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Drama
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Into the Ether....
11 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Great Day is one of those mystery productions that was started and shut down before its completion. The film was very close to completion, but the studio, and Joan, supposedly didn't like what they were seeing. They mutually decided to go into major rewrites to save the film with the plan to go back to shooting with the newly revised script by the following year, in 1931. It never happened and "Great Day," was never released. However, there seems to be a much bigger story to the movie that never was. Tantalizing references to "Great Day" are out there, but anyone researching it finds there are many dead ends. It's as if someone had tried to erase its existence. And there's a very good reason for that - someone did.

Production started in the fall of 1930, but after around 8 weeks of shooting, the film was scrapped at considerable cost to the studio ($280,000 according to Joan and US), largely due to Joan's extreme unhappiness with her southern belle performance ("I just can't talk baby talk," Joan told LB Mayer after viewing the rushes, which she thought were "God-awful.") "Great Day" began as a Vincent Youmans musical purchased by M-G-M to be tailored to Joan Crawford's talents. The 1929 show had not been a success on Broadway, lasting only twenty-nine performances. But its songs (with lyrics by Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu) had been memorable. They included the title tune, another called "Without A Song", and lastly, one of the all-time standards, "More Than You Know." It was the popularity of the music that encouraged MGM to buy the rights for the film version.

Another effort was made to make the film in 1934, this time starring Jeanette MacDonald, but this also fell through.

For years, "Great Day" was referred to only briefly, if at all, in Joan's filmographies. One of the strangest facts surrounding the film was that all MGM production records for this "A" feature had disappeared, yet, records for many other uncompleted movies had survived. Nobody knows why.


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