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Step Lively (1944)

Passed | | Comedy, Music | 22 January 1945 (Sweden)
Gordon Miller is rehearsing a musical comedy in the penthouse suite of Gribble's hotel...on credit. The mounting bill is driving Gribble frantic. Chaos increases when playwright Glen ... See full summary »

Director:

Tim Whelan

Writers:

Warren Duff (screenplay), Peter Milne (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Adolphe Menjou ... Wagner
George Murphy ... Gordon Miller
Frank Sinatra ... Glenn Russell
Gloria DeHaven ... Christine Marlowe
Walter Slezak ... Joe Gribble
Eugene Pallette ... Simon Jenkins
Wally Brown ... Binion
Alan Carney ... Harry
Grant Mitchell ... Dr. Gibbs
Anne Jeffreys ... Miss Abbott
Edit

Storyline

Gordon Miller is rehearsing a musical comedy in the penthouse suite of Gribble's hotel...on credit. The mounting bill is driving Gribble frantic. Chaos increases when playwright Glen Russell, whose dramatic play he thinks Miller is producing, arrives. But it turns out Russell can sing like Sinatra, and Miller has leading lady Christine turn on the charm. Can Miller's crazed machinations save the show? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Fun!

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1945 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Amor, Música e Sarilhos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is a musical rendering of the Broadway play, 'Room Service' which was also filmed and, later, performed on television. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene in the hotel lobby, there are three consecutive shots of a bellboy carrying a stack of packages where the position of the flowers sticking out of a long package reverses from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

Joe Gribble: They're not human beings! They're... actors!
See more »

Connections

Version of Room Service (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

WHERE DOES LOVE BEGIN?
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by Gloria DeHaven, George Murphy, and chorus
Reprised by Frank Sinatra and Anne Jeffreys
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Musical Remake of Room Service
23 September 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Step Lively is simply Room Service with a musical score by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn. It was Frank Sinatra's second feature film role and it marked the first time he worked with that team of songwriters. There would be others, especially with Cahn who has the distinction of putting more words in Frank Sinatra's mouth than any other lyricist.

The original Room Service took place in the hotel suite of Gordon Miller, fast talking producer/conman and was originated by Sam Levene on stage and Groucho Marx on screen. George Murphy is certainly a lighter, gentler version of both of them. But he's passable enough in the part because we wouldn't want too much attention taken from Frank Sinatra.

Sinatra's role as the naive singer/playwright from Oswego was built up considerably from the original play. It was because of him that this film version was taken out of the one room setting of the original. His role was first played by Eddie Albert on Broadway and Frank Albertson with the Marx Brothers.

One song stands out in the score, As Long As There's Music which Sinatra really aces. Yet while Step Lively was being filmed at RKO and while it was out the recording industry was being struck by the musicians union. Additionally shellac which was needed to make those 78 RPMS was in short supply because of World War II. Sinatra never recorded the songs from Step Lively even after the strike was over. Yet As Long AS There's Music still became a hit. I have a version by Eddie Fisher on one of my record albums. Yet it's never identified with Sinatra.

Playing the roles that Chico and Harpo did are the comedy team of Wally Brown and Alan Carney, RKO's attempted answer to Abbott and Costello. RKO also got Adolphe Menjou and Walter Slezak to play the exasperated hotel managers and Eugene Palette had a memorable bit as the representative of Murphy's secret show backer who wants discretion in all things.

The female roles are from a pair of lovely RKO starlets who had substantial careers, Gloria DeHaven and Anne Jeffreys. So you can't say they didn't do all right by Old Blue Eyes.

On the strength of this film which did very well at the box office, MGM bought half of Sinatra's contract from RKO and he went on to make some great musicals in the Forties with them. But that's coming very soon.

Step Lively is both funny and contains some great singing by The Voice.


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