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
In 1940 Glenn tells his father that they sold 800,000 records and got three cents apiece, this came to $24,000. This would be equivalent to about $393,600 today. See more »
In perhaps the film's most notorious goof for the sake of dramatic license, Miller's famed swing instrumental of "Little Brown Jug" is depicted in the closing scene as a "special arrangement" Glenn created for a Christmas 1944 radio broadcast by Miller's AAF Band from Paris. In fact, it was one of the real Miller Band's first bona fide hits in 1939, arranged by the recently hired Bill Finegan, who became, along with arranger Jerry Gray, two of the key behind-the-scenes craftsmen that helped mold Miller's civilian band into the enduring commercial and artistic powerhouse it became. See more »
James Stewart in one of his best roles of the 1950s playing the late bandleader in the embellished story of his life; June Allyson plays his wife one of her best roles and I believe one of her personal favourites.
Watching the real Miller in Orchestra Wives' and then watching this, Stewart is really a revelation in this role. All the hits of the band are represented Moonlight Serenade, In The Mood, Tuxedo Junction, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Pennsylvania 65000. Some artistic licence has been taken but the whole is funny, celebratory, and at the end fairly touching. One of the best Hollywood biopics, right in the middle of a glut of them (Love Me or Leave Me, With a Song In My Heart, The Eddy Duchin Story, Night and Day, Words and Music, Three Little Words ).
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