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Stars and Stripes Forever (1952)

A film biography of the composer John Philip Sousa, from his early days in the Marine Corps Band through the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

John Philip Sousa (book), Ernest Vajda (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clifton Webb ... John Philip Sousa
Debra Paget ... Lily Becker
Robert Wagner ... Willie Little
Ruth Hussey ... Jennie Sousa
Finlay Currie ... Col. Randolph
Roy Roberts ... Maj. George Porter Houston
Thomas Browne Henry Thomas Browne Henry ... David Blakely (as Tom Browne Henry)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Ferguson ... Mr. Wells (scenes deleted)
Jack Rice Jack Rice ... Mr. Jones (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In the 1890s, Sgt. Major John Philip Sousa, leader of the Marine Corps Band, meets Private Willie Little, inventor of an instrument he calls the Sousaphone...and Little's girlfriend, shapely showgirl Lily. To support his growing family, Sousa leaves the Marines and forms his own band; Willie and Lily go along. Though he'd rather write ballads, Sousa's marches bring him increasing fame; from their debut in 1892 the band is a great success. But Sousa's 'no wives' rule threatens the romance of Willie and Lily...as does the Spanish-American War. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Strike up the band! Here comes The Greatest Musical Show on Earth!


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1953 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever See more »

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

In 1987, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" was named the National March of the United States by Act of Congress. See more »

Goofs

In the film the famous Sousaphone was invented by Willy Little. In actuality the first sousaphone was developed by James Welsh Pepper in 1893 at the request of John Philip Sousa. See more »

Quotes

John Philip Sousa: What in the name of all get out's been keeping you so long?
Jennie Sousa: I was hearing the children's prayers.
John Philip Sousa: Does that take all night?
Jennie Sousa: They were praying for you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening display of 20th Century Fox's logo, Sousa's "Semper Fidelis" was played instead of the usual 20th Century fanfare See more »

Alternate Versions

Some releases include at the end a clip of the real John Philip Sousa leading the band in one of his famous marches. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Worth Winning (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(uncredited)
Music by Theodore A. Metz (1896)
Lyrics by Joe Hayden
Played during the playbill montage
Also played during the "Springtime in New York" number
Sung by a chorus during the end-of-war scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charming and entertaining all the way...
7 November 1999 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

The only indisputable and exciting great element in "Stars and Stripes Forever" is its music...

Clifton Webb does a fine work as the great band-master and composer of memorable marches who, on the 1890's, when he leaves the Marines Corps., forms his own concert band and travels around the world...

With the sensitive and beautiful Debra Paget as the singer-dancer, and the sympathetic and good-looking Robert Wagner as the horn player, the loving couple shares a real and firm part of the 'imagined' tale...

The great highlights of the picture are when a black choir is singing "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic," and the outstanding performance of "Dixie," played by Philip Sousa and his Orchestra as they enter the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta...

With Ruth Hussey playing Sousa's sensible wife, and with vivid costumes and a rich amount of Sousa's music, this colorful film is charming and entertaining all the way...


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