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Best Foot Forward (1943)

Passed | | Musical, Comedy | 8 October 1943 (USA)
1:42 | Trailer
Lucille Ball accepts a cadet's invitation to a military academy's senior prom in order to boost her career.


Edward Buzzell


Irving Brecher (screenplay), Fred F. Finklehoffe (screenplay) (as Fred Finklehoffe) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucille Ball ... Lucille Ball
William Gaxton ... Jack O'Riley
Virginia Weidler ... Helen Schlesinger
Tommy Dix ... Bud Hooper
Nancy Walker ... Nancy - Blind Date
June Allyson ... Ethel
Kenny Bowers ... Dutch Miller
Gloria DeHaven ... Minerva
Jack Jordan Jack Jordan ... Hunk
Beverly Tyler ... Miss Delaware Water Gap, Vocalist
Chill Wills ... Chester Short
Henry O'Neill ... Maj. Reeber
Sara Haden ... Miss Talbert
Donald MacBride ... Capt. Bradd
Bob Stebbins Bob Stebbins ... Greenie (as Bobby Stebbins)


Bud Hooper, a cadet at Winsocki Military Academy, sends an invitation to movie star Lucille Ball to come to Winsocki's big dance. Ball's publicity-hungry agent convinces her to go in order to boost her career. Complications arise when Bud's girlfriend Helen Schlesinger unexpectedly shows up, too. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Year's TOP MUSICAL TREAT! (print ad - Lubbock Avalanche Journal - Broadway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - January 30, 1945) See more »


Musical | Comedy


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 1 October 1941 and had 326 performances. The opening night cast included Nancy Walker, who originated her movie role in the play, and June Allyson, Kenny Bowers, Tommy Dix, Jack Jordan and Stanley Donen, all of whom are also in this film but with different roles; and Rosemary Lane. Gil Stratton was brought out to Hollywood at the same time but appeared in Girl Crazy (1943) instead, although some say he had a small role in this film. A 1963 off-Broadway revival starred Liza Minnelli. See more »


Lucy's "hotel room" is a very strange hotel room in that it has a piano, a fireplace and several empty floor-to-ceiling bookcases and no bed. See more »


Jack O'Riley: You are mighty long for a fellow named short.
Chester Short: People always say that and it always strikes me as funny.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release of the movie includes a 4 minute Overture and a 2 minute Exit Music. See more »


Featured in That's Entertainment! III (1994) See more »


The Flight of the Bumblebee
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Arranged by Jack Matthias
Performed by Harry James and His Orchestra at the prom
See more »

User Reviews

Whatever Happened to Best Foot Forward's Tommy Dix?
5 April 2006 | by r-rauhSee all my reviews

I really did enjoy seeing 1943's Best Foot Forward (BFF) again , after more than 50 years. I note that a couple of other reviewers have commented that they most enjoyed the film, as did I, for the song Buckle Down, Winsocki, as sung by Tommy Dix, and wondered what ever became of "military cadet" Tommy Dix, real life and career-wise. Young Tom would be about 82 years old now. As I recall, Tommy Dix was also in the original Broadway stage production of BFF in 1941. As far as I can find, there is absolutely not one shred or hint of bio or other life/career information re Tommy Dix on the internet, except that he was born in 1924 and appeared in very minor roles in two other movies in the early 1940's. Finito!

INDEED, what ever DID happen to our cadet, Tommy Dix? Does anybody out there know? Anyway, I hope he graduated with full honors from life's academy and had a grand and rewarding career, whatever and wherever it may have been, in or out of the movies.

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Release Date:

8 October 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Best Foot Forward See more »


Box Office


$1,162,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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