The young Benny Goodman is taught clarinet by a Chicago music professor. He is advised by bandleader Kid Ory to play whichever kind of music he likes best, but to make a living, Benny begins by joining the Ben Pollack traveling band.
The unemployed trombone player Glenn Miller is always broken, chasing his sound to form his band and hocking his instrument in the pawn house to survive. When his friend Chummy MacGregor is hired to play in the band of Ben Pollack, the band-leader listens to one Glenn's composition and invites him to join his band. While traveling to New York, Glenn visits his former girlfriend Helen Berger, in Boulder, Colorado, and asks her to wait for him. Two years later he quits the band and proposes Helen that moves to New York to marry him. After the success of "Moonlight Serenade", Glenn Miller's band becomes worldwide known and Glenn and Helen and their two children have a very comfortable life. Duting the World War II, Glenn enlists in the army and travels to Europe to increase the moral of the allied troops. In the Christmas of 1944, he travels from London to Paris for a concert to be broadcast; however his plane is never found in the tragic flight.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is a very tidy film, it's got intelligence, integrity, and above all else...it doesn't merely rely on great tunes to pass as a Glen Miller story. Perhaps guilty of not fully fleshing out Miller's workaholic pursuit of the life changing sound, it manages to portray very well the grind of being on the road, and essentially it doesn't soft soap the defining moment of Miller's career as the swing sound is literally stumbled upon by accident.
James Stewart plays it safe as houses as Miller, it's perfect casting when you think that Miller was such a big household name, something of an American treasure it would seem. Though it should be noted that historians say that the sweet Glen Miller portrayed by James Stewart is not quite in keeping with the real man's persona. Regardless of any character liberty taken, director Anthony Mann crafts a very watchable tale, Stewart and the ever watchable June Allyson as Helen Miller ensure it's a very professional piece, and I dare anyone to not start tapping their feet to those wonderful tunes, but I still think that we are waiting for the definitive Glen Miller picture, some 50 odd years later. As for the ending? Well if it's played out as fact then it's a wonderful finale, but if the makers shoehorned "Little Brown Jug" into the end purely for romanticism? Well that could be construed as dangerously sugar coating what should be a sombre ending to the story. 6.5/10
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