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Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

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Reviews: 31 user | 4 critic

When Phil Corey's band arrives at the Idaho ski resort its pianist Ted Scott is smitten with a Norwegian refugee he has sponsored, Karen Benson. When soloist Vivian Dawn quits, Karen stages an ice show as a substitute.


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Title: Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

Sun Valley Serenade (1941) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Karen Benson
Ted Scott
Glenn Miller ...
Phil Corey
Jerome K. 'Nifty' Allen
Lynn Bari ...
Vivian Dawn
Miss Carstairs
Specialty Act
William B. Davidson ...
Jack Murray (as William Davidson)
Almira Sessions ...
Mel Ruick ...
Jimmy Norton
Ralph Dunn ...
Ellis Island Customs Officer
Chester Clute ...
Process Server
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
The Modernaires ...
Singing Group
Spec O'Donnell ...
Western Union Boy (scenes deleted)


A publicity stunt for the Dartmouth Troubadours band gets complicated when the Norwegian refugee their pianist Ted Scott has announced he will be taking in turns out to be fully grown Karen Benson. When his girlfriend realises that Karen and Ted are spending an awful lot of time together on the ski slopes at the band's venue, things start to turn very frosty. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sun Valley Serenade  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Heard twice in the background, "At Last" (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon) did not receive an on-screen performance, the footage having been cut. In Glenn Miller's follow-up movie, Orchestra Wives (1942), the lush ballad (which became a standard) was sung by Lynn Bari (dubbed by Pat Friday) and Ray Eberle, who were backed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra featuring Bobby Hackett (playing trumpet for George Montgomery). See more »


At Ellis Island, when the couple picks up their refugee, the little boys says "God dag" but his lips say "Hello". See more »


Featured in The X-Files: The Walk (1995) See more »


Chattanooga Choo Choo
Music by Harry Warren
Lyric by Mack Gordon
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
Sung by Tex Beneke, Paula Kelly, and The Modernaires, then danced and sung by The Nicholas Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge
Copyright 1941
See more »

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User Reviews

Mindless, wonderful entertainment
21 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You can have all the glamour and pastels of the MGM musical - for sheer fun, give me the Fox musicals, especially this one, Sun Valley Serenade, starring John Payne, Sonja Henie, Glenn Miller, Lynn Bari and Milton Berle. For publicity, Nifty Allen (Berle), a band publicist, arranges for the band to adopt a refugee. When the refugee shows, she's a grown woman named Karen Benson (Henie) who immediately falls for her guardian, the bandleader, Ted (Payne). She connives her way into the train that's taking the band to Sun Valley, where she quickly gets in between Ted and the band's singer, Vivian Dawn (Lynn Bari) whose claws come out in full force.

"Sun Valley Serenade" is filled with skiing, Glenn Miller music, and Henje's fabulous skating. By 1941, Henje was starring in her own ice show, and her skating in this film looks less dated technically than it does in earlier films. And there's no one today who can come close to her spin sequences. I can't remember how it was done, but she skates on mirrored glass, and it looks great. This was an ideal role for Sonja - she gets to smile, skate and does not have to do anything too dramatic. Payne does well and sings pleasantly as her leading man.

One outstanding musical feature, "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," a Miller standard, is performed first by Tex Beneke and the Miller singers and then - brilliantly - by Dorothy Dandrige and the Nicholas Brothers. This alone makes the film worth watching.


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