6.8/10
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16 user 14 critic

Star Spangled Rhythm (1942)

Unrated | | Comedy, Musical | 2 December 1942 (USA)
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1:03 | Trailer

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A Paramount Studios security guard who was a major actor during the silent film era must carry out the illusion that he is still a big deal when his sailor son comes to visit.

Directors:

George Marshall, A. Edward Sutherland (uncredited)

Writers:

Harry Tugend (original screenplay), George S. Kaufman (sketches) (as George Kaufman) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bing Crosby ... Bing Crosby - 'Old Glory' Number
Bob Hope ... Bob Hope - Master of Ceremonies
Fred MacMurray ... Frank in Card-Playing Skit
Franchot Tone ... John in Card-Playing Skit
Ray Milland ... Joe in Card-Playing Skit
Victor Moore ... William 'Bronco Billy' Webster
Dorothy Lamour ... Dorothy Lamour- 'Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang' Number
Paulette Goddard ... Paulette Goddard- 'Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang' Number
Vera Zorina ... Vera Zorina- 'That Old Black Magic' Number
Mary Martin ... Mary Martin- 'Hit the Road to Dreamland' Number
Dick Powell ... Dick Powell-' Hit the Road to Dreamland' Number
Betty Hutton ... Polly Judson
Eddie Bracken ... Johnny Webster
Veronica Lake ... Veronica Lake- 'Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang' Number
Alan Ladd ... Alan Ladd- Scarface Skit
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Storyline

Pop, a security guard at Paramount has told his son that he's the head of the studio. When his son arrives in Hollywood on shore leave with his buddies, Pop enlists the aid of the studio's dizzy switchboard operator in pulling off the charade. Things get more complicated when Pop agrees to put together a show for the Navy starring Paramount's top contract players. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Musical Comedy Revue That Tops Them All!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Au pays du rythme See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$602,500, 3 February 1943
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Director A. Edward Sutherland and cinematographer John F. Seitz shot the "That Old Black Magic" number, uncredited. See more »

Goofs

During the jeep ride, one of the sailors is thrown out when the vehicle hits a bump and jumps onto a dirt road. The sailor is then shown back in the jeep in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

[In front of Old Glory and a plaster Mt. Rushmore]
Bing Crosby: [singing] Germans, Italians, and Japs / Can't kick us off our Rand-McNally maps.
See more »

Connections

References Reap the Wild Wind (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Doing It for Defense
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Betty Hutton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doing It For Defense
9 November 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Betty Hutton, one of the nominal stars of Star Spangled Rhythm, was not just doing it for defense as in her number, but the whole studio was doing this All Star flag waver for the defense of the morale of the USA.

I can never resist one of these all star spectaculars and there's only one I would ever have given a bad review to, and this isn't the one. Everybody working on the Paramount lot got to do his bit for defense in this film, some bits being longer than others.

The nominal plot of this film has Betty Hutton as a switchboard girl at Paramount studios and Victor Moore, a former silent western star, now working as a security guard at the studio trying to convince Eddie Bracken and a bunch of his sailor buddies that Moore is really the head of the studio. For that they have to con and bamboozle Walter Abel who is a real studio executive out of his office and off the lot so they can do their masquerade uninterrupted.

Of course Bracken asks the inevitable, pop can you get all these stars down for a big Navy show, and the con has to continue. But all of this nonsense is just an excuse for some musical and comedy numbers by the Paramount players.

Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer wrote the score and out of it came two really big standards, That Old Black Magic which was nominated for Best Song that year, but lost to another Paramount film song, White Christmas and Hit the Road to Dreamland.

The latter was done as director Preston Sturges was playing himself and screening a musical number from his latest film. As the projector rolls on screen it's Dick Powell and Mary Martin on a Pullman car singing about finally hitting the hay after some romance. The scene is so well done I wish it was included as an integral part of a real film.

That Old Black Magic is sung by Johnny Johnson and danced by ballet star Vera Zorina. It was enormous hit that year, recorded by a flock of singers. Oddly enough not by Bing Crosby though he got to sing it in another film, Here Come the Waves.

Of course the finale is a wartime flag waving number with Bing Crosby singing Old Glory about the flag and the wonders of the country behind it. The number about the flag probably wouldn't fly today still and that's a pity.

It's even more of a pity that these musical extravaganzas are a thing of the past with the decline of the Hollywood studio system. Star Spangled Rhythm is one of the best of its kind.


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