Ladies of the Chorus

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Ladies of the Chorus
Ladies of the Chorus.jpg
theatrical poster
Directed by Phil Karlson[1]
Produced by Harry A. Romm
Written by Harry Sauber
(story & screenplay)[2]
Joseph Carole (screenplay)[2]
Starring Marilyn Monroe
Adele Jergens
Rand Brooks
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Frank Redman
Edited by Richard Fantl
Distributed by Columbia Pictures[3]
Release date(s)
  • December 30, 1948 (1948-12-30) (U.S.)
Running time 61 minutes[5]
Language English

Ladies of the Chorus is a 1948 American musical film, released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Phil Karlson, starring Marilyn Monroe.

The screenplay, written by Harry Sauber and Joseph Carole, was based on a story by Harry Sauber and tells the story of a dancer who falls in love with a wealthy man. Their romance strains the relationship of the girl with her mother, as she worries about the class difference between the two, and wonders if her daughter will be happy.

The film depicts Marilyn Monroe in her first major role. In it, Monroe sings "Every Baby Needs a Da Da Daddy" and "Anyone Can See I Love You." But the film was not a success, and Monroe's contract with Columbia Pictures was not renewed.


Peggy Martin (Marilyn Monroe) and her mother Mae (Adele Jergens) both work as burlesque chorus girls. After star Bubbles LaRue quits, Joe, the stage manager, asks Mae to do a specialty number, but Mae secretly arranges for Peggy to do the number instead, and her performance is so good that she is given the starring spot.

One evening, Randy Carroll (Rand Brooks), a member of a wealthy society family in Cleveland, Ohio, is brought to a performance by friends and becomes completely enamored of Peggy. Learning that Peggy generally does not go on dates because her mother disapproves, Randy adopts a subtle strategy. Every night, he sends Peggy orchids, but does not sign the card. Curious about her secret admirer, Peggy goes to the florist to learn his identity. When the florist tells her that the man is due to arrive at any moment, Peggy waits for him. After they finally meet, Randy asks Peggy to dinner and she accepts, but first she invites him to meet her mother. Randy is shocked to learn that Mae is also a dancer, but he politely asks her to join them for dinner. Mae declines, but waits anxiously for Peggy to return home. That night, an ecstatic Peggy tells Mae that Randy has proposed.

The next day, when Randy asks Mae for her consent, she warns him that there is a class difference between him and Peggy. In response to Randy's indifference, Mae tells him the story of her marriage to a Boston socialite, Peggy's father. After their marriage, she explains, her husband's family was horrified to learn how she made her living and had the marriage annulled. Randy protests that people are more broadminded now than they were in her day, and Mae agrees to the marriage, providing that Randy tells his mother about Peggy's profession beforehand.

Randy then tries to tell his mother Adele (Nana Bryant) about Peggy, but gets cold feet. Adele, however, is delighted that Randy has fallen in love and invites Mae and Peggy for a visit. Adele plans a lavish engagement party for all their friends. Before the party, Mae's old friend, Billy Mackay (Eddie Garr), a retired burlesque comic, joins them. The trio of musicians that Adele has hired to entertain recognize Peggy and ask her to sing. The party guests are scandalized, and feeling snubbed, Peggy and Mae decide to go home. Mrs. Carroll stops them, because, she declares, if they run away, it will only make things worse. Adele then asks Billy to help her sing something.

Afterward, she reveals to her shocked friends that she too used to be a chorus girl. Later, she secretly admits to Mae and Billy that she made up that story to make Peggy and Randy happy. She then suggests that it is time for Mae to marry her old friend Billy, who has loved her for years.



Song[6] Writer(s) Actor(s)
"Every Baby Needs a Da Da Daddy" Lester Lee and Allan Roberts Marilyn Monroe
"I'm So Crazy for You" Lester Lee and Allan Roberts Adele Jergens
(dubbed by Virginia Rees)
"The Ladies of the Chorus" Lester Lee and Allan Roberts Marilyn Monroe, Adele Jergens and others
(Adele Jergens dubbed by Virginia Rees)
"You're Never Too Old" Lester Lee and Allan Roberts Nana Bryant


External links[edit]