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 »
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 ... See full summary »
Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New ... See full summary »
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 »
Soldier Joe Allen is on a two-day leave in New York, and there he meets Alice. She agrees to show him the sights and they spend the day together. In this short time they find themselves ... 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 »
Andy's girlfriend Polly is planning to spend Christmas at her grandmother's, which puts a kink in his plans to take her to the country club Christmas party. He agrees (for a fee) to pretend... See full summary »
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
It's turn of the century America when Andrew and Veronica first meet - by crashing into each other. They develop an instant and mutual dislike which intensifies when, later on, Andrew is forced to hire Veronica as a saleslady at Oberkugen's music store. What the two don't know is that while they may argue and fight constantly throughout the day, they are actually engaged in an innocent, romantic and completely anonymous relationship by night, through the post office. Written by
Given how Judy Garland scored so well in another period piece, Meet Me In St. Louis, it was a natural that she be cast in In The Good Old Summertime even if she was a replacement for June Allyson. It's called serendipity.
The film is a musical adaption of MGM's The Shop Around The Corner in which James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan played the anonymous correspondents who love what each other write, but can't stand each other in person. It doesn't help that the two of them are co-workers in a department store.
Van Johnson takes the Stewart part in In The Good Old Summertime and early 20th century Budapest is transferred to early 20th century Chicago. Johnson and Garland work in a music store with Spring Byington, Clinton Sundberg, and Buster Keaton and that's owned by S.Z. Sakall. Sakall is far more lovable as he always is than Frank Morgan in the same part in The Shop Around The Corner. A bit thick, but lovable. He does think he has talent on the violin, the same way Jack Benny did on his radio program. He plays it as well as Benny did and even playing it on a Stradivarius doesn't help.
Except for one new song, Merry Christmas, the rest of the score is interpolated period favorites like Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland, I Never Knew, I Don't Care and of course the title song. Judy is really in her element doing these numbers. In fact two of the early century's great musical performers, Blanche Ring who introduced In The Good Old Summertime, and Eva Tanguay whose specialty song was I Don't Care, were still alive to see Judy do both of their numbers for the current audience. I've often wondered what they must have thought.
Buster Keaton is strangely subdued in this film. He only gets one real comic moment doing a pratfall on a dance floor and breaking a violin in the process. I'm betting some of his material wound up on the cutting room floor.
At the very end of the film, little Liza Minnelli all of three at the time made her screen debut. If you like period pieces as I do and the music of the era as I do or if you liked The Shop Around The Corner or the most current adaption of the piece, You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, than you will appreciate and enjoy In The Good Old Summertime.
If you do like it, that's a very good sign.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?