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The Sun Comes Up (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Family, Musical | 12 May 1949 (USA)
Set in the rural south of the United States, a bereaved war widow learns to to put aside her bitterness and grief as she grows to love a young orphan boy and the dog that belonged to her ... See full summary »


Richard Thorpe


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Cast overview:
Jeanette MacDonald ... Helen Lorfield Winter
Lloyd Nolan ... Thomas I. Chandler
Claude Jarman Jr. ... Jerry
Lewis Stone ... Arthur Norton
Percy Kilbride ... Mr. Willie B. Williegood
Nicholas Joy ... Victor Alvord
Margaret Hamilton ... Mrs. Golightly
Hope Landin ... Mrs. Pope
Esther Somers Esther Somers ... Susan - the maid
Pal Pal ... Lassie (as Lassie)


Set in the rural south of the United States, a bereaved war widow learns to to put aside her bitterness and grief as she grows to love a young orphan boy and the dog that belonged to her late son. Punctuated with song-filled interludes. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Sunburst of Technicolor! A Sunburst of Songs! A Sunburst of Stars! See more »


Drama | Family | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 May 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lassie perd et gagne See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jeanette MacDonald's final film. See more »


When Jerry finally decides to go play with Lassie, we can hear someone off-screen give Lassie a command. Right after Jerry says,"Let's have fun now," and hugs Lassie, a man's voice clearly speaks a word off-camera, and Lassie looks in that direction before running off with the boy. See more »


Followed by The Painted Hills (1951) See more »


Un Bel Di
from "Madama Butterfly"
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jeanette Says Farewell
17 March 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Though she didn't intend The Sun Comes Up to be her final film, it turned out that way for Jeanette MacDonald. In this movie she plays, what else, a concert singer who is a war widow. After a few years of devoting herself to raising her only son, Dwayne Hickman, MacDonald is encouraged by her manager Lewis Stone to go back to the concert stage.

She goes back and becomes a great success in her comeback. But after the concert she sees her son run down by a truck as he was trying to save their collie Lassie from the same fate.

That just about destroys her and who could blame her for wanting to get away from it all. She rents an unused house deep in the Appalachians in North Carolina that's owned by Lloyd Nolan. She and Lassie go to live there and get involved with a group of kids from the county orphanage. Especially one young man, Claude Jarman, Jr., who reminds her of her late son.

Jeanette gets some good opera and concert material to sing, items that were staples in her real concerts. The highlights for me are Un Bel Di from Madame Butterfly and Romance.

And she gets her most cooperative co-star ever in Lassie. The beloved collie pulls off quite a rescue in the climax, but didn't steal any scenes from Jeanette MacDonald.

She never planned that The Sun Comes Up would be her last film. She had a lot of ambitions to return to the screen. During the Fifties she did The King and I in summer stock and hoped to be cast in the film adaption as Anna Leonowens. I think the part would have suited her perfectly and she wouldn't have to have been dubbed as Deborah Kerr was.

And one part she really wanted was as the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. She loved the song Climb Every Mountain. But by the time the film version of Sound of Music was being cast, Jeanette's health was failing.

Still The Sun Comes Up is a fine family film and a fitting end for a screen legend.

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