Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of ...
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Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »
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Acrobat Eddie Marsh is in the army now. His first act is to become friendly with Kathryn Jones, the colonel's pretty daughter. Their romance hits a few snags, including disapproval from her... See full summary »
Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »
Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »
The Andrews Sisters
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Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of his most famous: 'Showboat'. Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The MGM Jerome Kern (27 January 1885-11 November 1945, age 60) biographical movie musical "Till the Clouds Roll By" featured Angela Lansbury (b. 16 October 1925) performing as a London music hall soubrette, swinging in a London vaudeville music hall production number. All of Angela Lansbury's previous MGM musical films had her singing voice performances ghost dubbed. Angela convinced producer Arthur Freed, (9 September 1894-12 April 1973, age 78), that she should do her own singing, as a London music hall soubrette, a light lyric soprano with a very youthful voice. Coloratura and soubrette are very closely related. A coloratura will have the flexibility and a few more usable notes on top, while a soubrette is required to have low A's. Angela's London music hall "swing" number was choreographed by Hermes Pan, (10 December 1909-19 September 1990, age 80), with a ton of dancing chorus boys, elaborate sets and costumes. Angela, born in 1925, twenty years old in 1945 when the sequence was filmed. Judy Garland at age 22 (10 June 1922-23 June 1969) performed her "Till the Clouds Roll By" production numbers, directed and staged by her new husband Vincente Minnelli (28 February 1903-25 July 1986). There is only one MGM stage on the lot where the theatre scenes were always filmed. The stage, located in the middle of the MGM lot, is on the main MGM street dividing the lot in half. The elephant doors on this filming stage, centered in the sound stage exterior/interior wall, is raised off the MGM main street approximately five feet off the street ground level. Incidental, when rains occurred, ironically, this MGM main street was a conduit for a flash river flooding because of the street's down hill grade, from the main MGM gate to the studio's back lot gate. This MGM film stage was the interior back wall of the raised theatre stage, where any and all MGM musical "stage production numbers" were filmed. All scenery had to be loaded into the stage off trucks, where scenery was usually built in the studio carpenter shop and mill. The stage had a complete counterweight pin rail system, with arbor pipes for stage lighting fixtures, hanging drops, scenery, drapery legs and borders, stage lighting, etc. The stage was 30' deep, with the front of the stage apron dropping into an orchestra pit. This interior four foot high raised stage floor with a centered stage pit, a floor pit cover, removable to configure for filming requirements of production numbers. In front of the footlights stage apron was another pit, with a floor pit cover, allowing for the orchestra size area configuration as required, including allowances for a prompter's box position center stage, and for a conductor center podium position. The theatre's raised four feet high stage" had a stage pit for water sequences if needed. Normally studio lighting was carbon arc fixtures. Electric "stage lights" were used as set dressing on the stage arbor pipes, with carbon arc lamps hung on scaffolding over the set, actually lighting the production number. The other part-half of the stage was raised one foot off ground level, where a theatre audience area could be installed. The stage configuration had a frame for the stage proscenium, which could be re-configured scenically, to represent different styles of theatre prosceniums. The sides of the stage were wide enough for European style theatre box seating, with a rear balcony over the raked main audience area, usually built for the theatre (stage) audience floor. Otherwise, the actual stage floor was level. The audience arm chair seats were all arranged on rails for easy access to strike for camera positions. This also allowed aisles to be configured, either a center aisle down the middle, or two aisles dividing the center seats and side seat flanks. The "studio theatre" never had an overhead ceiling. Should a ceiling be seen in the finished film, this was accomplished with a matt shot. Chandeliers could be hung for set dressing the theatre audience area. Every MGM musical production number, supposedly in a theatre, showing an audience, with an orchestra, was filmed on this stage. When no film musical production numbers were being required for the stage's filming schedule, other productions used the stage for normal stage sets required for dramatic and comedy subject films. Stage scaffolding installed over the stage set were hung from the stage ceiling rafters. See more »
When Kern goes to see Sally at Club Elite in Memphis, he hasn't written Show Boat yet. Therefore, it would be before 1927. However, the song she performs with Van Johnson, "I Won't Dance", wasn't written by Kern until 1935. See more »
[congratulating Jerome Kern on his composing ability]
My boy, you've got a song to sing.
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This movie, about the life and times of stage composer Jerome Kern works best when it showcases pieces of his famous musical productions such as SHOWBOAT, LEAVE IT TO JANE, SALLY, OH BOY amongst others. The story of his life just proves a lot less interesting...no that's not the right word I'm looking for...I mean a lot less captivating than his music. When we see stars such as Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Tony Martin, Angela Lansbury, June Allyson, Lena Horne, Katherine Grayson, Cyd Charisse, Ray McDonald amongst others singing and performing on stage, there's magic in the air. Robert Walker as Kern does prove likable enough in the lead role and there's an innocent charm at work in these proceedings but things do run on perhaps a little too long.
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