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Lady Be Good (1941)

 -  Comedy | Musical  -  10 November 1941 (UK)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 449 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 3 critic

Songwriters Dixie Donegan and Eddie Crane are still in love after their divorce. Dixie's friend Marilyn Marsh tries to convince them to marry again, but this isn't that easy.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Lady Be Good (1941)

Lady Be Good (1941) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
John Carroll ...
...
...
Tom Conway ...
Mr. Blanton - Dixie's Lawyer
...
Bill 'Billy' Pattison (as Dan Dailey Jr.)
...
Rose Hobart ...
Mrs. Carter Wardley
...
The Berry Brothers ...
Specialty Number
James Berry ...
A Berry Brother, Specialty Performer
Warren Berry ...
A Berry Brother, Specialty Performer
Edit

Storyline

Songwriters Dixie Donegan and Eddie Crane are still in love after their divorce. Dixie's friend Marilyn Marsh tries to convince them to marry again, but this isn't that easy. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE TAP-HAPPIEST, SWING-SINGIEST, MELODIC MIRACLE SINCE "ZIEGFELD GIRL"! (original print media ad - all caps)

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1941 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Divorce en musique  »

Box Office

Budget:

$863,460 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "The Last Time I Saw Paris" caused a lot of controversy when it won the Oscar for Best Song, because it was not written for this movie. After Tony Martin had a hit recording in 1940, MGM bought the rights to the song for use in this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Marilyn is tap dancing with the dog, she does a few cartwheels. While she is on her hands, the tapping dancing sound continues. See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment! III (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Fascinating Rhythm
(1924)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Connie Russel
Danced by The Berry Brothers
Also danced by Eleanor Powell with chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They Make Beautiful Music Together
29 May 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The only resemblance between this film and the Broadway musical and silent film of Lady Be Good from 1928 is purely coincidental. All that MGM took for this film was the title and two songs from the original Broadway score.

That being said this version of Lady Be Good about a pair of husband and wife songwriters is good entertainment. Robert Young and Ann Sothern are the married pair and it's the same old story of two who can't live and can't live without each other. In fact the story is told in flashback by Sothern on the witness stand to Judge Lionel Barrymore in her divorce hearing.

The rest of the score is written by those MGM contract writers Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. None of it is particularly memorable. However an additional song which brought this film its only Oscar caused some considerable controversy.

The year before Oscar Hammerstein, II saw newsreels of the Nazis marching into Paris and the sad faces of the French people who now had to endure the unendurable. He spent some considerable time in Paris and loved the city. So moved was he that he dashed off a song lyric and immediately called Jerome Kern to put some music to it. The result was the incredibly popular The Last Time I Saw Paris.

So popular was it that MGM I'm sure paid a pretty penny for the rights and to interpolate into Lady Be Good. Tony Martin and Lanny Ross and Kate Smith and the great concert singer John Charles Thomas had made some good selling records of The Last Time I Saw Paris. Ann Sothern sang it beautifully in the film, the last chorus with her voice over newsreels of the occupation.

The popularity of the song and the entrance of the USA into World War II no doubt influenced the vote of the Academy. Plus the fact that interpolated songs like this were not specifically banned. It was sheer coincidence that the six of the first seven winners were original songs written specifically for the film they were in.

The Academy rules were tightened up and now songs had to be written specifically for the film. So Sweet Leilani and The Last Time I Saw Paris remain the only two songs not written for the films they were in. By the way Jerome Kern fought for the rule change himself, saying he voted for Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer's Blues in the Night as the best song for 1941.

The other musical highlight is Eleanor Powell dancing to Fascinating Rhythm. On stage it was Fred and sister Adele Astaire who did it originally, but there ain't nothing wrong about the way Eleanor Powell cuts that carpet. Busby Berkeley directed the sequence and it's filled with his original touches.

One day maybe I'll see a theatrical production of George&Ira Gershwin's Lady Be Good. Till then this will do nicely.


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