A film biography of the composer John Philip Sousa, from his early days in the Marine Corps Band through the Spanish-American War in 1898.

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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lily Becker
...
Willie Little
...
Jennie Sousa
...
Col. Randolph
...
Maj. George Porter Houston
Thomas Browne Henry ...
David Blakely (as Tom Browne Henry)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Mr. Wells (scenes deleted)
Jack Rice ...
Mr. Jones (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In the 1890s, Sgt. Major John Philip Sousa, leader of the Marine Corps Band, meets Private Willie Little, inventor of an instrument he calls the Sousaphone...and Little's girlfriend, shapely showgirl Lily. To support his growing family, Sousa leaves the Marines and forms his own band; Willie and Lily go along. Though he'd rather write ballads, Sousa's marches bring him increasing fame; from their debut in 1892 the band is a great success. But Sousa's 'no wives' rule threatens the romance of Willie and Lily...as does the Spanish-American War. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marcha Triunfal  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sousa was superstitious and refused to wear a pair of gloves more than once considering it to be bad luck. In the beginning of the film he orders 110 dozen pairs of pigskin gloves (1320 pairs) at five dollars a pair. That comes to $6,600 at a time when a new car cost about $700 and you could buy a house for around $4000. See more »

Goofs

In the film the famous Sousaphone was invented by Willy Little. In actuality the first sousaphone was developed by James Welsh Pepper in 1893 at the request of John Philip Sousa. See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening display of 20th Century Fox's logo, Sousa's "Semper Fidelis" was played instead of the usual 20th Century fanfare See more »

Connections

Referenced in Worth Winning (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(uncredited)
aka "Dixie"
Music by Daniel Decatur Emmett (1859)
March arrangement played at the Cotton States Exposition
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User Reviews

 
Charming and entertaining all the way...

The only indisputable and exciting great element in "Stars and Stripes Forever" is its music...

Clifton Webb does a fine work as the great band-master and composer of memorable marches who, on the 1890's, when he leaves the Marines Corps., forms his own concert band and travels around the world...

With the sensitive and beautiful Debra Paget as the singer-dancer, and the sympathetic and good-looking Robert Wagner as the horn player, the loving couple shares a real and firm part of the 'imagined' tale...

The great highlights of the picture are when a black choir is singing "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic," and the outstanding performance of "Dixie," played by Philip Sousa and his Orchestra as they enter the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta...

With Ruth Hussey playing Sousa's sensible wife, and with vivid costumes and a rich amount of Sousa's music, this colorful film is charming and entertaining all the way...


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