Stand Up and Cheer!
|Stand Up and Cheer!|
|Directed by||Hamilton MacFadden|
|Produced by||Winfield Sheehan|
|Music by||Lew Brown
L. W. O'Connell
|Distributed by||Fox Film|
|Release dates||May 4, 1934|
|Running time||80 minutes / 69 minutes (edited version)|
Stand Up and Cheer! is a 1934 American musical film directed by Hamilton MacFadden. The screenplay by Lew Brown and Ralph Spence was based upon a story idea by Will Rogers and Philip Klein. The film is about efforts undertaken during the Great Depression to boost the morale of the country. It is essentially a vehicle for a string of vaudeville acts and a few musical numbers.
During production the film was known as Fox Follies.
The President of the United States decides that the true cause of the Great Depression (raging when the film was released) is a loss of "optimism" as a result of a plot by financiers and bankers who are getting rich from the Depression. The President then appoints Lawrence Cromwell as secretary for the newly created Department of Amusement. Cromwell creates an army of entertainers and sends them out across the country. Much of the action centers around Cromwell auditioning acts in his office (with interruptions from janitor "George Bernard Shaw" played by Steppin Fetchit). At the end, as a musical production number breaks forth, Cromwell looks out of his office window and sees the Depression literally, instantaneously lift.
Lew Brown who served as both producer and scriptwriter can also be heard in the film. Brown performs an impression of Jimmy Durante, his voice dubbed over footage of a penguin that interacts with Stepin Fetchit.
- Warner Baxter as Lawrence Cromwell
- Madge Evans as Mary Adams
- Shirley Temple as Shirley Dugan
- James Dunn as Jimmy Dugan
- Nigel Bruce as Eustis Dinwiddle
- Ralph Morgan as Secretary to President
- Steppin Fetchit as George Bernard Shaw
- Tess Gardella as Aunt Jemima
- Scotty Beckett as Auditioning Boy
- John Boles as Himself
- Nick Foran as Himself
Upon release the film was given a strong endorsement by Variety, especially the work of "newcomer" Shirley Temple, whom they cited as the film's "unofficial star." Although modern scholars often point to the film as an example of typical Great Depression entertainment, Variety expressed reservations about its theme. "This musical is a hodge-podge principally handicapped by a national depression premise. Americans now like to think of themselves in the light of being on the upturn and having rounded that long-awaited corner, so Cheer's plot motivation is basically questionable [and] open to debate."
The film had eleven minutes of footage deleted for modern home video release, most of it racial in nature. In 2009, the film was available on both videocassette and DVD in the original black-and-white version and a computer-colorized version of the original. Some versions included theatrical trailers and other special features.
In 1958, Temple's television show, Shirley Temple's Storybook went into production. At that time, she persuaded various manufacturers to release ancillary merchandise including the Baby Take a Bow polka-dot dress (Edwards 233).
- Variety, February 22, 1934
- Variety, April 24, 1934
- Variety, April 24, 1934
- Edwards, Anne (1988), Shirley Temple: American Princess, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.