5.5/10
100
6 user

Sunny (1941)

Passed | | Musical | 30 May 1941 (USA)
The beautiful Anna Neagle stars as a circus performer who falls in love with a rich car dealer's son, against her family's wishes. Features some spirited dance numbers with Ray Bolger.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (play) (as Otto Harbach) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The rise of a showgirl, Gloria Hughes, culminating in a Ziegfeld extravaganza "Glorifying the American Girl".

Director: Millard Webb
Stars: Mary Eaton, Eddie Cantor, Helen Morgan
Swing Hostess (1944)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Rags-to-riches-to-rags story features Benny Goodman vocalist Martha Tilton as an unemployed big band singer who takes a job as an operator at a jukebox company. After falling in love with a... See full summary »

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: Martha Tilton, Iris Adrian, Charles Collins
Yellow Canary (1943)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman wrongfully accused of being a Nazi sympathizer is forced to move to Halifax, a city in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Director: Herbert Wilcox
Stars: Anna Neagle, Richard Greene, Nova Pilbeam
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During World War II, an American travels to Britain to sell an old house near London that belongs to his family. However, he meets Leslie Trimble who lives in the house and who is ... See full summary »

Directors: Edmund Goulding, Cedric Hardwicke, and 5 more credits »
Stars: George Kirby, Doreen Munroe, May Beatty
Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

On a train trip West to become a mail order bride Susan Bradley meets a cheery crew of young women traveling out to open a " Harvey House " restaurant at a remote whistle stop to provide ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, John Hodiak
Mardi Gras (1958)
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Pat Boone, Christine Carère, Tommy Sands
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Inspired by the scriptural tale. Moabitess priestess Ruth is drawn both to a Judean man and to his talk of a forgiving God. After tragedy strikes, she begins a new life in Bethlehem.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Stuart Whitman, Tom Tryon, Peggy Wood
Odette (1950)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This is the story of a brave woman who volunteered to join SOE (Special Operations Executive) during WWII. She was flown into occupied France where she fought with the French resistance. ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Wilcox
Stars: Anna Neagle, Trevor Howard, Marius Goring
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Larry Warren
...
Grace Hartman ...
...
...
...
...
Maj. Montgomery Sloan
Muggins Davies ...
Muggins
...
Reporter
...
Queen of Hearts
...
Jean (head waiter)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernestine Clark ...
Acrobat
Edit

Storyline

The beautiful Anna Neagle stars as a circus performer who falls in love with a rich car dealer's son, against her family's wishes. Features some spirited dance numbers with Ray Bolger.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

remake | based on play | See All (2) »

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mardi gras  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sunny opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre (New York City) on September 22, 1925 and ran for 517 performances. See more »

Connections

Version of Sunny (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunny
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Anna Neagle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ah, the memories...Anna Neagle and, especially, Paul and Grace Hartman
19 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

Anna Neagle, one of Britain's greatest stage and screen stars, who enjoyed huge success from the early Thirties on, had the misfortune to come to America for RKO in 1939. She had the wisdom to make the visit brief. She and her producer-director husband, Herbert Wilcox, returned home in 1941. Back in Britain she proceeded to have even greater success in film after film, play after play. Sunny, a generally tedious musical she made in Hollywood in 1941, gives some clues as to just how good she was. Neagle was a first-rate dancer who probably, like Rita Hayworth, could have held her own with Fred Astaire. As a singer, she was completely at ease. As an actress, she could handle comedy or drama with equal aplomb. She had a personality that came across as natural and even humorous. Like so many huge stars of the Thirties and Forties, she probably would be considered dated now, especially by those American viewers whose grandparents never really made a connection with her. Considering the number of gracious films she made after WWII, all huge hits with titles like Spring in Park Lane, Maytime in Mayfair and The Courtneys of Curzon Street (and all co-starring Michael Wilding, surely one of the most bloodless of leading men), I enjoyed seeing her do her stuff here, even though most of Sunny is a slow slog.

She plays Sunny O'Sullivan, the star of a small, upscale circus run by Bunny Billings (Ray Bolger). In New Orleans during Mardi Gras she meets by accident Larry Warren (John Carroll), handsome scion of the wealthy Warrens of Waverly Hall. They fall in love, but Sunny has to deal with the conflicts between his snooty family and her down-to-earth circus pals (which includes a trained seal). A crisis erupts just before her wedding, she flees, but then all is made well. Yawn.

Hanging on this sagging clothesline of a plot, which was adapted from the Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach and Jerome Kern stage musical, are the songs and the presentations of the songs. "Who" is a standard and "Sunny" is well known by the aging. There are two or three others that aren't much to speak of, so we find ourselves listening to a variety of versions of "Who" and "Sunny." Not bad, but the movie gives them to us uneasily...romantic ballad, swing, tap routine for Bolger and, most unnerving, operetta duet. Nothing quite jells.

One of the main failings of Sunny is the ponderous screenplay. It's not clever, it's seldom amusing, it goes on too long, and it gives us way too much of Edward Everett Horton as the Warren family lawyer. The other major failing is the lack of spark between Neagle and John Carroll. He doesn't give her much to make fire with. Carroll, with a plump chin, a Clark Gable mustache and a lock of oiled hair artfully curled down over his forehead, may be handsome, but he has all the uncommitted charm of an extra for bridge. Watching him warble a duet with Neagle is squirmingly artificial. Give him credit, though. He looks as if he's not embarrassed for a moment.

Sunny does have one big plus. It gives us a chance to see Paul and Grace Hartman do a couple of their fine dance routines. They made it big in vaudeville and on Broadway in revues and musicals. They never did well in movies. They spoofed all sorts of dances in their comedy routines. She was the smart one; he, the dim one. They made a few appearances in the early Fifties on the Ed Sullivan Show. Somewhere, I suppose, the memory of their act remains on kinescope. Grace Hartman died of cancer in 1955. Paul Hartman soldiered on in bit parts and a few running appearances in Mayberry RFD and the Andy Griffith Show. He died in 1973. We need to remember unique artists like the Hartmans.


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Kevin Smith's Top 3 Sundance Movies in 90 Seconds

Kevin Smith reveals his favorite Sundance movies of all time. Plus, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz shares some "secret" information about his new spy-thriller series, "Counterpart."

Watch now