6.8/10
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Living It Up (1954)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 23 July 1954 (USA)
An unsophisticated stationmaster from provincial New Mexico fraudulently claims that he is dying in order to get an expense-paid dream tour of New York.

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(play), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Sammy White ...
Sid Tomack ...
Master of Ceremonies
...
Dr. Emile Egelhofer
...
Dr. Lee
...
Conductor
...
Fay Roope ...
Man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Milicent Patrick ...
Bit (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

Pretty Wally Cooper, a reporter for the New York Chronicle convinces her editor to let her do a series of articles on Homer Flagg, a young man from New Mexico who is believed to be dying as a result of radioactive poisoning. Before she arrives out west, Homer learns from his doctor that the diagnosis was a mistake and he's perfectly healthy. That doesn't stop them from accepting Wally's offer of an all- expenses paid trip to New York. Everyone in New York takes pity on Homer, while Homer and his doctor try to keep up their pretense. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY'RE LAFFIN' IT UP! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 July 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der sympathische Hochstapler  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Living It Up was based on the 1953 Broadway musical Hazel Flagg , which was based on the 1937 David O. Selznick-United Artists film Nothing Sacred (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). Nothing Sacred , in turn, was suggested by the short story "Letter to the Editor" by James H. Street. Nothing Sacred , which was directed by William Wellman, was written by Ben Hecht, who also wrote the book for Hazel Flagg and receives onscreen credit for Living It Up . Carole Lombard played the dying "Hazel" in the 1937 film and Fredric March portrayed "Wally." Sig Ruman played "Dr. Egelhofer" in both the 1937 and 1954 pictures. Dancer Sheree North (1933-2005), in her first significant screen role, also played the star jitterbugger in Hazel Flagg . Only three songs from the Broadway show are performed in Living It Up -"Every Street's a Boulevard in Old New York," "How Do You Speak to an Angel?" and "You're Gonna Dance with Me." A snippet of the show's song "Who Is the Bravest" is also heard in the film. HR news items add the following actors to the cast of Living It Up : Hazel Boyne, Philo McCollough, Tom Tutwiler, Jack Gaines, Jr., Stuart Holmes, Lucille Lamarr, Lou Brown, Bill Roberts, Helen Dickson, Millicent Patrick and Jane Easton. The appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a 26 Apr 1954 LAT item, a special preview of the picture was held at George Air Base near Victorville, CA. As noted in a 16 Jul 1954 HR news item, the film then had a special two-day premiere in Atlantic City. Modern sources claim that, at Jerry Lewis' behest, the film was screened in Jun 1954 at the Brown Hotel, where Lewis had performed as a teenager, at Loch Sheldrake in the Catskill Mountains. The picture was re-released in Sep 1965. (AFI) See more »

Quotes

Homer Flagg: I wish I could go to New York with yuh.
Isaiah Jackson: Now, Homer, you're gonna be fillin' my shoes, stationmaster of Desert Hole!
Homer Flagg: [dejectedly] Yeah.
Isaiah Jackson: [optimistically] In exactly 52 years you'll be getting your pension. Then you'll be on your way to wine, women, and song.
Homer Flagg: In 52 years who'll be able to sing?
See more »

Connections

Remake of Nothing Sacred (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Ev'ry Street's a Boulevard in Old New York
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Bob Hilliard
Sung by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Live it and lap it up.
17 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

Homer Flagg is an inept stationmaster in New Mexico, he mistakenly believes he has contracted radium poisoning. A reporter for the New York Chronicle, Wally Cooper, heads out west to write his story, but before she arrives, Homer finds out that he in fact isn't dying, but along with his devious doctor they decide to accept Cooper's offer of an all expenses paid trip to the Big Apple. Here in New York everyone takes Homer to their hearts, so the guys have to keep up the pretence that Homer is not long for this world, something that will be hard to do in light of Homer's complete ineptitude.

As Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis vehicles go, this is one of the better offerings, it's basically a reworking of the 1937 William Wellman picture, Nothing Sacred. Lots of fun to be had as Martin & Lewis continue the formula that made them so appealing to the movie watching masses back in the 50s. A bonus here is the bright as a button performance from Janet Leigh, not only turning Dean Martin's { Dr Steve} head, but also the audience with an enjoyable slot into this comedy tale. As usual Jerry acts the goof whilst Dean sings and swaggers, and as usual a Martin & Lewis film is only as good as it's comedy set pieces, here they come up trumps with one sequence during a jitterbug contest particularly entertaining. It all comes together during a typically hilarious finale to leave us with a rewarding film from a very rewarding double act. 7/10


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