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Where's Charley? (1952)

From the popular Broadway show, a musical adaptation Brandon Thomas's 1890's farce about an Oxford undergraduate posing as a classmate's aunt from Brazil--"where the nuts come from." ... See full summary »



(play), | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Four struggling musicians lose their vocalist at the insistence of her gangster boyfriend. They find a replacement in an innocent young woman being courted by a cabbie pretending to be a king.

Director: Jack Hively
Stars: Ray Bolger, Anne Shirley, June Havoc


Credited cast:
Amy Spettigue (as Allyn McLerie)
Robert Shackleton ...
Horace Cooper ...
Margaretta Scott ...
Mary Germaine ...
Henry Hewitt ...
H.G. Stoker ...
Martin Miller ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Graham Leaman ...


From the popular Broadway show, a musical adaptation Brandon Thomas's 1890's farce about an Oxford undergraduate posing as a classmate's aunt from Brazil--"where the nuts come from." Notable mainly for Frank Loesser's score and Ray Bolger's spectacular dance to "Once in Love with Amy."

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Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


The stars, the songs, the gags and gals of the stage play burst on the screen in a riot of fun and color by TECHNICOLOR See more »


Comedy | Musical


See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 October 1952 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

La marraine de Charley  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ray Bolger won Broadway's 1949 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "Where's Charley?," a part he recreated in the film version. See more »


Version of Charley nénje (1986) See more »


Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by the Ensemble
See more »

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User Reviews

Ray Bolger's Greatest Success
29 December 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ray Bolger had a huge Broadway hit with "Where's Charley?" that ran from October 1948 to September 1950. Bolger even starred in a brief 1951 revival. This 1952 film version also boasts original cast members Allyn Ann McLerie as Amy and Horace Cooper as old Spettigue.

Despite a rough start in the opening Oxford scenes, the film kicks into gear when Bolger hideously yet hilariously masquerades as his aunt (whom he has never met) to maintain the social propriety that requires the presence of a chaperone among the mixed-sex young set gathered at an Oxford reunion.

The wealthy "aunt" then becomes the romantic target of two "old boys" back for their reunion. But all hell breaks loose when the real aunt shows up and pretends to be an old friend of the aunt's dead husband. Amid all these plot contrivances are peppered several musical numbers.

Bolger wonderfully recreates "Once in Love with Amy," a number that brought down the house on a nightly basis. The "aunt" is the perfect vehicle for his eccentric dancing style that seems even more bizarre while he's in drag. A major surprise is the excellent performance by Allyn Ann McLerie as Amy. Mostly remembered now for her crotchety character performances on TV, here she sings and dances up a storm in the Brazilian dream sequence. She's quite wonderful.

Cast also includes Mary Germaine and Robert Shackleton as Kitty and Jack, Margaretta Scott as the real aunt, and Howard Marion-Crawford as old Chesney.

Film closes with a massive production number, "At the Red Rose Cotillion," and a reprise of the opening number.

Still awaiting a DVD release. If you get a chance, watch this one for Ray Bolger and Allyn Ann McLerie.

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