17 user 3 critic

Centennial Summer (1946)

Approved | | History, Musical, Romance | August 1946 (USA)
In 1876 Philadelphia, two sisters vie for the affections of a Frenchman who's come to town to prepare the French pavilion for the Centennial exposition.


Otto Preminger


Michael Kanin (screenplay), Albert E. Idell (based on novel by)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Jeanne Crain ... Julia Rogers
Cornel Wilde ... Philippe Lascalles
Linda Darnell ... Edith Rogers
William Eythe ... Ben Phelps
Walter Brennan ... Jesse Rogers
Constance Bennett ... Zenia Lascalles
Dorothy Gish ... Mrs. Rogers
Barbara Whiting ... Susanna Rogers
Larry Stevens Larry Stevens ... Richard Lewis Esq
Kathleen Howard ... Deborah
Buddy Swan Buddy Swan ... Dudley Rogers
Charles Dingle ... J.P. Snodgrass
Avon Long ... Specialty


In 1876 Philadelphia, two sisters vie for the affections of a Frenchman who's come to town to prepare the French pavilion for the Centennial exposition.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tia de Paris See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Centennial Summer hasn't been available for viewing since the mid-1980s, when, after many years of obscurity, it turned up for one showing on the SFM Holiday Network, and briefly on the Disney Channel. Since that time, the film has not been televised and, as of 2017, has never been released in any home video format. See more »


Referenced in Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991) See more »


All Through the Day
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Larry Stevens, Jeanne Crain (dubbed by Louanne Hogan), Linda Darnell (dubbed), William Eythe (dubbed by David Street) and Cornel Wilde (dubbed by Ben Gage)
See more »

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User Reviews

Charming Musical Americana
21 December 2014 | by Ripper2RidesAgainSee all my reviews

After many years of hoping, I finally got to see "Centennial Summer" this past weekend. I purchased a DVD copy from Lovingtheclassics.com. Clearly it was an old transfer print, not the greatest quality but not bad. Some scenes were brighter than others but overall it was average but far from poor in quality. The sound was fine. It's a bare bones DVD, however. No menu or extras.

I understand that the company Twilight Time was going to release a restored Blue Ray edition of this film back in September, but they ran into legal problems with the rights. Hopefully, they'll get this situation straightened out soon as I'd love to see a restored print of this. The Technicolor must be stunning!

"Centennial Summer" is an enjoyable, nostalgic film, clearly 20th Century Fox's attempt to emulate the success of MGM's "Meet Me In Saint Louis" of 1944. This Fox effort is not as lavish and it's less a musical than a film-with-songs. It was based on a novel, which I have read, about a year in the life of a Philadelphia family in 1876, when the city hosted the Centennail Exposition, a world's fair celebrating the 100th birthday of the USA. The screenplay compresses the time line into just the summer of that year and eliminates much of the quirky Philadelphia local color and lore that are sprinkled through the book. Still, the film evokes the fair itself and the excitement it creates in a far more slowly paced era. The costumes are lovely and the charming sets are full of accurate period details.

The film stars a typical line up of popular Fox stars of the mid '40s. Lovely Jeanne Crain and dark, sensuous Linda Darnell are the sisters competing for the attention of a visiting Frenchman, Cornel Wilde. The largely forgotten William Eythe, who died young, plays Darnell's neglected suitor. Although he was a talented singer, he and the rest of the leads are dubbed by other performers, a common practice at the Fox Studio. Walter Brennan and Dorothy Gish are amusing as the parents and Constance Bennett makes a glamorous turn as exotic Aunt Zenia, whose visit from Paris causes much disruption in the family's quiet life.

The score was Jerome Kern's last and it's charming and easy on the ears if not particularly memorable. Cotton Club singer Avon Long turns up do a minstrel tune with some children in a saloon scene. It's probably the film's musical highpoint. Director Otto Preminger was not noted for musical films, although he directed a couple. He keeps the somewhat rambling plot moving and the film is colorful and evocative.

It will be great if this lively, charming film gets wider circulation in a restored print soon.

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