6.8/10
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3 user

Cocoanut Grove (1938)

Band tries to get an audition for a job at a prestigious nightclub.

Director:

Alfred Santell

Writers:

Sy Bartlett (screenplay), Sy Bartlett (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred MacMurray ... Johnny Prentice
Harriet Nelson ... Linda Rogers (as Harriet Hilliard)
Ben Blue ... Joe De Lemma
Eve Arden ... Sophie De Lemma
Rufe Davis ... Bibb Tucker
Billy Lee ... Half Pint
George Walcott ... Tony Wonder
Virginia Vale ... Hazel De Vore (as Dorothy Howe)
Red Stanley Red Stanley ... Dixie
Harry Owens ... Hula Harry - Band Leader
Randy Oness Randy Oness ... Band Singer
Harry Owens and His Royal Hawaiians ... Royal Hawaiian Orchestra
The Yacht Club Boys The Yacht Club Boys ... Singing Quartette
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Storyline

Band tries to get an audition for a job at a prestigious nightclub.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

High Riding Romance ! - At The Rendezvous of the Stars !


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood é Nossa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a Paramount press release, on 28 March 1938, while waiting to be called to join Fred MacMurray and Harriet Nelson for a scene, eight-year-old actor Billy Lee had two of his teeth knocked loose by his young stand-in, Roland Smith, when the two boys simultaneously attempted to grab for a ball they were playing with - the top of Smith's head crashed into Billy's face. Director Alfred Santell had Billy whisked off to a Hollywood dentist's office in a studio car while scenes not needing Billy were filmed instead. After extracting the two drooping teeth, the dentist, Dr. Ervin Robert Barr, working from a studio still of Billy, created a removable plate for him, that was an exact match of his original teeth, by 7:00 that evening. Since Billy was needed for many scenes in the movie, Santell did not want to risk another change in his shooting schedule or a sudden, unexplained change in Billy's appearance, such as missing teeth. So Santell asked Billy to refrain from any rough-and-tumble activity and to stick to soft foods for the duration of filming, as Billy also had two loose baby teeth from before the mishap which Santell was determined would make it to the last scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lady of Burlesque (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Cocoanut Grove
Words and Music by Harry Owens
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A band on the run -- lightweight, but delightful
4 July 2005 | by John DeaseSee all my reviews

Sure, it's pretty lightweight, but like any half decent road movie it offers a more than pleasant ride. Johnny Prentice (Macmurray) tries to keep his struggling Chicago-based swing band from breaking up by convincing them they've got a shot at the legendary Cocoanut Grove in LA. The movie is basically the saga of the band getting across the US to make the Grove, in a trailer not unlike Lucy and Desi's (The Long, Long Trailer). Harriet Hilliard (of The Nelsons fame) comes on board as tutor for Johnny's adopted son, Half-pint, and naturally is soon discovered to be a fine singer who could change the fortunes of the band, especially when she unearths the hidden talents of band member Hula Harry (Harry Owens, whose orchestra provided most of the music).

What lifts this from most B-musicals of this period is a great sense of camaraderie among the musicians on the road, some delightfully eccentric characters (Ben Blue and Eve Arden as the Dancing Dilemmas; Rufe Davis, with a dizzying array of animal noises and sound effects; the child Half-pint, a demon at the drum kit) and some highly improbable scenes, verging on the bizarre, that work for comic value. And some of the songs! Thec signature tune, Says My Heart, will stick in the mind for a long time, as will a couple of the numbers done by the Yacht Club Boys (the deliberately clumsy cruise ship opener, and the OTT Four of the Three Musketeers) not to mention the two Rufe Davis songs. In between, the Hawaiian-flavoured tunes of Harry Owens and his orchestra keep the vibe well and truly on the mellow side.

Cocoanut Grove is silly, and for a road movie is somewhat studio bound, but its principals all have charm and there's enough pace to make the 90 minutes fly by. A delight!


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