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Of Thee I Sing (1972)

TV Movie  -  Comedy | Musical  -  24 October 1972 (USA)
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CBS' updated version of the classic Gershwin musical, cast largely with stars who were all appearing in then-current CBS television series.

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Credited cast:
John P. Wintergreen
Diana Devereaux
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Senator Robert F. Lyons
Francis X. Gilhooley
Bob Duggan ...
Senate Clerk
Louis Lippman
Paul Hartman ...
Chief Justice
Shirley Kirkes ...
Miss Benson
Garrett Lewis ...
Sam Jenkins
Hotel Chambermaid
Jesse White ...
Matthew Fulton
Ted Zeigler ...
White House Guide


CBS' updated version of the classic Gershwin musical, cast largely with stars who were all appearing in then-current CBS television series.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Musical





Release Date:

24 October 1972 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The musical play was actually written for the The Marx Brothers, but they had to bow out because at the time the musical was running on Broadway (1932), they were reaching the peak of their motion picture success. See more »


References Mary Tyler Moore (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Well Remembered
24 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this TV version of "Of Thee I Sing" when I was very young. It helped turn me into a life long Gershwin fan. I even have the LP made by Columbia. Since that time, I have seen and been involved with productions of this brilliant musical comedy. A few of the songs ("Of Thee I Sing", Who Cares", "Love Is Sweeping the Country") have become world class standards. Then there are the hidden gems like "A Kiss for Cinderella" and "Because, Because".

Paramount was supposed to make a movie version. It was discussed as a vehicle for the Marx Brothers. Would Groucho have played Wintergreen or Fulton? Harpo would have been hysterical as a silent Throttlebottom. Chico would have added to the hilarity as an immigrant committee member. Maybe Zeppo would have been Wintergreen! In the 1940s,Bob Hope was to star in a movie version. Hope would have been perfect as Wintergreen, but looking at Paramount 40s musicals, it wouldn't have been great. Musically, we probably would have ended up with only "Wintergreen for President", "Love Is Sweeping the Country" and the title song. Paramount used Hope instead of William Gaxton for its production of "Louisiana Purchase"; Victor Moore repeated his Broadway role. However, most of Irving Berlin's score was unused and Hope did not get one single musical number. What a shame! Paramount also made messes of Broadway hits "Let's Face It" and "Lady in the Dark".

As for the CBS production, the libretto was truncated to fit into a 90 minute slot and the southern senator became the villain, replacing the French Ambassador, which would not make much sense in the 1970s. Peter Matz's musical arrangements are crisp and swinging. They are far superior to the Don Walker arrangements from the 1952 Broadway version. Jack Gilford was so perfect as Throttlebottom that he was used again for the Brooklyn Accademy of Music production in the 1980s. With the Gershwin music still vital at the time, CBS was able to update the story and place it in the 1970s. However, if this show was revived on Broadway today, unfortunately it would have to be treated as a period piece.

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