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 »
"Cocoanut Grove" is an enjoyable rags to possible riches story. In the mix are a variety of songs which I surprisingly enjoyed and some light comedy.
The story begins with a bandleader and his band out of work. Johnny (Fred MacMurray) has the bright idea of heading to California with the band, as there is a possible opening coming up for a band like his. But they have no money, so they go on the cheap...a roadtrip through America. Once they arrive, however, they find things aren't quite as easy as they'd hoped.
This film is very lightweight--with a slight story and lots of singing. Normally this would spell death for the movie from me except something odd happened in this film...I found I actually LIKED all the singing and music. There were quite a few snappy tunes and I found myself humming along a few times. Well worth seeing.
By the way, Harriet Nelson (Ozzie's wife) is in the film but Ozzie isn't....which seems unusual as they were married and later became America's favorite family with "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet". Interestingly, Johnny mentions Ozzie Nelson in the film, as Ozzie was a famous and successful bandleader himself at the time.
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