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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

In later interviews about the film, Steve Allen admitted that the real Benny Goodman (who he had met during the making of the film) was not nearly as pleasant an individual as Allen had portrayed him in the movie. 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

Benny Goodman: I didn't know you were interested in hot music.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Soundtracks

Sensation Rag
Written by Edwin B. Edwards
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User Reviews

 
A great film
19 May 2004 | by ElgroovioSee all my reviews

This film is considered by many as being a pretty mediocre film, but I think this film is truly great. Maybe it's just a jazz-lover's point of view; Benny Goodman is my favourite artist, and is the man who inspired me to take up the clarinet. Steve Allen comes across as a likable Goodman, and manages to look the part. Donna Reed also does her job pretty well but the people in the film who will really catch your attention are the jazz musicians that are in the film, playing themselves. These musicians include: the very enthusiastic drummer Gene Krupa, the trombone player Edward "Kid" Ory, the vibraphone player Lionel Hampton and the famous band leader and drummer of the '20s Ben Pollack. Whether you like the film or not, you have got to like the music which includes such Goodman classics as "Don't be that way", "Sing, Sing, Sing", "Let's Dance" and "One o'clock jump". All in all, a highly enjoyable film which, as far as I am concerned, is better than the much acclaimed film "The Glenn Miller Story" starring James Stewart in the part of Miller. "The Benny Goodman Story" is a must-see for all jazz fanatics and all clarinet players. The film also features a very impressive rendition of Mozart's clarinet concerto (Goodman also gave classical music a try, as you can see, to great effect). I'd say that it is decidedly worth seeing. Enjoy!


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