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The Benny Goodman Story (1956)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Music | 3 January 1956 (Japan)
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.

Director:

Valentine Davies
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Allen ... Benny Goodman
Donna Reed ... Alice Hammond
Berta Gersten Berta Gersten ... Mama Goodman
Barry Truex Barry Truex ... Benny Goodman (at 16)
Herbert Anderson ... John Hammond Jr.
Robert F. Simon ... Papa Dave Goodman
Hy Averback Hy Averback ... Willard Alexander
Sammy Davis Sr. ... Fletcher Henderson
Dick Winslow ... Gil Rodin
Shepard Menken Shepard Menken ... Harry Goodman
Jack Kruschen ... Murph Podolsky
Wilton Graff ... John Hammond Sr.
Fred Essler Fred Essler ... Prof. Schoepp
David Kasday David Kasday ... Benny Goodman (at 10)
John Erman John Erman ... Harry Goodman (at 16) (as John M. Erman)
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 1956 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

La historia de Benny Goodman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Benny Goodman played all the clarinet music heard on the soundtrack himself, with the exception of the scene where the young Goodman first tried to play the clarinet - the squeaky notes were actually played by Steve Allen. See more »

Goofs

Trumpeter Buck Clayton never appeared with Goodman's 1937 band; he was a mainstay of Count Basie's. Clayton did, however, perform as a guest artist with Basie and fellow band members Lester Young, Freddie Green and Walter Page at Goodman's legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. See more »

Quotes

Harry Goodman: Benny, you oughta change your name.
Benny Goodman: Why?
Harry Goodman: Who's gonna remember a name like Benny Goodman.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Benny Goodman's theme song is played over the appearance of the "Universal International" globe. See more »

Soundtracks

Clarinet Concerto
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful music, but otherwise pretty bland
31 March 2009 | by larry-labatiSee all my reviews

This film was certainly made in order to give jazz and swing band fans a real fine dose of perhaps the greatest swing music ever recorded, and this it does in abundance and in very fine form.

However, the story and dramatic part of this film is truly not very well executed, and much inferior to the previous year's "Glen Miller Story".

And, as a previous commentator stated on this site, why couldn't the producers have put in a little more thought into the costumes of the period, not only for the women, although this is where it is obviously not proper period costume, but also for the men.

Are 1920's fashions that difficult to reproduce? I don't think so.While Donna Reed certainly looked beautiful in the clothes she did wear in the film, it was a bit "jarring" to know that the story is taking place in the 20's and 30's, and everyone is parading around in mid 50's clothing.

Otherwise, the film is modestly entertaining, and the music , as mentioned, is superb.


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