Springtime in the Rockies

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Springtime in the Rockies
Directed by Irving Cummings
Produced by William LeBaron
William Goetz
Written by Walter Bullock
Ken Englund
Jacques Thery
Philip Wylie
Starring Betty Grable
John Payne
Carmen Miranda
Cesar Romero
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Ernest Palmer
Edited by Robert L. Simpson
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates November 6, 1942
Running time 91 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Springtime in the Rockies is a Technicolor musical comedy film released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1942. A Betty Grable vehicle, with support from John Payne, Carmen Miranda, Cesar Romero, Charlotte Greenwood, and Edward Everett Horton. Also in the cast was Grable's future husband Harry James, and his band. The director was Irving Cummings.


During the thirty-fourth week of their hit Broadway show, dancer Vicky Lane (Betty Grable) awaits the arrival of her partner, Dan Christy (John Payne), but as usual, he is late. Vicky thinks that Dan is buying her an engagement ring and is infuriated to discover that he has been on a date with socialite Marilyn Crothers. Fed up with Dan's womanizing and insensitivity, Vicky quits the show and returns to her former dancing partner and beau, Victor Prince (Cesar Romero), who is still in love with her. Three months pass as Dan sinks into a depression and cannot find a backer for his new show. His agent, the Commissioner, tells him that businessmen Bickel and Brown will back his show, but only if he can get Vicky to return. Dan is pessimistic, for Vicky and Victor are beginning a new engagement with Harry James and His Music Makers at a Lake Louise resort in the Canadian Rockies. The Commissioner tells Dan to romance Vicky so that she will come back, and not tell her about Bickel and Brown until she arrives in New York. He then asks bartender McTavish (Edward Everett Horton) to get the drunken Dan on the next plane to Lake Louise. When Dan awakens sometime later, he finds himself at the Canadian resort and learns that he has hired McTavish as his valet and Rosita Murphy (Carmen Miranda), who was working in a Detroit souvenir shop, as his secretary. He then confronts Vicky, who happily shows off the engagement ring given to her by Victor. Dan is discouraged but hits upon the scheme of making Vicky jealous by romancing Rosita. His plan appears to be working until Vicky learns the truth from Rosita, who has aroused the interest of Victor, although she prefers McTavish. Vicky's friend, Phoebe Gray, is also intrigued by McTavish, and the couples spend much time pursuing and arguing with each other. One evening, Dan barges into Vicky's room and refuses to leave when she summons Victor. Angered by Dan's presence, Victor accuses Vicky of being unfaithful, and she breaks off their engagement. Later that evening, Vicky and Dan reconcile, and he promises to be honest with her. He tries to tell her about the new show, but she rushes off to plan their departure the next morning. As she is checking out in the morning, Vicky runs into the Commissioner, and Bickel and Brown, who have just arrived and spill the beans about the show. Thinking that Dan is using her once again, Vicky runs off in tears, but the quick-thinking Rosita is able to cover up for Dan and convince Vicky that he intended to take her to California for their honeymoon. In the process, however, Bickel and Brown are lost as sponsors and Rosita must persuade McTavish to invest some of his inheritance into Vicky and Dan's new show. That accomplished, the show opens with Vicky and Dan as the star performers, supported by Harry James, Rosita and Victor, and McTavish and Phoebe.[1]



Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda in the recordings of Springtime in the Rockies, 1942.

Although Philip Wylie's story was published under the title "Second Honeymoon," it was purchased by Twentieth Century-Fox under the title "Worship the Sun." A HR news item noted that Frederick Jackson was working on the picture's script, but the extent of his contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a 20 Dec 1941 story outline, contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts—Special Collections Library, Fred Astaire and Rudy Vallee were originally considered for the male leads.

According to the Records of the Legal Department, also at UCLA, the studio paid $1,000 for a waiver from Villa Moret, Inc, the copyright proprietors of the song "When It's Springtime in the Rockies," so that there would be no legal conflict using the title Springtime in the Rockies . The legal records also reveal that Twentieth Century-Fox paid approximately $1,160 to Republic Pictures, which had prior claim on the title for use on a Roy Rogers picture. That film was then released as Romance on the Range in 1942. A 22 Jun 1942 studio press release noted that the songs "Magazines" and "I Like to Be Loved By You," written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, were to be included in the film, although they were not included in the finished picture.

According to a HR news item, the studio intended to shoot the picture on location at Lake Louise in Canada due to "defense regulations hindering exterior shooting in the Hollywood area." Only background shots were filmed in Canada, however. "I Had the Craziest Dream," which is sung by Harry James's band singer Helen Forrest in the film, became one of Betty Grable's signature songs. Grable and James were married in 1943, and according to modern sources, they named their first-born daughter, Victoria Elizabeth, after the character Grable played in this film. The couple were divorced in 1965. Grable starred with Dick Powell in the Lux Radio Theatre version of the film, which was broadcast on 22 May 1944. Twentieth Century-Fox first filmed Wylie's story in 1936 under the title Second Honeymoon. That picture was directed by Walter Lang and starred Tyrone Power and Loretta Young. The legal records reveal that in 1946, the studio intended to film another remake, entitled Autumn in Acapulco, but that version was never produced.[2]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed at or very near the $2 million mark, an unprecedented number of smashes for Fox.[3] Springtime in the Rockies was the seventh highest grossing film in 1942, in England, with actual earnings of £240,000 (in British pounds), tied with the movie Hello, Frisco, Hello.[4]


John Nolte wrote for the Breitbart.com: "What I love most about Springtime In the Rockies is the general atmosphere of the production. No one went to Canada or even off a Fox soundstage to shoot anything but backscreen. You never feel like you're in the Canadian Rockies. But the pleasant atmosphere, gorgeous colors, and overall tone of the film is a very special kind of comfort food. For 91 gentle minutes, everything feels like it's going to be okay. Musical highlights include Harry James killing "You Made Me Love You"; Miranda's fabulous tongue-twister "O 'Tic tac' do Meu Coracao; "I Had the Craziest Dream," where Harry James and His Music Makers back up Helen Forrest, and Grable and Payne's "Run Little Raindrop."[5]


Springtime in the Rockies was a big hit for Grable and for Fox as it was among the top ten most successful films at the box office in 1942.


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