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Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Music, Romance  |  29 August 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 931 users  
Reviews: 33 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 »
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Complete credited cast:
Phil Corey
Nifty Allen
Lynn Bari ...
Vivian Dawn
Miss Carstairs
The Nicholas Brothers ...
Specialty (as Nicholas Brothers)
William B. Davidson ...
Murray (as William Davidson)
Almira Sessions ...
Mel Ruick ...
Band Leader
Ralph Dunn ...
Customs Officer
Chester Clute ...
Process Server


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


ONE OF YOUR ALL-TIME MUSICAL HIGHS! (1964 re-release poster-all caps) See more »


Comedy | Music | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adoptiertes Glück  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"The World Is Waiting to Waltz Again" by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, was recorded by John Payne, but not used in the film, as was another number, "I'm Lena, the Ballerina" recorded and filmed by Joan Davis. See more »


(at around 19 mins) Ted Scott opens a door and we briefly see the wall of a completely different room outside to the room featured in the next shot. See more »


Referenced in Biography: Milton Berle: Mr. Television See more »


Chattanooga Choo Choo
(1941) (uncredited)
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
See more »

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User Reviews

A Charming Comedy
3 July 2002 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Anyone who has ever paid a visit to the mountain-cradled village of Sun Valley, Idaho knows that one of the luxuries of staying in its well know resort, of the same name, is that you can view this charming "boy-meets-girl, and then another girl" romantic-musical-comedy, 24 hours a day! If you are very lucky, as I was during my most recent visit, you can do so from a room overlooking the very ice rink that Sonja Henie performed upon, in this snowbound, big-band era classic "Sun Valley Serenade".

When war refugee Karen Benson (Henie) arrives from Sweden to meet her sponsor Tom Scott, the piano player for a big band played by John Payne, it is clear that she has her romantic sites set on our non-assuming hero. Scott has met, fallen in love with and proposed to Vivian Dawn (Lynn Bari), a tempestuous big band diva, just days before Karen's arrival. The band gets a gig in Sun Valley, Karen tags along, and the fun begins.

Henie's unshakable effervescence and contagious smile allow you to forgive, and even admire, her calculated attempts to win Scott's attention. Henie charms you and Scott with her thick accent and graceful fetes on both the ice and slopes. Although never recognized as an actress by the industry's standards, Henie's comedic timing is so surprising, at times, you may laugh out loud.

John Payne, as Tom Scott, is your typical 40's leading-man-- down-to-earth, charming, handsome, talented and a trust-fund baby. While the band struggles for engagements and its public relations manager needs to re-sole his shoes, the Princeton grad does not seem to have a care in the world, other than which girl to marry. He manages to keep his head just below the radar of the discrete feminine barbs at all times, with a relative air of oblivious confusion.

Milton Berle, as the band's self-deprecating public relations manager (who cooked up the adoption scheme as a publicity stunt to get Walter Wenchell's attention), keeps this comedy light-hearted despite the feeling that there is a `catfight' slowing brewing. Glen Miller's line delivery, as bandleader Phil Corey, is forgivable once the band kicks into high gear with `Chattanooga Choo-Choo', among other dance and romance tunes of the day. And now we know that Jimmy Stewart must have studied this performance prior to doing his bio-pic "The Glenn Miller Story" (1953).

Watch for cameo appearances by the adorable 18-year-old Dorothy Dandridge, the show-stopping Nicholas Brothers, and Joan Davis as Berle's gad-fly.

If you are a fan of romantic-comedies, the big-band era, ice-skating, or just an old film buff there are special moments for all. Beware, however this heart-warming comedy is addictive and you may be humming "It Happened in Sun Valley" in your sleep before you know it.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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