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I Dream of Jeanie (1952)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 15 June 1952 (USA)
The life and career of famed American composer Stephen Foster.



(screenplay) (as Alan LeMay)

On Disc

at Amazon



Cast overview, first billed only:
Edwin P. Christy
Muriel Lawrence ...
Inez McDowell
Jeanie McDowell
Mr. Tambo
Mrs. McDowell
Dunning Foster (as Richard Simmons)
Scott Elliott ...
Milford Wilson (as Robert Neil)
Andrew Tombes ...
R.E. Howard
James Dobson ...
Mr. Horker
Glen Turnbull ...
Glenn Turnbull / Speciality Dancer (as Glenn Turnbull)
Freddie (as Carl Dean Switzer)


The life and career of famed American composer Stephen Foster.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 June 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canzone del Mississipi  »

Box Office


$515,134 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


[Stephen shows the sheet music from his first song to two of his friends]
First Co-Worker: Let's see where it says you wrote it!
Stephen Foster: Well, I guess it doesn't say.
Second Co-Worker: Did you get much for it?
Stephen Foster: Oh, he didn't pay me anything.
First Co-Worker: Did you even get any royalties?
Stephen Foster: Listen, he's doing me a big favor just to print it - didn't charge me a cent.
Second Co-Worker: Boy, how 'bout that minstrel man, Christy? Didn't he pay ya?
Stephen Foster: Certainly not. I'm proud to have him sing it.
First Co-Worker: Gee, it looks like you oughta get a little something just for thinkin' it up!
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Remake of Swanee River (1939) See more »


Nelly Bly
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Ray Middleton
See more »

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User Reviews

Minstrel Show Biography
21 October 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Probably because the songs of Stephen C. Foster were in the public domain and therefore cost penny pinching Herbert J. Yates not a dime, Yates decided to do a minstrel show musical comedy with the life of Stephen C. Foster to hang the story on.

The songs of Stephen Foster retain their beauty to this day, sad though that they do reflect the times they were written in. Since the famous minstrel star and entrepreneur E.P. Christy was the one who popularized Foster's work, to not have a minstrel show in the story would be historically way inaccurate.

But this film isn't anything close to the story of Foster's life. For all the inaccuracies of that film, 20th Century Fox's Swanee River which starred Don Ameche as Foster and Al Jolson as E.P. Christy is far more accurate.

The thin plot seems to be borrowed a bit from Bing Crosby's Mississippi where Bing is courting Gail Patrick, but it's really Joan Bennett who's crushing out on him. Here William Shirley as Foster is courting Muriel Lawrence, but it's really Eileen Christy as, guess who, Jeanie who's giving him the come hither glance.

One thing I will say, the Foster songs are given magnificent vocal treatment. The women both sing well and Shirley most famous for his behind the camera vocalizing in Sleeping Beauty and My Fair Lady has a terrific tenor voice. Ray Middleton however, most famous as the original Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, gives the best performance in the film as the egotistical E.P. Christy.

The rest of the cast, acting wise, is pretty weak. The plot is razor thin and in 1952 there was no excuse for calling a young black kid, Chitlin. Rex Allen, Republic's last cowboy B picture star makes a guest appearance here in blackface as a minstrel and that sure didn't help his career in any way.

I'd stick with the Ameche-Jolson version of the Stephen Collins Foster story.

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