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Harry Warren: America's Foremost Composer (1933)

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Songwriter Harry Warren performs several of his own compositions, including "I Found a Million Dollar Baby" and "Shadow Waltz."

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself
The Leaders ...
Themselves - Singing Quartet
Gladys Brittain ...
Herself - Singer
Margie Hines ...
Herself - Singer (as Marjorie Hines)
Marguerite & Le Roy ...
Themselves - Dance Team
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Storyline

Harry Warren plays some of his most popular numbers on a piano in a tux in a drawing room with a few couples listening and a full bar in the foreground. There's some kidding and a few comic lyrics set to Warren tunes, then Margie Hines and Gladys Brittain alternate singing some of Warren's best-known songs, joined from time to time by The Legends. Couples dance, featuring Marguerite and Le Roy. Several couples kiss, others throw back martinis. For the final number, "Forty-Second Street," Warren begins with some solo piano and then we go to a sound stage with a cast of hundreds singing and dancing to an orchestra's playing. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Music

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Release Date:

18 November 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pepper Pot (1933-1934) (#6): Harry Warren, America's Foremost Composer  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included in Warner Home Video's 2006 6-disc DVD release "The Busby Berkeley Collection". See more »

Connections

References 42nd Street (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Young and Healthy
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played by an orchestra during the opening credits
Performed by Harry Warren on piano
Danced by Marguerite & Le Roy
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User Reviews

Your Hit Parade, 1930s-style
28 March 2004 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

Although he isn't as well remembered as contemporaries Irving Berlin or Cole Porter, songwriter Harry Warren has many great standards to his credit: "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," "Jeepers Creepers," "We're in the Money," "I Only Have Eyes for You," and numerous others. Fans of Busby Berkeley's musicals made for Warner Brothers in the '30s will certainly remember Warren's songs, and so will baby boomers who grew up watching the Warner Studio's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, for it was those cartoons that really kept the songs alive and passed them along to the next generation and beyond.

This little musical short presents Harry Warren himself, a rather modest-looking gentleman in a tux seated at a piano in a swanky Art Deco apartment, surrounded by elegantly dressed folk sipping cocktails. When someone praises Harry and calls for a speech, he demurs bashfully and insists [with genuine, non-actorly awkwardness] that he's no good at making speeches, and proceeds to play his songs instead. And that's what we're here for: one great song after another, a couple of which have been given comic, altered lyrics for the occasion, usually harping on how much money Harry has made from his hits (which suggests a touch of envy and anxiety in the depths of the Depression). A couple of numbers are performed by Margie Hines, a Betty Boop sound-alike who later supplied the voice for Olive Oyl when Mae Questel was otherwise engaged.

These Vitaphone shorts provided exposure for studio contract artists and performers, and also gave the technicians extra work and a chance to experiment: during the rendition of "Shadow Waltz" there's artsy lighting with silhouettes and such. This film is a pleasant little treat for fans of '30s musicals, but it's also an interesting example of the way the studios promoted their wares at the time, for the short ends with an excerpt from their current big release, 42ND STREET, which of course featured several of Warren's best known songs. In a sense this short film (intriguingly identified as a "Vitaphone Pepper Pot" in the closing credits) served as a trailer for the main event.


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