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Thrill of a Lifetime (1937)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Music, Romance  |  3 December 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 16 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

"Howdy" Nelson believes there is no such think as real love and that romance can be cooked up between any eligible persons (of the opposite sex.) He is so imbued with the idea that he has ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James V. Kern ...
Jimmie (as The Yacht Club Boys)
Charles Adler ...
Charlie (as The Yacht Club Boys)
George Kelly ...
George (as The Yacht Club Boys)
Billy Mann ...
Billy (as The Yacht Club Boys)
Judy Canova
Ben Blue ...
Eleanore Whitney ...
Betty Jane
Johnny Downs ...
Howard 'Howdy' Nelson
The Fanchonettes ...
Dancing Ensemble
Zeke Canova ...
Zeke Canova
Anne Canova ...
Anne Canova


"Howdy" Nelson believes there is no such think as real love and that romance can be cooked up between any eligible persons (of the opposite sex.) He is so imbued with the idea that he has established a summer camp for that reason,and has written a play on the subject. The Yacht Club Boys visit the camp, misrepresenting themselves as Broadway producers, and the talented guest of the camp put on Nelson's play...which all ends up with a lot of marriage mating; Judy and Skipper, Betty Jane and Stanley and...Gwen and "Howdy,' the guy who was positive there was no such thing as true love. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uma Só Vez na Vida  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


If We Could Run the Country for a Day
Written and Performed by The Yacht Club Boys
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming beyond expectations but it cries for color!
25 November 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I dreaded an unpretentious and perhaps a bit silly old low-budget movie of the Thirties but that film entertained me beyond expectations. Everybody, except Leif Erickson, is great in it.

First, the ever gorgeous Betty Grable...her role is tiny in it and, as in most of her movies of the Thirties, it has more a decorative purpose than anything else, but that lady WAS indeed extremely pretty and talented. When on the screen, you look at nothing or no one else. That's star quality! AND SHE SINGS! What a pleasure to hear her sweet singing voice when she sings "Sweetheart Time". And she waltzes too to the sound of Leif Erickson's barytone. This one, who has a great voice, should keep singing and stop acting because he's terrible. And looks terrible.

But, besides that, everybody else is great. Judy Canova, like so many character actors, steals the show many times. She's delightfully homely and funny. Ben Blue does his usual but effective clowning. More physical than talkative, he reminds a bit of Buster Keaton but with even more comical sadness in the eyes. One must see him in Buster Crabbe's bathing suit...while the latter gorgeously fills every fiber of it with tanned flesh and the sculpted body of the professional swimmer that he used to be, the former is lost in it, literally! That'S effective slapstick.

Eleanore Whitney is charming, pretty (she looks a bit like Paulette Goddard) and taps energetically in one dance sequence. The Yacht Club Boys are a real delight. They were seasoned performers and it shows. Their voices blend wonderfully and are a real pleasure to the ears.

Johnny Downs is, again, excellent but not featured enough. Each time I see him I think it's a real shame he never was the first rate star he deserved to be. He's a slight and light dancer that moves with grace. He could have been the Fred Astaire with good looks! Besides his dancing talent, he can act and is very handsome. See him! As for the film itself, it IS light and, though a bit messy, very entertaining. Though low-budgeted, part of it is shot outside. The long camp sequences literally CRY for color because they're very good! Every musical sequences are extremely well produced, directed and filmed. And performed with greatness.

All in all, for a mere 75 minutes, it's a very entertaining movie. Don't hesitate to see it if you can, if only for Betty Grable, Johnny Downs and the Yacht Club Boys!

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