Sensations of 1945 (1944) Poster

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9/10
Sophie Tucker sings two songs.
jimstet27 January 2005
Sophie Tucker was probably sixty years old when she filmed her scenes in "Sensations of 1945". My comments here will focus on her participation in this film. Sophie sings two songs in a nightclub setting that was filmed at Republic Studios facilities and released by United Artists. These songs are "Mammy O'Mine' and "You Can't Sew A Button On A Heart"; this last also recorded commercially for Decca by Sophie. Sophie is in full voice for Maceo Pinkard's song "Mammy O'Mine" and this appearance is a wonderful preservation of her singing style as well as her splendid appearance with her beautiful ensemble including fur cape, hat, jewelry , and 1940s upsweep coiffure. In fact, she looks like one of her many beautiful Maurice Seymour photographs taken through the years of her long career spent singing on the variety stages of the world.
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8/10
Worth watching for special acts, great staging ideas long before Cirque du Soleil
pik92311 November 2008
Some wonderful ideas are in this film, which taking into consideration when it was filmed, are quite wonderful, inventive and enjoyable. Yes it gets a bit boring now and again, however stick with it! During these years when many movie theatres would not screen motion pictures with Black performers (they often deleted scenes for their audiences) this film highlights Cab Calloway and His Orchestra in two great numbers (well 2.5)!!!

The cast is delightful! In fact, they are perfect! And Sophie Tucker is always a pleasure to watch, as is Woody Herman and His Orchestra.

Sit back and enjoy a good fun musical with some great staging, fantastic big band music!
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Silly fun and a fascinating final glimpse at Vaudeville Entertainment
john5th4 October 2004
Despite contrary opinion this film is unchallenging fun, great entertainment and a wonderful showcase for the kind of show biz performance that is all but gone today. Eleanor Powell is very funny as a stunt crazy publicity agent who for starters fakes getting shot during her own show! She competes with partner Dennis O'Keefe (also very good as the son of the agency owner) to bring in bigger and better clients. In the process of lining up acts and artists we see a huge production number called Circus In The Sky featuring Sammy Kaye and his band and a host of circus acts all at the top of a skyscraper. Another hare-brained scheme results in a wonderful Cab Calloway number called Hepster's Dictionary that is projected on to the side of a building in Times Square, naturally resulting in the arrest of Ms. Powell. Other highlights include Powell dressed as a pinball(!) dancing in a giant pinball machine set, an odd dance with a horse as partner, 2 numbers by the the inimitable Sophie Tucker and the always funny W.C.Fields. For a glimpse at the last gasp of Vaudeville, an era when down-on-their-luck actors could trust their memoirs to a PR agent, enjoy the very unique Sensations of 1945.
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5/10
misstatement in previous Comment
s-hill417 August 2008
On Oct. 4 2004, an interesting Comment by "John5th" contained a serious slip of the pen in the following sentence: "... we see a huge production number called Circus In The Sky featuring Sammy Kaye and his band and a host of circus acts all at the top of a skyscraper." Clearly, John5th intended to write "WOODY HERMAN" (who stars -- even sings! -- in several musical numbers in this film, and is prominently mentioned in the opening credits, along with Cab Calloway). And NOT Sammy Kaye (who doesn't appear at all, and isn't mentioned in the credits). If John5th is still reading this Commentary, I feel sure he'd make the correction himself. I tried 2 ways to contact John5th, but got no reply; he may have gone on to other interests. -- Prof Steven P Hill, Cinema Studies, University of Illinois.
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5/10
A tent in Times Square...oh what a circus!
mark.waltz27 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
And they thought that the Hippodrome was the greatest show on earth!

It's the return of vaudeville, not quite dead as rumored, with specialties of every kind, and some are quite amazing, even in the cynical, self involved 2010's. Of course, animal acts won't please those from ASPCA (bears on roller-skates and given a giant jug that indicates that it's vodka; Eleanor Powell getting a horse to dance) but acrobats, Woody Herman and his orchestra, the sensational Cab Calloway, red hot mama Sophie Tucker and tap dancing Eleanor Powell provide clean, fun entertainment, the type that Ed Sullivan kept alive until the end of his TV show in the early 1970's.

The basic plot has Powell going from Broadway star to the brains behind getting this show together for veteran producer C. Aubrey Smith, and headliner of this spectacular that heads all over, pairing her up with wisecracking Dennis O'Keefe and her attempts at the most outrageous publicity. For most of the 80 minutes, it's a cavalcade of thrills, especially a tightrope walk across a very steep gorge, Powell tap dancing her way through a giant pinball machine and in his last screen appearance, W.C. Fields seemingly very tired in attempting a sketches aboard a train.

Powell, in her last leading role on film, plays a far more aggressive character than normal, but because of the extent of the specialty acts, isn't on screen a whole lot. O'Keefe, Smith and Eugene Palette add to the little story aided by the specialties. Sophie's two songs take you back to a bygone era, giving a huge sense of nostalgia. It's TV variety show 50's style on the big screen 40's style, and there's nothing wrong with that.
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7/10
mix of good (and not so....) entertainment from 1940s
ksf-22 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Star of the show dreams up a stunt to gain publicity for herself! Eleanor Powell is "Ginny", who finds a way to get attention, but her press agent (Eugene Palette) doesn't approve. SO many big names in here.. the awesome W.C. Fields, Sophie Tucker, Aubrey Smith, Cab Calloway, Woody Herman. Some silly bits, one after another. Paper-thin plot in a nonsense script. The wacky-ness moves right along, and we see every corny act in vaudeville history, as well as some good song and dance! Also a circus bear act about half way through. and the high-wire walker that walks a tight rope over some canyon. It ends... at some point. for some reason. Not much of a plot, but its fun to see some of these big acts from the 1940s. TERRIFIC piano duets by two players during the Cab Calloway segment, but the pianists are not named. Directed by Andrew Stone, who would win an Oscar for the "Julie" screenplay in the 1950s. We knew it wouldn't be for THIS film...
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6/10
Entertaining musical performances
Alex da Silva7 March 2010
Ginny (Eleanor Powell) takes over an agency and books various acts to impress Gus (Eugene Palette) and Junior (Dennis O'Keefe). She also helps open a club for Dan (C Aubrey Smith). Ginny and Junior spar with each other but will they get together in the end? There can only be one outcome!

The story is an excuse to string together various entertainer routines, the worst being WC "potato nose" Fields who performs a dreadful skit and a very bland song called "Penny Arcade". However, this is offset by great dance routines (2 with Eleanor Powell), some good circus performers with an impressive tightrope walker Olaf (Hubert Castle) and a very good middle "black" section with Cab Calloway and 2 piano players which is the standout part of the film. Sophie Tucker appears for 2 numbers at the end, so this will please those of you who like those unfunny songs that are more spoken - the kind of thing that Victoria Wood does now. Overall, the dancing and entertainment lift this film past the "OK" category and it is worth another watch.
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