6.5/10
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23 user 4 critic

The Dolly Sisters (1945)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 7 October 1946 (Sweden)
Two sisters from Hungary become famous entertainers in the early 1900s. Fictionalized biography with lots of songs.

Director:

Irving Cummings

Writers:

John Francis Larkin (original screenplay) (as John Larkin), Marian Spitzer (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Betty Grable ... Yansci 'Jenny' Dolly
John Payne ... Harry Fox
June Haver ... Roszika 'Rosie' Dolly
S.Z. Sakall ... Uncle Latsie Dolly
Reginald Gardiner ... Tony, Duke of Breck
Frank Latimore ... Irving Netcher
Gene Sheldon Gene Sheldon ... Professor Winnup
Sig Ruman ... Ignatz Tsimmis
Trudy Marshall ... Lenora Baldwin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mary Jane Shores Mary Jane Shores ... Chorine
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Storyline

In 1904, Uncle Latsie comes to New York from Hungary with two little nieces, who immediately take to cafe dancing. In 1912 they're still at it, but to pay Uncle's card debts they decide to go into vaudeville. Singer Harry Fox, whom they meet en route, schemes to get them an audition with the great Hammerstein; but their resulting success takes them far out of Harry's league. Lots of songs with a little story. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're Beautiful...They're Glamorous...They're Scandalous...


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1946 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Dolly Sisters See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,510,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Jenny Dolly, Rosie Dolly, and Harry Fox were real people. See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Betty Grable: Behind the Pin-up (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

"Hungarian Dance No. 5 (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played by the band at the Little Hungary restaurant
Danced by Evon Thomas and Donna Jo Gribble, Betty Grable and June Haver
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sumptuous Fox musical
26 December 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Betty Grable and June Haver are "The Dolly Sisters" in this 1945 film also starring John Payne, S.Z. Sakall and Reginald Gardner. Grable enjoyed an unparalleled run - 10 years in a row - in the Hollywood top ten box office, from 1941 to 1951, yet when Turner Classic Movies published their Unforgettable Leading Ladies of the Studio Era book, Grable was left out. For anyone who believes - erroneously - that Turner Classic Movies has any interest in film history, she was left out - just as Tyrone Power was left out of the leading men book - because TCM doesn't own their films.

Not realizing that for a huge audience later on, it wouldn't exist, 20th Century Fox spared no expense for this lavish color musical about two real-life Hungarian sisters (actually brunettes) who were big entertainers in the beginning of the century. The story focuses on Jenny Dolly (Grable) primarily and her romance and marriage to Ziegfeld performer Harry Fox (inventor of the "fox trot"), played by John Payne, and how World War I and career separations destroyed their marriage.

Grable and Haver look just like sisters and are marvelous together, wearing gorgeous costumes and looking fabulous and radiant throughout. Both bring a lot of energy to their roles. Payne does a good job as Harry, singing and acting well. A versatile actor, he could not only appear in musicals where he did his own singing, but he did plenty of drama and was also a hunk. He was invaluable to Fox during the war years.

This is a very entertaining film, but it's a shame that a film on the true story of the Dolly Sisters has never been made. Jenny and Fox were divorced in 1921. She was indeed involved in a car accident with an ex-boyfriend in 1933 and had to sell her jewels to pay for many surgeries, but unlike the film, she never really recovered. She never reconciled with Fox and in 1941, she hung herself. Rosie did marry a Chicago businessman; she attempted suicide in 1962, though it failed, and she died in 1970. The two women were huge gamblers, only hinted at in the film, and made a fortune: They won $850,000 in one season at Deauville and one evening in Cannes, Jenny won 4 million francs, which she converted to a collection of jewelry, and then went on to win another 11 million more francs.

I suppose during World War II, no one would have been interested in such a downer, so it's just as well that we have this film, which gives us vibrant entertainment in the best 20th Century Fox tradition.


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