7.3/10
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37 user 9 critic

Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

When Phil Corey's band arrives at the Idaho ski resort its pianist Ted Scott is smitten with a Norwegian refugee he has sponsored, Karen Benson. When soloist Vivian Dawn quits, Karen stages an ice show as a substitute.

Writers:

Robert Ellis (screenplay), Helen Logan (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sonja Henie ... Karen Benson
John Payne ... Ted Scott
Glenn Miller ... Phil Corey
Milton Berle ... Nifty Allen
Lynn Bari ... Vivian Dawn
Joan Davis ... Miss Carstairs
The Nicholas Brothers ... Specialty (as Nicholas Brothers)
William B. Davidson ... Murray (as William Davidson)
Dorothy Dandridge ... Specialty
Almira Sessions ... Nurse
Mel Ruick Mel Ruick ... Band Leader
Ralph Dunn ... Customs Officer
Chester Clute ... Process Server
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Storyline

A publicity stunt for the Dartmouth Troubadours band gets complicated when the Norwegian refugee their pianist Ted Scott has announced he will be taking in turns out to be fully grown Karen Benson. When his girlfriend realises that Karen and Ted are spending an awful lot of time together on the ski slopes at the band's venue, things start to turn very frosty. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ONE OF YOUR ALL-TIME MUSICAL HIGHS! (1964 re-release poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adoptiertes Glück See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox 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

This film was Sonja Henie's last substantial box-office hit. Her remaining four Hollywood vehicles, Iceland (1942), Wintertime (1943), It's a Pleasure (1945) and The Countess of Monte Cristo (1948), would have diminished financial returns. Miss Henie's final feature, the British-made Hello London (1960), was not released in the U.S. See more »

Goofs

At Ellis Island, when the couple picks up their refugee, the little boys says "God dag" but his lips say "Hello". See more »

Connections

Featured in The Shape of Water (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Chattanooga Choo Choo
(1941) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyric by Mack Gordon
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
Sung by Tex Beneke, Paula Kelly, and The Modernaires, then danced and sung by The Nicholas Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hey, let's not forget about Harry and Gordon
10 May 2008 | by weezeralfalfaSee all my reviews

I remember seeing this film as a kid and being impressed that it was one of the most fun movies not directed primarily at children. Finally, I got a video copy and play it every Christmas season. If a musical romantic comedy is what you are in the mood for, this is one of the best, from a time when these were churned out in sizable numbers, serving to entertain the GIs far from home, as well as the home crowd. How could you miss with such talents as Sonja Henie, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, John Payne, Lynn Bari, Milton Berle, the Nicholas Brothers, and Dorothy Dandridge. Most of the action and some of the filming takes place at the Sun Valley ski resort in Idaho, developed only a few years before this film was made. I've seen clips of a few other films including Sonja,the reigning ice queen of the times, and this is by far her most entertaining performance. While Berle is trying to romance her, she definitely has her eye on a reluctant John Payne, who becomes engaged to the band's singer, played by perennial loser Lynn Bari. Payne was often paired with Betty Grable or Alice Faye in their 20th Century Fox musical romantic comedies of this era. Fox again paired Payne and Sonja in the film "Iceland". I haven't seen it, but apparently there was too much ice skating and too little development of the romance. It fell flat compared to the present film.

Of course, the Glenn Miller orchestra added much to this film. They performed several of their classic numbers. In addition, several new songs were composed for this film by the prolific tunesmith Harry Warren and his then lyricist Mack Gordon. Their collaboration produced such memorable songs in this film as "It Happened in Sun Valley", "I Know Why", "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "At Last". Unfortunately, the vocal version of the latter was cut, apparently to shorten the film; but Sonja and her retinue skated to the tune near the end of the film. The vocal version was resurrected in the second Fox film featuring the Miller orchestra, "Orchestra Wives", which also introduced the Warren-Gordon song "Serenade in Blue". Chattanooga Choo Choo" would go on to become the first certified Gold Record, with more than 1 million sold in the first year.. Ironically, when the Miller orchestra first practiced this song, they generally were not impressed with its potential. Surprisingly, at the Harry Warren web site, where browsers can choose to hear renditions of many of his songs, spanning from the 1920s to the 1950s, the most requested song is "At Last", which I would rate as #10, at most.

The comedy content of this film was carried by several of the principles. This was supposed to be the forte of Berle; however, his chief talent seemed to be smoking cigars. I would have much preferred Bob Hope or Jack Oakie, for example. That would have made it just about a perfect film. Miller was rather stiff off the bandstand, not surprisingly. Like the Cheshire Cat, Sonja kept popping up unexpectedly, scheming how to land her chosen man before he became unavailable. Her frequent Cheshire Cat-like smile belied her need to act fast. The chemistry between Sonja and Payne appeared to be very good, her impishness serving to loosen up his typical serious demeanor.

3/17 update : Now available at YouTube, along with "Orchestra Wives"


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