IMDb > On the Town (1949)
On the Town
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On the Town (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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On the Town -- Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra star in this fun-filled spectacular musical about three sailors who wreak havoc as they search for love during a whirlwind 24-hour leave in New York City.

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   10,877 votes »
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Writers:
Adolph Green (screenplay) and
Betty Comden (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for On the Town on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 December 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Come On, Everybody, Let's Go On the Town! See more »
Plot:
Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Experiencing as much New York as One Can See more (87 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gene Kelly ... Gabey

Frank Sinatra ... Chip

Betty Garrett ... Brunhilde Esterhazy

Ann Miller ... Claire Huddesen
Jules Munshin ... Ozzie

Vera-Ellen ... Ivy Smith
Florence Bates ... Mme. Dilyovska
Alice Pearce ... Lucy Schmeeler
George Meader ... Professor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Murray Alper ... Cab Company Owner (uncredited)
Bette Arlen ... Dancer in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)
Anne Beck ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)

Bea Benaderet ... Brooklyn Girl on Subway (uncredited)
Gladys Blake ... Brooklyn Girl on Subway (uncredited)
Eugene Borden ... Waiter (uncredited)
Leonard Bremen ... Spectator (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Photo Layout Man (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Claire Carleton ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Peter Chong ... Bartender (uncredited)
Dorinda Clifton ... Dancer in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)

Hans Conried ... Francois - Head Waiter (uncredited)
Jeanne Coyne ... Dancer in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Subway Passenger (uncredited)
Tom Dugan ... Officer Tracy, Car 44 (uncredited)
Helen Eby-Rock ... Little Girl's Mother (uncredited)
Luigi Faccuito ... Dancer in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)
James A. FitzPatrick ... Trailer Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Wanda Flippen ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Policeman (uncredited)
Carol Haney ... Dancer in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)
Timmy Hawkins ... Boy in Subway (uncredited)
Bern Hoffman ... Shipyard Singer (uncredited)

Judy Holliday ... Daisy - Simpkins' MGM Date (voice) (uncredited)
Curtis Loys Jackson Jr. ... Boy in Subway (uncredited)
Richard Kean ... Poet Type (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Sign Poster (uncredited)
Jack G. Lee ... Speed Cop (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Max the Photographer (uncredited)

Gloria Marlen ... Dancer in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)
Helen McAllister ... Kooch Girl (uncredited)

Sid Melton ... Spud (uncredited)
Diane Nance ... Little Girl (uncredited)
Kerry O'Day ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Norman Ollestad ... Boy in Subway (uncredited)
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Sailor Simkins (uncredited)
Royal Raymond ... Barker (uncredited)
Alex Romero ... Sailor in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell ... Officer Mulrooney (uncredited)
Lee Scott ... Dancer in 'Day in New York' Ballet (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Tough Marine in Subway (uncredited)
Robert Smith ... Spectator (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Man in Subway Station (uncredited)
Dick Wessel ... Sailor Kovarsky (uncredited)
Robert Williams ... Police Sergeant - Car 44 (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Speed Cop (uncredited)

Directed by
Stanley Donen 
Gene Kelly 
 
Writing credits
Adolph Green (screenplay) and
Betty Comden (screenplay)

Adolph Green (based upon the musical play whose book was by) and
Betty Comden (based upon the musical play whose book was by)

Jerome Robbins (idea)

Produced by
Roger Edens .... associate producer
Arthur Freed .... producer
 
Original Music by
Conrad Salinger (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ralph E. Winters 
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Jack Martin Smith 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup creator
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles designer
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Gertsman .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Jack D. Moore .... associate set decorator
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Richard Gramaglia .... sound (uncredited)
John A. Williams .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Lloyd Isbell .... grip (uncredited)
Robert Martin .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Helen Rose .... costumes
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leonard Bernstein .... based upon the musical play with music by
Leonard Bernstein .... based upon the musical play: lyrics by
Saul Chaplin .... vocal arrangements
Betty Comden .... additional songs: lyrics by
Betty Comden .... based upon the musical play: lyrics by
Roger Edens .... additional songs: music by
Adolph Green .... additional songs: lyrics by
Adolph Green .... based upon the musical play: lyrics by
Lennie Hayton .... musical director
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrations
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
 
Other crew
George Abbott .... directed on the stage by
Paul Feigay .... stage producer
James Gooch .... Technicolor color consultant
Henri Jaffa .... Technicolor color consultant
Oliver Smith .... stage producer
Jeanne Coyne .... assistant: Mr. Kelly, Hollywood (uncredited)
Carol Haney .... assistant choreographer (uncredited)
Alex Romero .... assistant choreographer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
98 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Canada:PG (video rating) | Chile:TE | Finland:S | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (re-issue) (2007) | UK:U (video rating) (1988) (2003) (2007) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #13929) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The crew tried to keep the location filming in New York City as low-key as possible. Many of the scenes were filmed from the back of a station wagon. At the end of "New York, New York", as the camera tilts up at Rockefeller Plaza, you can see the skating rink lined with spectators watching Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Spectators can be seen watching the filming of the "New York, New York" number in Rockfeller Center (though it could be argued that the sight of three men in navy uniforms singing and dancing might attract attention, even in New York).See more »
Quotes:
Ozzie:If through a lot of foolery you lost your last red cent/ I wouldn't even stop to ask you why/I'd pawn my mother's jewelry, I'd steal my sister rent/It's all for you kid, you can milk me dry!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Last Time (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Miss TurnstilesSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Experiencing as much New York as One Can, 22 September 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

On the Town is one great fast moving musical, one in which the dance is supreme. Not surprising because this is the first film that Gene Kelly had total creative control over.

On the Town ran for 462 performances on Broadway from December, 1944 to February, 1946 and it's score was composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden. Naturally the book included some topical war time references for 1944 which were eliminated in 1949. So was about half of Bernstein's score, but Comden and Green wrote the lyrics for the new songs also with Roger Edens. That certainly helped keep the continuity.

Of course the signature song of the Broadway score, New York, New York was kept. The rest of the score is really not all that great in terms of marketability. But Kelly was interested in giving the dance center stage in this film and he succeeded admirably.

Of course of the six principals in the cast he had both Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen, a pair of very good dancers to help.

The plot of On the Town is threadbare. Three sailors, Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin get 24 hour shore leave and they are determined to experience as much New York as they can. That opening number with the men pouring out of the ship on the Brooklyn Navy Yard dock is unforgettable and then Kelly, Sinatra, and Munshin singing and dancing New York, New York.

Munshin attracts the attention of Ann Miller who finds his resemblance to a caveman recreation astounding. Her big moment on the screen is tap dancing to Primitive Man ending with Munshin destroying one of the dinosaur skeletons in the Museum of Natural History.

This was Munshin's third film after MGM signed him up for a small role in Easter Parade. He was a borscht belt comedian who got his big break on Broadway in Call Me Mister. With Sinatra and Kelly in Take Me Out to the Ballgame before On the Town, he was a pretty funny fellow. He spent his career equally between the stage, screen, and later television. Perhaps it's why he's not really remembered today by film fans that much.

Sinatra catches the eye of cabdriver Betty Garrett. One big reason for rewriting the score was in the original play there was no ballad for Sinatra's character. Besides the ensemble numbers, Sinatra and Garrett sing Come Up to My Place from the original score and You're Awful, Awful Nice to be with. Nothing terribly memorable, in fact Frank never recorded any of the material from On the Town. But to have in the film and not give him one ballad would have been ridiculous.

It's the dance numbers that make On the Town. Besides the ones previously mentioned, Kelly and Vera-Ellen do a salute to their common small town in Main Street and there is the lengthy A Day in New York ballet. The year before Kelly had shown what he was really capable of creating in the Slaughter on Tenth Avenue ballet in Words and Music. Now that he had complete creative control and he made maximum use of it. Of course this was nothing compared to what he was to create in later films.

Vera-Ellen probably is best known for being Rosemary Clooney's sister in White Christmas. But she's shown to far better advantage here. I'm surprised Kelly did not team with her more often.

On the Town is really helped a lot by the location shooting in New York. Director Stanley Donen very skillfully blended his shots of well known New York landmarks like the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Columbus Circle with the later interiors done on the MGM soundstage. Really great job of editing.

To see New York in 1949 you couldn't ask for three better guides than those sailors on a 24 hour pass.

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