Bio of swing band leader 'Benny Goodman' from age 10 (1919) to his landmark Carnegie Hall band concert in 1938. Not exactly historically accurate, but great music. Also, guest appearances ... See full summary »
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Bio of swing band leader 'Benny Goodman' from age 10 (1919) to his landmark Carnegie Hall band concert in 1938. Not exactly historically accurate, but great music. Also, guest appearances by many great musicians of the time. Written by
Don Femia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Benny Goodman played all the clarinet music heard on the soundtrack himself, with the exception of the scene where the young Goodman first tried to play the clarinet - the squeaky notes were actually played by Steve Allen. See more »
Benny Goodman is shown playing the Gordon Jenkins standard "Goodbye" after he learns of his father's death. Goodman's father died in 1926, but Jenkins did not compose "Goodbye" until 1935. Goodman used "Goodbye" as the sign-off tune for the "Let's Dance" radio program and live performances. See more »
Benny Goodman's theme song is played over the appearance of the "Universal International" globe. See more »
I may have seen this film more than 20 times, unfortunately it has been unavailable in the UK for 10 years and not on TV all that time so I'm missing it right now. It is such a good film whether you enjoy Benny Goodman's music or jazz for that matter or not. Benny Goodman's life was pretty interesting anyway and it's portrayal in this movie is fairly accurate. The music score covers all the best from Benny Goodman and his Orchestra and is a tribute to one of the earlier band leaders in Jazz. There were not too many bands with both black and white members at that time but this was such a band. What was great for the Benny Goodman Orchestra was the fact that many of the members were such well known and respected performers themselves. There was such talent in that group of musicians and how fortunate it was that they should all come together at that time to create and play some brilliant music.
With regard to the film it is based on the life of Benny Goodman and if you know about him the presence of spoilers here would not ruin things. In short though this film shows Benny Goodman from a young boy through to after he has made a success of himself. His challenges, disappointments, love interests are all a part of the story through the film.
I couldn't fault anything in this film, direction, acting, all of it is just right and it makes for a film you can enjoy over and over again.
They certainly don't make movies like this anymore.
9 out of 10. (I reserved 10 out of 10 for my very best 3 or 4 films, this is a top 10 of mine still).
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