles Coburn [Alex Conway], Robert Stack [Jefferson Blake], Tom Ewell [Haggerty], Ruth Hussey [Lorna Marvis], Ida Moore [Aunt Amy], Charles Kemper [Danforth], Donald Woods [Tippy Carpenter], Gower Champion [Himself], Marge Champion [Herself], Groucho Marx [Himself], Peggy Lee [Herself], Dorothy Kirsten [Herself], The Merry Macs [Themselves], Bess Flowers [Party Guest]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture Medley (sung by Bing Crosby and Chorus, played by Orchestra); [0:04] Once More the Blue and White (school fight song - just a few bars sung by Chorus); [0:07] (If I Linger With) Milady (sung by unidentified baritone and Chorus); [0:11] And You'll Be Home (sung by Bing Crosby and Chorus); [0:21] High on the List (sung by Bing Crosby); [0:43] Wouldn't It Be Funny (sung by Bing Crosby); [0:49] I'll Never Let My Heart Get Out of Hand (Bing Crosby on tape recorder); [1:00] Accidents Will Happen (excerpt sung by Bing Crosby); [1:03] Wasn't I There? (excerpt sung by Bing Crosby); [1:05] Life Is So Peculiar (sung by Peggy Lee and Bing Crosby, danced by Marge and Gower Champion); [1:18] Accidents Will Happen (excerpt sung by Bing Crosby); [1:37] Mr. Music (excerpt sung by Chorus); [1:39] Life Is So Peculiar (sung by The Merry Macs; then sung and danced by Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx); [1:44] Accidents Will Happen (sung by Bing Crosby and Dorothy Kirsten)




Muscle Beach Party top of page
Muscle Beach Party
Alta Vista / American International Pictures, 1964, Color, 94 minutes, **½
Released March, 1964

Surf's up! Frankie and Annette sure have their hands full in this one, what with gym owner Don Rickles and his musclemen trying to take over the beach, lovesick heiress Luciana Paluzzi trying to snare Frankie, and Little Stevie Wonder stopping by to perform "Happy Street." With Morey Amsterdam, Buddy Hackett.

OK, it may not be one of the best movies around, but it's fun and entertaining. How often do you get to see Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, Morey Amsterdam and Peter Lorre in the same movie? Not to mention Little Stevie Wonder in his first feature film appearance. Even the muscle men are funny. Light fare, but entertaining. Rated G.

See also: Ski Party

Produced by: James H. Nicholson and Robert Dillon
Executive Producer: Samuel Z. Arkoff
Production Supervisor: Joe Wonder
Directed by: William Asher
Assistant Director: Clark Paylow
Screenplay by: Robert Dillon
Story by: Robert Dillon and William Asher
Music by: Les Baxter
Songs: "Muscle Beach Party," "Runnin' Wild," "Muscle Bustle," "My First Love," "Surfin' Woodie," "Surfer's Holiday" by Roger Christian, Gary Usher, Brian Wilson
Songs: "Happy Street," "A Girl Needs a Boy" by Guy Hemric, Jerry Styner
Muscle Mao Mao Dance Sequence Choreographed by John Monte, National Dance Director, Fred Astaire Studios
Music Coordinator: Al Simms
Art Director: Lucius Croxton
Set Decorator: Harry Reif
Costumes by: Marjorie Corso
Swim Suits: Rose Marie Reid
Makeup: Ted Coodley
Hairdresser: Betty Pedretti
Sound: Don Rush
Photographed by: Harold Wellman
Special Effects: Pat Dinga
Filmed in Panavision, Pathecolor
Film Editors: Eve Newman, Fred Feitshans

Cast: Frankie Avalon [Frankie], Annette Funicello [Dee Dee], Luciana Paluzzi [Julie], John Ashley [Johnny], Don Rickles [Jack Fanny], Peter Turgeon [Theodore], Jody McCrea [Deadhead], Dick Dale and The Del Tones [Themselves], Candy Johnson [Candy], Rock Stevens [Flex Martian], Valora Noland [Animal], Dolores Wells [Sniffles], Donna Loren [Donna], Bob Seven, Larry Scott, Steve Merjanian, Chester Yorton, Dan Haggerty, Gene Shuey, Gordon Case [Muscle Men], Alberta Nelson, Amedee Chabot [Muscle Girls], Duane Ament, Gary Usher, Guy Hemric, Roger Christian [Beach Boys], Luree Holmes, Laura Lynn, Lorie Summers, Darlene Lucht, Maureen O'Connor [Beach Girls], Mike Diffenderfer, Mike Nader, Ed Garner, Charles Hasley, Mickey Dora, John Fain, Bill Graham, Larry Shaw, Duane King, Butch Van Artsdalen [Surfer Boys], Linda Opie, Salli Sachse, Patricia Rane, Kathy Kessler, Mary Hughes, Linda Benson [Surfer Girls], Morey Amsterdam [Cappy], Little Stevie Wonder [Himself], Buddy Hackett [The Rich Business Manager], Peter Lorre [Mr. Strangdour]

Musical Program: [0:00] unidentified instrumental (comical music played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:02] Surfer's Holiday (sung by Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello with Dick Dale and The Del Tones); [0:36] A Girl Needs a Boy (sung by Annette Funicello); [0:41] A Girl Needs a Boy (sung by Frankie Avalon); [0:52] My First Love (sung and played by Dick Dale and The Del Tones); [0:54] Muscle Beach Party (sung and played by Dick Dale and The Del Tones); [0:56] unidentified instrumental (danced by Candy Johnson); [0:59] Runnin' Wild (sung by Frankie Avalon with Dick Dale and The Del Tones); [1:07] Muscle Bustle (sung by Donna Loren with Dick Dale and The Del Tones, danced by the surfer kids); [1:10] Surfin' Woodie (short excerpt sung by the Beach Kids); [1:16] Happy Street (sung by Little Stevie Wonder with Dick Dale and The Del Tones); [1:29] Runnin' Wild (reprised by Surfer Kids with Dick Dale and The Del Tones); [1:30] A Girl Needs a Boy (reprised by Annette Funicello); [1:31] Muscle Bustle (reprised by Donna Loren with Dick Dale and The Del Tones, danced by the surfer kids); [1:32] Happy Street (sung by Little Stevie Wonder, danced by Stevie and Candy Johnson behind end credits)




Music for Millions top of page
Music for Millions
MGM, 1945, B/W, 115 minutes, ***½
Released February, 1945

Barbara "Babs" Ainsworth (June Allyson) is a string bass player in the (fictitious) Manhattan Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Jose Iturbi). She lives at Mrs. McGuff's boarding house with several other girls who are also members of the Orchestra, including Rosalind (Marsha Hunt, harp player) and Marie (Marie Wilson, clarinet player). Their good supporting friend Andy Andrews (Jimmy Durante) plays cymbals in the orchestra and is also Iturbi's assistant manager.

Babs is pregnant, and her husband Joe is off at war in the Pacific. Her little sister Mike (Margaret O'Brien) comes to live with her, and Babs is thrilled but completely surprised. A letter from Aunt Kate explaining it all arrives days after Mike arrives. Apparently Aunt Kate has gone to work in a "war" plant and can no longer care for Mike.

Babs is worried about Joe - no letters have come for four months. A telegram for Babs from the War Department arrives at the boarding house, but is intercepted by Rosalind. After conferring with the other girls, it is decided that they will hide the telegram from Babs until after the baby is born. Babs is simply too fragile in her current condition to take any bad news. As time goes by, Babs becomes more and more despondent and begins to suspect the worst. In hopes of cheering her up a little, Marie commissions Uncle Bish to forge a letter from Joe explaining that he has been lost on an island for months.

Some time later, Babs receives a letter from Joe explaining that he has been lost on an island for several months. Babs is very happy, the girls are pleased with Bish's effort and all is well in the world. Then Marie learns from Bish that he never wrote that letter...

Really wonderful film from - and about - the war era. Margaret O'Brien is brilliant, as always, and the cast is outstanding. This is the year Margaret won her Best Juvenile Performer Academy Award.

Produced by: Joe Pasternak
Directed by: Henry Koster
Original Screen Play by: Myles Connolly
Musical Adaptation and Direction: Georgie Stoll
Orchestration: Joseph Nussbaum, Ted Duncan, Calvin Jackson
Incedental Music: Michel Michelet
José Iturbi Conducting and Playing the music of Dvorak, Grieg, Herbert, Debussy, Tschhaikovsky, Liszt, Handel and Chopin
Choreography: Jack Donohue
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
Associate: Helen Conway
Costume Supervision: Irene
Associate:Kay Dean
Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
Director of Photography: Robert Surtees
Film Editor: Douglass Biggs

Awards: Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay

Cast: Margaret O'Brien ["Mike"], Jose Iturbi [Andy Andrews], June Allyson [Barbara Ainsworth], Jimmy Durante [Andrews], Marsha Hunt [Rosalind], Hugh Herbert [Uncle Ferdinand ("Bish")], Harry Davenport [Doctor], Marie Wilson [Marie], Larry Adler [Larry], Ben Lessey [Kickebush], Connie Gilchrist [Travelers Aid Woman], Katharine Balfour [Elsa], Helen Gilbert [Helen], Mary Parker [Anita], Madeleine LeBeau [Jane], Ethel Griffies [Mrs. McGuff, the Landlady], Eddie Jackson [Singer], Jack Roth [Drummer], Additional Cast: Lillian Yarbro [Jessie, Mrs. McGuff's maid], Willie Best [Red Cap], Sam McDaniel [George, Pullman Porter], Robert Dudley [Refferty, Postman], Byron Foulger [Mr. Perkins], Nestor Paiva [Willie, Bartender]

Musical Program: [0:00] Main title (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:07] Fourth Movement of Symphony No. 5 in E Minor ("New Workd Symphony") [Dvorak] (played by Orchestra directed by Jose Iturbi); [0:33] Jam Session [Jackson] (played by the Orchestra while waiting for Jose Iturbi); [0:34] Toscanini, Iturbi and Me (sung by Jimmy Durante at the Piano); [0:37] Excerpt from Piano Concerto in A [Grieg] (played by Orchestra with Jose Iturbi at the piano); [0:54] Clair de Lune [Debussy] played on harmonica by Larry Adler accompanied by small band at restaurant; [1:02] March of the Toys [Herbert] (played by Orchestra conducted by Jose Iturbi); [1:10] Umbriago (hilarious performance by Jimmy Durante, dance band and joined by audience); [1:16] At Sundown (sung by Marsha Hunt accompanied by some of the Orchestra members on bus); [1:24] Waltz in E Minor [Chopin] (played by Jose Iturbi at the piano); [1:26] classical medley (played by Orchestra behind travel montage); [1:53] Hallelujah Chorus from "The Messiah" (sung by Choir and played by Orchestra conducted by Jose Iturbi)

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Music in My Heart top of page
Music in My Heart
Columbia, 1940, B/W, 69 minutes, ***
Released January, 1940

Tony Martin and Rita Hayworth meet in a taxi wreck. They are both singers, though Martin is about to be deported, and Rita is engaged to be married. But they hook up and do some musical gigs together and, of course, fall in love.

Produced by: Irving Starr
Directed by: Joseph Santley
Original Story and Screen Play by: James Edward Grant
(based on his story "Passport to Happiness")
Musical Director: M. W. Stoloff
Musical Numbers by: Robert Wright and Chet Forrest: "No Other Love," "Punchinello," "Oh What a Lovely Dream," "Music in My Heart," "It's a Blue World"
"No Taboleior da Bahiana" ("No Tabuleiro Da Bahiana") by Barroso
Vocal Arrangements: Charles Henderson
Art Direction: Lionel Banks
Gowns by: Kalloch
Sound: George Cooper
Director of Photography: John Stumar
Film Editor: Otto Meyer

Awards: Academy Award nomination Best Song ("It's a Blue World")

Cast: Tony Martin [Robert Gregory], Rita Hayworth [Patricia O'Malley], Edith Fellows [Mary O'Malley], Alan Mowbray [Charles Gardner], Eric Blore [Griggs, the Butler], George Tobias [Sascha], Joseph Crehan [Mark C. Gilman], George Humbert [Luigi], Joey Ray [Miller], Don Brodie [Taxi Driver], Julieta Novis [Leading Lady], Eddie Kane [Blake], Phil Tead [Marshall], Marten Lamont [Barrett], Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra [Themselves]

Musical Program: [0:03] No Other Love (sung by Tony Martin, Julieta Novis and Chorus in an excerpt of the stage play "The Gay Guardsman"); [0:17] Punchinello (sung by Tony Martin and The Brian Sisters; reprised by Tony Martin and Edith Fellows and danced by Rita Hayworth); [0:36] A Bird in a Gilded Cage (excerpt sung by Tony Martin and Edith Fellows); [0:39] Oh What a Lovely Dream (sung by Tony Martin); [0:45] Punchinello (sung by Tony Martin and Edith Fellows, danced by Rita Hayworth); [0:58] No Taboleior da Bahiana (Samba played by Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra); [1:01] It's a Blue World (sung by Tony Martin with Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra); [1:07] Music in My Heart (sung by Tony Martin with Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra)




Music Is Magic top of page
Music Is Magic
20th Century-Fox, 1935, B/W, 66 minutes
Released November, 1935

This film was made as Fox and 20th Century were merging, so budgets were tight. It's a simple little musical, and it's Alice Faye's shortest film.

Producer: John Stone
Director: George Marshall
Music: Sidney Clare, Oscar Levant, Arthur Johnston and Raul Julien
Choreography: Jack Donohue
Art Direction: Duncan Cramer
Costume Design: Rega
Sound: Bernard Freericks
Cinematography: L.W. O'Connell
Film Editing: Alexander Troffey

Cast: Alice Faye [Peggy Harper], Ray Walker [Jack Lambert], Bebe Daniels [Diane DeValle], Frank Mitchell [Peanuts Harper], Jack Durant [Eddie Harper], Rosina Lawrence [Shirley DeValle], Thomas Beck [Tony Bennett], Andrew Tombes [Producer Ben Pomeroy], Luis Alberni [Senor Castellano], Hattie McDaniel [Amanda], Hal K. Dawson [Jim], Charles Wilson [Theater Manager], Lynn Bari [Theater Cashier], Dorothy Dix [Secretary], Ernie Alexander [Drunk], Si Jenks [Bus Passenger], Arline Judge [Girl at Theater]

Musical Program: Honey Chile (sung by Alice Faye); Love is Smiling at Me (sung by Alice Faye); Music is Magic (sung by Alice Faye); La Locumba (sung by Alice Faye)



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Music Man, The top of page
The Music Man
Warner Bros., 1962, Color, 151 minutes, ****
Released June, 1962
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

Robert Preston is Professor Harold Hill, sly salesman who cons the good folk of 1910s River City, Iowa, into forming a youth band so he can sell them instruments and then skip town... until he falls for lovely librarian Shirley Jones. The hit Meredith Wilson musical includes "76 Trombones," "Trouble," "Till There Was You" and "Shipoopi"; with Hermione Gingold, Paul Ford, Ronny Howard and Buddy Hackett. This restored collector's edition includes a special introduction by Shirley Jones, the documentary "Right Here in River City: The Making of The Music Man," and the original theatrical trailer.

Produced and Directed by: Morton Da Costa
Screenplay: Marion Hargrove
(based on the stage musical by Meredith Willson and Franklyn Lacey)
Music Director: Ray Heindorf
Musical Score: Meredith Willson
Song Score: Meredith Willson
Choreography: Tom Panko and Onna White
Art Direction: Paul Groesse
Set Decoration: George James Hopkins
Costume Design: Dorothy Jeakins
Sound: M. A. Merrick, Dolph Thomas
Director of Photography: Robert Burks
Film Editing: William Ziegler

Awards: Academy Award for Best Adapted Score; Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (Color), Best Costume Design and Best Sound

Cast: Robert Preston [Harold Hill], Shirley Jones [Marian Paroo], Buddy Hackett [Marcellus Washburn], Hermione Gingold [Eulalie MacKechnie Shinn], Paul Ford [Mayor Shinn], The Buffalo Bills [Themselves], Pert Kelton [Mrs. Paroo], Timmy Everett [Tommy Djilas], Susan Luckey [Zaneeta Shinn], Ron Howard [Winthrop Paroo], Harry Hickox [Charlie Cowell], Charles Lane [Constable Locke], Mary Wickes [Mrs. Squires], Monique Vermont [Amaryllis], Ronnie Dapo [Norbert Smith], Jesslyn Fax [Avis Grubb], Patty Lee Hilka [Gracie Shinn], Garry Potter [Dewey], Delos Jewkes [Harley MacCauley], Ray Kellogg [Harry Joseph], William Fawcett [Lester Lonnergan], Rance Howard [Oscar Jackson], Roy Dean [Gilbert Hawthorne], David Swain [Chet Glanville], Arthur Mills [Herbert Malthouse], Rand Barker [Duncan Shyball], Jeannine Burnier [Jessie Shyball], Shirley Claire [Amy Dakin], Natalie Core [Truthful Smith], Therese Lyon [Dolly Higgins], Penelope Martin [Lila O'Brink], Barbara Pepper [Feril Hawkes], Anne Loos [Stella Jackson], Peggy Wynne [Ada Nutting], Hank Worden [Undertaker], Milton Parsons [Farmer], Natalie Masters [Farmer's Wife], Peggy Mondo, Sarah Seegar, Adnia Rice [Townswomen], Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter), Charles Percheskly [Salesmen], Percy Helton [Conductor]

Musical Program: [0:00] Main Title (Orchestra); [0:03] Rock Island (performed by the Traveling Salesmen Ensemble); [0:09] Iowa Stubborn (sung by Ensemble); [0:17] Ya Got Trouble (Robert Preston and Ensemble); [0:22] Piano Lesson / If You Don't Mind My Saying So (Shirley Jones and Pert Kelton); [0:27] Goodnight My Someone (Shirley Jones joined by Monique Vermont); [0:31] Columbia the Gem of the Ocean (excerpt sung by Hermione Gingold and Ensemble at the Fourth of July Exercises); [0:36] Ya Got Trouble / Seventy-Six Trombones (performed by Robert Preston and Ensemble); [0:48] Sincere (sung by The Buffalo Bills); [0:55] Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little (performed by Hermione Gingold and The Biddys) / Good Night Ladies (sung by the Buffalo Bills in counterpoint to "Pick-A-Little"); [0:59] The Sadder But Wiser Girl (sung by Robert Preston with Buddy Hackett); [1:02] Marian The Librarian (sung by Robert Preston, danced by Preston and library Ensemble); [1:13] Gary, Indiana (sung by Robert Preston, danced by Preston and Pert Kelton); [1:18] Being in Love (sung by Shirley Jones with Pert Kelton); [1:23] The Wells Fargo Wagon (sung by Ensemble with solo part by Ron Howard); [1:38] Lida Rose (sung by The Buffalo Bills) / Will I Ever Tell You (sung by Shirley Jones); [1:43] Gary, Indiana (reprised by Ron Howard with Shirley Jones and Pert Kelton); [1:47] Carmen Sequence (performed by Shirley Jones and Harry Hickox); [1:49] Lida Rose (reprised by The Buffalo Bills); [1:57] Shipoopi (production number sung and danced by Buddy Hackett and Company); [2:06] Till There Was You (sung by Shirley Jones); [2:15] Goodnight My Someone / Seventy-Six Trombones (sung by Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in counterpoint); [2:20] Till There Was You (reprised by Robert Preston); [2:26] Seventy-Six Trombones (played, sung and marched by Company)




My Blue Heaven top of page
My Blue Heaven
20th Century-Fox, 1950, Color, 96 minutes, ***
Released September, 1950

Radio star Kitty Moran, long married to partner Jack, finds she's pregnant, but miscarries. For a change, the couple turn their act into a series on early TV and try to adopt a baby, finally acquiring a girl in a somewhat back alley manner. Complications follow amid a series of musical numbers much too good for TV!

The Betty Grable Collection Vol. 1 DVD box set (shown right) contains this film and The Dolly Sisters, Moon Over Miami, and Down Argentine Way

Produced by: Sol C. Siegel
Directed by: Henry Koster
Screen Play by: Lamar Trotti and Claude Binyon
Based on a Story by: S. K. Lauren ("Stork Don't Bring Babies")
Music by: Harold Arlen
Lyrics by: Ralph Blane
Song: "My Blue Heaven" by Walter Donaldson and George Whiting
Musical Direction: Alfred Newman
Vocal Direction: Ken Darby
Orchestration: Herbert Spencer, Earle Hagen
Dances Staged by: Billy Daniel
"Friendly Island" Number by Seymour Felix
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Joseph C. Wright
Set Decorations: Thomas Little, Paul S. Fox
Wardrobe Direction: Charles Le Maire
Makeup Artist: Ben Nye
Sound: Arthur L. Kirbach, Harry M. Leonard
Director of Photography: Arthur E. Arling
Color by Technicolor
Technicolor Color Consultant: Richard Mueller
Film Editor: James B. Clark

Cast: Betty Grable [Kitty Moran], Dan Dailey [Jack Moran], David Wayne [Walter Pringle], Jane Wyatt [Janet Pringle], Mitzi Gaynor [Gloria Adams], Una Merkel [Miss Irma Gilbert], Don Hicks [Young man], Louise Beavers [Selma], Laura Pierpont [Mrs. Johnston], Bill Baldwin [Announcer], John Hedloe [Announcer], Billy Daniel [Dance Director], Elinor Donahue [Bratty Autograph Seeker], Bess Flowers [Party Guest], Irving Fulton [Specialty], Barbara Pepper [Susan, Waitress]

Musical Program: [0:00] My Blue Heaven (sung behind credits by Betty Grable, Dan Dailey, and Chorus; also used as their program theme song); [0:05] It's Deductible (sung by Betty Grable, Dan Dailey, and party guests); [0:11] What a Man (sung by David Wayne, Dan Dailey and party guests); [0:23] Halloween (sung and danced by Betty Grable, Dan Dailey and David Wayne); [0:33] Cosmo Cosmetics (TV commercial sung and danced by Mitzi Gaynor); [0:35] I Love a New Yorker (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [0:50] My Blue Heaven (instrumental arrangement with some choral vocals danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey on TV); [1:02] Live Hard, Work Hard, Love Hard (sung and danced by Dan Dailey, Mitzi Gaynor and Chorus on TV; sung and danced by Betty Grable at home); [1:18] Cosmo Cosmetics (TV commercial sung and danced by Mitzi Gaynor introducing the following number); [1:19] The Friendly Islands (production number sung and danced by Betty Grable, Dan Dailey, and Chorus); [1:30] Don't Rock the Boat, Dear (sung and danced by Betty Grable and Dan Dailey); [1:35] My Blue Heaven (reprised by Chorus at end of film)




My Dream Is Yours top of page
My Dream Is Yours
Warner Bros., 1949, Color, 101 minutes
Released April, 1949

Breezy musical comedy starring Doris Day as a young singer who wants to be a radio star and Jack Carson as a talent scout who wants to help her make it in the business. There's supporting turns by Adolphe Menjou, Eve Arden and Franklin Pangborn; a dream sequence boasting Bugs Bunny and Tweety Pie; and songs including, "My Dream Is Yours" and "Some Like You."

The Doris Day Collection, Vol. 2 DVD Box Set includes this movie, Romance on the High Seas, On Moonlight Bay, I'll See You in My Dreams, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, and Lucky Me.

Produced and Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Screenplay: Allen Rivkin, Laura Kerr, Dane Lussier and Harry Kurnitz
(based on the story "Hot Air" by Jerry Wald and Paul Moss)
Music Director: Ray Heindorf
Musical Score: Harry Warren
Song Score: Ralph Blane and Harry Warren (and others)
Choreography: LeRoy Prinz
Art Direction: Robert Haas
Set Decoration: Howard Winterbottom
Costume Design: Milo Anderson
Sound: David Forrest, C.A. Riggs
Special Effects: Edwin DuPar
Cinematography: Wilfred M. Cline, Ernest Haller
Film Editing: Folmar Blangsted

Cast: Jack Carson [Doug Blake], Doris Day [Martha Gibson], Lee Bowman [Gary Mitchell], Adolphe Menjou [Thomas Hutchins], Eve Arden [Vivian Martin], S.Z. Sakall [Felix Hofer], Selena Royle [Freda Hofer], Edgar Kennedy [Uncle Charlie], Sheldon Leonard [Grimes], Franklin Pangborn [Sourpuss Manager], John Berkes [Character Actor], Ada Leonard [Herself], Frankie Carle [Himself], Ross Wesson [Hilliard], Sandra Gould [Mildred], Iris Adrian [Peggy], Jan Kayne [Polly], Robert Carson [Jeff], Lennie Bremen [Louis], Marion Martin [Blonde], Frank Scannell [Car Salesman], Chili Williams [Fan Club President], Art Gilmore [Radio Announcer], Kenneth Britton [Richards, the Butler], James Flavin [Waiter], Rudy Friml [Orchestra Leader], Duncan Richardson [Freddie Manners], Jack Kenney [Cab Driver], Paul Maxey [Bald Man], Belle Daube [Elderly Actress], Louise Saraydar [Actress], Patricia Northrup [Gary Mitchell Fan], Don Brodie [Engineer], Tristram Coffin [Head Waiter], Edward Colmans [Radio Voice], Chester Clute, George Neise, Joan Vohs, Maynard Holmes, Eve Whitney [Party Guests], Hal Derwin [singing voice for Lee Bowman]

Musical Program: [0:02] Love Finds a Way (sung by Hal Derwin dubbing for Lee Bowman and Girls Chorus); [0:13] Canadian Capers (sung by Doris Day); [0:19] With Plenty of Money and You (sung by Doris Day); [0:24] My Dream Is Yours (sung by Hal Derwin dubbing for Lee Bowman); [0:27] Tic, Tic, Tic (sung by Doris Day); [0:37] Canadian Capers (short excerpt sung by Doris Day); [0:42] You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby (sung by Doris Day); [0:47] Nagasaki (sung by Doris Day, danced by Day and Chorus Girls); [0:53] I'll String Along with You (sung by Doris Day); [1:02] Someone Like You (sung by Doris Day); [1:13] My Dream Is Yours (sung by Doris Day); [1:18] Nearer to Heaven (?) / My Dream Is Yours (short medley sung by Doris Day in montage); [1:23] Freddie, Get Ready (sung by Doris Day, Jack Carson and Bugs Bunny); [1:34] My Dream Is Yours (sung by Hal Derwin dubbing for Lee Bowman and Doris Day); [1:39] Someone Like You (sung by Doris Day and Male Quartet)




My Fair Lady top of page
My Fair Lady
Warner Bros., 1964, Color, 170 minutes, ****
Premiere release October, 1964
General release December, 1964
Class Act
Class Act Must-See!
Must See!

This is one of the big ones. Ranks right up there with "The Sound of Music" in terms of popularity. One of the very best of all the movies!

A very popular classic musical featuring unforgettable music by Lerner and Loewe. Audrey Hepburn is Liza Doolittle, a common flower girl in London. Rex Harrison is a phonics professor who claims he can take this common flower girl and transform her into a refined lady convincing enough to attend an embassy ball. It's mainly her accent, he claims, that determines her social standing. He does, indeed, transform her, but not without many trials and tribulations along the way. And not without falling in love with her.

A beautifully staged film, wonderful costumes, perfect performances from the entire cast. Stanley Holloway reprises his role from the stage production. Musical highlights are numerous, including "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live," "Get Me to the Church On Time," and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face." The "Ascot Gavotte" scene is one of the funniest scenes in any musical comedy, and is absolutely flawlessly executed by the wonderful Audrey Hepburn!

Produced by: Jack L. Warner
Directed by: George Cukor
Assistant Director: David Hall
Screenplay by: Alan Jay Lerner
Based upon the musical play as produced on the stage by Herman Levin, Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe
From a play by Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion)
Music Supervised and Conducted by: Andre Previn
Musical Score: Frederick Loewe
Lyrics by: Alan Jay Lerner
Music by: Frederick Loewe
Additional Music [for movie] by: Frederick Loewe
Vocal Arrangements by: Robert Tucker
Orchestrations by: Alexander Courage, Robert Franklyn, Al Woodbury
Choreography by: Hermes Pan
Costumes, Scenery and Production Designed by: Cecil Beaton
Art Director: Gene Allen
Set Decorator: George James Hopkins
Costume Design: Cecil Beaton
Makeup Supervisor: Gordon Bau
Supervising Hair Stylist: Jean Burt Reilly
Sound by: Francis J. Scheid, Murray Spivack
Director of Photography: Harry Stradling
Filmed in Technicolor, Super Panavision 70
Film Editor: William Ziegler

Academy Awards: Winner of 8 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Rex Harrison), Best Art Direction / Set Decoration, Color (Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton, George James Hopkins), Best Cinematography - Color (Harry Stradling), Best Costume Design, Color (Cecil Beaton), Best Director (Cukor), Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment (André Previn), Best Sound (George Groves), Nominated for: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Stanley Holloway), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Gladys Cooper), Best Film Editing (William H. Ziegler), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Alan Jay Lerner)

Cast: Audrey Hepburn [Eliza Doolittle], Rex Harrison [Professor Henry Higgins], Stanley Holloway [Alfred P. Doolittle], Wilfrid Hyde-White [Colonel Hugh Pickering], Gladys Cooper [Mrs. Higgins], Jeremy Brett [Freddy Eynsford-Hill], Theodore Bikel [Zoltan Karpathy], Mona Washbourne [Mrs. Pearce], Isobel Elsom [Mrs. Eynsford-Hill], John Alderson [Jamie], John McLiam [Harry], Ben Wrigley, Clive Halliday, Richard Peel, Eric Heath, James O'Hara [Costermongers], Kendrick Huxham, Frank Baker [Elegant Bystanders], Britannia Beatey [Daughter of Elegant Bystander], Walter Burke [Main Bystander], Queenie Leonard [Cockney Bystander], Laurie Main [Hoxton Man], Maurice Dallimore [Selsey Man], Owen McGiveney [Man at Coffee Stand], Marjorie Bennett [Cockney with Pipe], Beatrice Greenough [Grand Lady], Hilda Plowright [Bystander], Dinah Anne Rogers, Lois Battle [Maids], Jacqueline Squire [Parlor Maid], Gwendolyn Watts [Cook], Eugene Hoffman, Kai Farrelli [Jugglers], Raymond Foster, Joe Evans, Marie Busch, Mary Alexander, William Linkie, Henry Sweetman, Andrew Brown, Samuel Holmes, Thomas Dick, William Taylor, James Wood, Goldie Kleban, Elizabeth Aimers, Joy Tierney, Lenore Miller, Donna Day, Corinne Ross, David Robel [Cockneys], Iris Bristol, Alma Lawton [Flower Girls], Gigi Michel, Sandy Steffens, Sandy Edmundson, Marlene Marrow, Carol Merrill, Sue Bronson, Lea Genovese [Toffs], Jack Greening [George], Ron Whelan [Algernon the Bartender], John Holland [Butler], Roy Dean [Footman], Charles Fredericks [King], Lillian Kemble-Cooper [Lady Ambassador], Barbara Pepper [Doolittle's Dance Partner], Ayllene Gibbons [Fat Woman at Pub], Baroness Rothschild [Queen of Transylvania], Ben Wright [Footman at Ball], Oscar Beregi, Jr. [Greek Ambassador], Buddy Bryan [Prince], Grady Sutton, Orville Sherman, Harvey Dunn, Barbara Morrison, Natalie Core, Helen Albrecht, Diana Bourbon [Ascot Types], Moyna MacGill [Lady Boxington], Colin Campbell, Marjory Hawtrey, Paulle Clark, Allyson Daniell, Betty Blythe [Ad Libs at Ball], Nick Navarro [Dancer], Tom Cound, William Beckley [Footmen], Alan Napier [Ambassador], Geoffrey Steele [Taxi Driver], Jennifer Crier [Mrs. Higgins' Maid], Henry Daniell [Prince Gregor of Transylvania], Patrick O'Moore [Man], Victor Rogers [Policeman], Michael St. Clair [Bartender], Brendan Dillon [Leaning Man], Olive Reeves-Smith [Mrs. Hopkins], Miriam Schiller [Landlady], Elzada Wilson, Jeanne Carson, Buddy Shea, Jack Goldie, Sid Marion, Stanley Fraser, George Pelling, Colin Kenny, LaWana Backer, Monika Henreid, Anne Dore, Pauline Drake, Shirley Melline, Wendy Russell, Meg Brown, Clyde Howdy, Nick Wolcuff, Martin Eric, John Mitchum [Ad Libs at Church], Phyllis Kennedy [Cockney / Ad Lib at Church], Major Sam Harris [Guest at Ball], Marni Nixon ]Eliza Doolittle's singing voice], Bill Shirley [Freddy Eynsford-Hill's singing voice]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:10] Why Can't the English (performed by Rex Harrison); [0:14] Wouldn't It Be Loverly (sung and danced by Audrey Hepburn and Costermonger Ensemble, Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey Hepburn); [0:40] I'm an Ordinary Man (performed by Rex Harrison); [0:45] With a Little Bit of Luck (sung and danced by Stanley Holloway and Ensemble); [1:00] Just You Wait (sung by Audrey Hepburn and Charles Fredericks, Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey Hepburn); [1:06] Servants' Chorus (Poor Professor Higgins, performed by Servant Ensemble); [1:13] The Rain in Spain (sung by Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn and Wilfrid Hyde-White, Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey Hepburn); [1:17] I Could Have Danced All Night (sung by Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey Hepburn, Mona Washbourne and Ensemble); [1:21] Ascot Gavotte (performed by Ensemble); [1:34] On the Street Where You Live (sung by Bill Shirley dubbing for Jeremy Brett); [1:41] Intermission; [1:52] You Did It (sung by Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Mona Washbourne and Ensemble); [2:05] Just You Wait (reprised by Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey Hepburn); [2:06] On the Street Where You Live (reprised by Bill Shirley dubbing for Jeremy Brett); [2:08] Show Me (sung by Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey Hepburn and Bill Shirley dubbing for Jeremy Brett); [2:11] Wouldn't It Be Loverly (reprised by Marni Nixon and Costermonger Ensemble); [2:17] Get Me to the Church on Time (performed by Stanley Holloway and Ensemble); [2:26] A Hymn to Him (performed by Rex Harrison with Wilfrid Hyde-White); [2:38] Without You (performed by Rex Harrison and Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey Hepburn); [2:42] I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face (performed by Rex Harrison)




This web site is revised daily. Please check back often!



My Favorite Blonde top of page
My Favorite Blonde
Paramount, 1942, B/W, 78 minutes, ***
Released April, 1942

Rip-roaring comic yarn starring Bob Hope as a wise-cracking entertainer who becomes involved with beautiful British agent Madeleine Carroll, who is carrying secret military plans the Nazis are after, and joins her in dodging the bad guys in a cross-country chase. Gale Sondergaard and George Zucco co-star.

Double feature DVD includes Star Spangled Rhythm

Executive Producer: Buddy G. DeSylva
Associate Producer: Paul Jones
Directed by: Sidney Lanfield
Screen Play by: Don Hartman and Frank Butler
Story by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama
Music Score: David Buttolph
Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Robert Usher
Costumes: Edith Head
Makeup Artist: Wally Westmore
Sound Recording: Gene Merritt, Gene Garvin
Director of Photography: William C. Mellor
Process Photography: Farciot Edouart
Edited by: William Shea

Cast: Bob Hope [Larry Haines], Madeleine Carroll [Karen Bentley], Gale Sondergaard [Madame Stephanie Runick], George Zucco [Dr. Hugo Streger], Lionel Royce [Karl], Walter Kingsford [Dr. Faber], Victor Varconi [Miller], Otto Reichow [Lanz], Esther Howard [Mrs. Topley], Edward Gargan [Mulrooney], James Burke [Union Secretary], Charles Cane [Turk O'Flaherty], Crane Whitley [Ulrich], Dooley Wilson [Porter], Milton Parsons [Mortician], Erville Alderson [Sheriff], Tom Fadden [Tom Douglas], Fred Kelsey [Sam], Edgar Dearing [Joe], Leslie Denison [Elvan], Robert Emmett Keane [Burton], Addison Richards [Herbert Wilson], Matthew Boulton [Colonel Ashmont], Bing Crosby [Cameo as Man Outside Union Hall]

Musical Program: [0:49] When Irish Eyes Are Smiling (sung by Bob Hope and passengers on train)




My Favorite Brunette top of page
My Favorite Brunette
Paramount, 1947, B/W, 87 minutes, ***
Released March, 1947

Baby photographer Ronnie Jackson, on death row in San Quentin, tells reporters how he got there: taking care of his private-eye neighbor's office, Ronnie is asked by the irresistible Baroness Montay to find the missing Baron. There follow confusing but sinister doings in a gloomy mansion and a private sanatorium, with every plot twist a parody of thriller cliches. What are the villains really after? Can Ronnie beat a framed murder rap?

NOTE: This is another film that has (apparently) fallen into public domain. There are many DVDs and VHS tapes out there with really bad transfers. I wish I could tell you which one is best, but I have no way of knowing. [JJ]

Produced by: Daniel Dare
Directed by: Elliott Nugent
Assistant Director: Mel Epstein
Original Screen Play by: Edmund Beloin and Jack Rose
Music Score: Robert Emmett Dolan
Song: "Beside You" by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Art Direction: Hans Dreier and Earl Hedrick
Set Decoration: Sam Comer and John MacNeil
Costumes: Edith Head
Makeup Supervision: Wally Westmore
Sound Recording: Harold Lewis and Gene Garvin
Director of Photography: Lionel Lindon
Special Photographic Effects: Gordon Jennings
Process Photography: Farciot Edouart
Edited by: Ellsworth Hoagland

Cast: Bob Hope [Ronnie Jackson], Dorothy Lamour [Carlotta Montay], Peter Lorre [Kismet], Lon Chaney [Willie], John Hoyt [Dr. Lundau], Charles Dingle [Major Simon Montague], Reginald Denny [James Collins], Frank Puglia [Baron Montay], Ann Doran [Miss Rogers], Willard Robertson [Prison Warden], Jack La Rue [Tony], Charles Arnt [Crawford], Additional Cast: Alan Ladd [Sam McCloud], Boyd Davis [Mr. Dawson], Roland Soo Hoo [Baby Fong], Jean Wong [Mrs. Fong], James Flavin [Detective Lt. Mac Hennessey], John Westley [Doctor], Brandon Hurst [Butler], Eddie Johnson [Caddy], James Pierce [Detective], Reginald Simpson [Assistant Hotel Manager], Harland Tucker [Room Clerk], John Tyrrell [Bell Captain], Helena Phillips Evans [Mabel, Cleaning Lady], Jack Chefe [Henri, Head Waiter], Ted Rand [Waiter Captain], Charles Cooley [Waiter], Anthony Caruso [First Man on Death Row], Clarence Muse [Second Man on Death Row], Matt McHugh [Third Man on Death Row], Jack Clifford [Prison Guard Captain], George Lloyd [George, Prison Guard Sergeant], Betty Farrington [Matron], Tom Dillon[Cop], Budd Fine [Detective], Al Hill, Ray Teal [State Troopers], Richard Keene, Garry Owen [Reporters], Joe Recht [Newsboy], Bing Crosby [Harry, Cameo as The Executioner]

Musical Program: [0:16] Beside You (sung by Dorothy Lamour); My Favorite Brunette (not used)




My Little Chickadee top of page
My Little Chickadee
Universal, 1940, B/W, 83 minutes, ***
Premiere release February, 1940
General release March, 1940

Rightly suspected of illicit relations with the Masked Bandit, Flower Belle Lee is run out of Little Bend. On the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie and pretends to marry him for "respectability." Arrived in Greasewood City with his unkissed bride, Twillie is named sheriff by town boss Jeff Badger... with an ulterior motive. Meanwhile, both stars inimitably display their specialties, as Twillie tends bar and plays cards, and Flower Belle tames the town's rowdy schoolboys.

Beautifully restored! Mae West and W. C. Fields at their best.

Produced by: Lester Cowan
Directed by: Edward F. Cline
Assistant Director: Joseph A. McDonough
Original Screen Play: Mae West, W. C. Fields
Musical Director: Charles Previn
Musical Score: Frank Skinner
Song: "Willie of the Valley" by Milton Drake and Ben Oakland
Art Director: Jack Otterson
Associate: Martin Obzina
Set Decorations: R. A. Gausman
Gowns: Vera West
Sound Supervisor: Bernard B. Brown
Technician: Joseph Lapis
Director of Photography: Joseph Valentine
Film Editor: Edward Curtiss

Cast: W. C. Fields [Guthbert J. Twillie], Mae West [Flower Belle Lee], Joseph Calleia [Jeff Badger / The Masked Bandit], Dick Foran [Wayne Carter], Margaret Hamilton [Mrs. Gideon], George Moran [Milton], Ruth Donnelly [Aunt Lou], Si Jenks [Old Man], James Conlin [Bartender], Donald Meek [Amos Budge], Fuzzy Knight [Cousin Zeb], Willard Robertson [Uncle John], Jackie Searl [Boy], Fay Adler [Mrs. "Pygmy" Allen], Gene Austin [Himself, as Saloon Musician], Eddie Butler, Bing Conley [Henchmen], Anne Nagel [Miss Foster], William B. Davidson [Sheriff], Addison Richards [Judge], Russell Hall ["Candy"], Otto Heimel ["Coco"]

Musical Program: [0:39] Willie of the Valley (sung by Mae West with Mens Chorus)




My Lucky Star top of page
My Lucky Star
20th Century-Fox, 1938, B/W, 84 minutes, ***½
Released September, 1938

One of my favorite Sonja Henie films. Sonja plays Kristina Nielson, a shop girl who is sent to a small New England college as a marketing ploy by her employer. She is to receive free tuition in return for wearing the fashions that the store sells. The film features Cesar Romero and the comedy of Buddy Ebsen and Joan Davis. Buddy and Joan sing "Could You Pass in Love." Billy Gilbert appears in one of his comedy routines, expounding on the virtues of pistachio nuts. Sonja and Ensemble perform her famous "Alice Through the Looking Glass" ice ballet, which was a staple in her live shows. Great entertainment!

Darryl F. Zanuck in Charge of Production
Associate Producer: Harry Joe Brown
Directed by: Roy Del Ruth
Screen Play by: Harry Tugend and Jack Yellen
From a story by Karl Tunberg and Don Ettlinger ("They Met in Chicago")
Music and Lyrics by: Mack Gordon and Harry Revel
Skating Ensembles Staged by: Harry Losee
Musical Direction: Louis Silvers
Art Direction: Bernard Herzbrun, Mark-Lee Kirk
Set Decorations by: Thomas Little
Costumes: Royer
Sound: Eugene Grossman, Roger Heman
Photography: John Mescall
Film Editor: Allen McNeil

Cast: Sonja Henie [Kristina Nielson], Richard Greene [Larry Taylor], Joan Davis [Mary Dwight], Cesar Romero [George Cabot, Jr.], Buddy Ebsen [Buddy], Arthur Treacher [Whipple], George Barbier [George Cabot, Sr.], Louise Hovick [Marcelle], Billy Gilbert [Nick], Patricia Wilder [Dorothy], Paul Hurst [Louie], Elisha Cook Jr. [Waldo], Robert Kellard [Pennell], Brewster Twins [June and Jean], Kay Griffith [Ethel], Charles Tannen [Saier], Paul Stanton [Dean Reed], Ed Le Saint [Executive], Frederick Burton [Pilsbury], Frank Jaquet [Burton], Art Jarrett, Jr. [Bill], Sumner Getchell [Fat Freshman], Cully Richards [Photographer], John Dilson [Department Head], Matt McHugh [Cab Driver], Dora Clement [Secretary], June Gale [Secretary], Arthur Rankin [Cameraman], Harold Goodwin [Cameraman], Fred Kelsey [Detective], Eddie Conrad [Gypsy]

Musical Program: [0:00] Overture (played by Orchestra behind titles); [0:16] Marching Along (Plymouth Welcome Song) (sung by Mixed Chorus); [0:27] This May Be the Night (sung by Art Jarrett, Sonja Henie, Richard Greene, Buddy Ebsen, Joan Davis and Chorus); [0:32] Marching Along (sung by Mixed Chorus); [0:33] Classy Clothes Chris (sung by Mens Chorus while strutting around in women's clothes); [0:36] Classy Clothes Chris (instrumental rendition skated by Patricia Wilder); [0:38] By a Wishing Well (sung by Art Jarrett and Chorus, skated by Sonja Henie); [0:41] Marching Along (reprised by Mixed Chorus); [0:48] Marching Along (reprised by Mixed Chorus); [0:48] Could You Pass in Love (sung by Joan Davis and Buddy Ebsen, reprised by Chorus, skated by Sonja Henie); [1:00] Plymouth Farewell Song (Alma Mater) (sung by Mixed Chorus); [1:09] I've Got a Date with a Dream (first finale production number - Art Jarrett and Chorus Girls, Buddy Ebsen, Joan Davis with skaters, sleds and toboggans); [1:15] Alice Through the Looking Glass (skating number with Sonja Henie and skating Chorus - this is a number Sonja used in many of her ice shows); [1:22] This May Be the Night (reprised by Company)

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice Through the Looking Glass


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My Sister Eileen top of page
My Sister Eileen
Columbia, 1955, Color, 108 minutes, ***
Released September, 1955

Spry musical adaptation of the hit Broadway comedy stars Janet Leigh and Betty Garrett as two Ohio siblings who move to New York City and take a basement apartment in a Greenwich Village brownstone occupied by offbeat characters. Jack Lemmon, Dick York, Kurt Kaznar, and Bob Fosse (who also served as the film's choreographer) also star; co-scripted by Blake Edwards.

Produced by: Fred Kohlmar
Directed by: Richard Quine
Assistant Director: Sam Nelson
Screen Play by: Blake Edwards, Richard Quine
Based upon the play My Sister Eileen by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov
Adapted from the stories by Ruth McKenney
and production on the stage by Max Gordon
Music Supervised and Conducted by: Morris Stoloff
Assistant: Fred Karger
Arrangements and Adaptation: George Duning
Orchestrations: Arthur Morton
Songs: Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Leo Robin
Musical Numbers and Dances by: Robert Fosse
Art Director: Walter Holscher
Set Decorator: William Kiernan
Gowns by: Jean Louis
Make-up by: Clay Campbell
Hair Styles by: Helen Hunt
Recording Supervisor: John Livadary
Sound: Lambert Day
Director of Photography: Charles Lawton, Jr.
Photographed in CinemaScope, Color by Technicolor
Technicolor Color Consultant: Henri Jaffa
Film Editor: Charles Nelson

Cast: Janet Leigh [Eileen Sherwood], Betty Garrett [Ruth Sherwood], Jack Lemmon [Bob Baker], Bob Fosse [Frank Lippencott], Kurt Kasznar [Appopolous], Dick York ["Wreck"], Lucy Marlow [Helen], Tommy Rall [Chick Clark], Barbara Brown [Helen's Mother], Horace MacMahon [Lonigan], Henry Slate, Hal March [Drunks], Alberto Morin [Brazilian Consul], Queenie Smith [Alice], Richard Deacon [George], Ken Christy [Police Sergeant]

Musical Program: [0:00] Atmosphere (sung by Chorus behind titles); [0:05] unidentified aria (sung by unidentified soprano offscreen); [0:09] As Soon As They See Eileen (sung by Betty Garrett); [0:21] I'm Great (sung and danced by Kurt Kasznar, Dick York, Betty Garrett and Janet Leigh); [0:30] I'm Great (reprised by Betty Garrett and Janet Leigh); [0:36] Got No Room for Mr. Gloom (instrumental danced by Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall); [0:50] There's Nothin' Like Love (sung and danced by Betty Garrett and Janet Leigh; later sung by Bob Fosse, danced by Fosse and Janet Leigh); [1:06] Give Me a Band and My Baby (sung and danced by Betty Garrett, Bob Fosse, Janet Leigh and Tommy Rall); [1:15] It's Bigger Than You and Me (sung by Jack Lemmon); [1:20] There's Nothin' Like Love (sung by Bob Fosse, danced by Fosse and Janet Leigh); [1:36] What Happened to the Conga (sung and danced by Betty Garrett, Janet Leigh, Kurt Kasznar and Brazilian Sailors); [1:46] What Happened to the Conga (danced by Company)




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