This Is the Life (1944)

 |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  2 June 1944 (USA)
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18-year-old Angela, reared in a New England town by her Aunt Betsy, receives an inheritance which she uses to go to New York, ostensibly for voice training, but she is pursuing Major Hilary... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Susanna Foster ...
Angela Rutherford
Sally McGuire
Louise Allbritton ...
Harriet West Jarrett
Maj. Hilary Jarret
Dorothy Peterson ...
Aunt Betsy
Jonathan Hale ...
Dr. Plum
Eddie Quillan ...
Frank Jenks ...
Frank Puglia ...
Music Teacher
Maurice Marsac ...
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Tiggett
Ray Eberle ...
Orchestra Leader (as Ray Eberle and His Orchestra)
Ray Eberle's Orchestra ...
Ray Eberle Orchestra
Bobby Brooks ...
Bobby Brooks


18-year-old Angela, reared in a New England town by her Aunt Betsy, receives an inheritance which she uses to go to New York, ostensibly for voice training, but she is pursuing Major Hilary Jarret, an Army surgeon with whom she has become infatuated. Her departure depresses her childhood friend Jimmy Plum. Dr. Plum devises an errand on which to send his love-sick son to New York, where Jimmy discovers Angela thinks she is Jarret's fiancée. Jimmy also renews acquaintances with a group of show people, including Sally McGuire, who attempts to console him. Jimmy meets Jarret's divorced wife, Harriet, famed photographer. Jimmy engineers a meeting of Jarret and Harriet with Angela present, which forms the beginning of an understanding that Jarret is not for her. Jimmy is inducted into the Army. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


YEAH! That "Top Man" threesome is glee-some again! in Leap Year's leapin'est love meet" (original poster)


Comedy | Drama | Music





Release Date:

2 June 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Começa aos Dezoito  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was offered to but rejected by Deanna Durbin before Foster was cast. See more »


All or Nothing At All
Music by Arthur Altman
Lyrics by Jack Lawrence
Sung by Ray Eberle
See more »

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User Reviews

This Is the Life was a partly amusing and entertaining enough musical starring Donald O'Connor and Peggy Ryan
9 July 2015 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

Even though they made lots of musical comedies for Universal during World War II, this is the last of the Donald O'Connor-Peggy Ryan movies I'm reviewing on this site since the studio blocked many of the others from being uploaded on YouTube. As in many of them, Peggy has a torch for Donald but he has it for someone else, here being Susanna Foster. She in turn, has the hots for a medical Major (Patrick Knowles) who ends up being turned down for another service round because he's no longer physically able enough. Then there's his former wife (Louise Albritton) who's an independent photographer to deal with. But never mind all that and just enjoy Donald and Peggy in their dances and songs and even Ms. Foster when doing her operatic numbers. There's also a handsome young male singer (Ray Eberle) singing "All or Nothing at All" and an African-American quartet (Bobby Brooks Quartet) warbling a song in falsetto with one of them then talking in baritone! So on that note, This Is the Life was a very enjoyable B-musical for the era. P.S. Jonathan Hale, playing O'Connor's father, was in between playing Mr. Dithers from what was originally supposed to be the final entry of the Blondie movie series-Footlight Glamour-to the new beginning one of a year later called Leave It to Blondie. And I just watched again on YT, Peggy's number-"Let's Play House"-from Here Come the Co-eds which was a wonderfully comic number with Lou Costello in which he says, "I feel just like Donald O'Connor!"

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