Thank Your Lucky Stars (film)

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Thank Your Lucky Stars
ThankYourLuckyStars.jpg
theatrical poster
Directed by David Butler
Produced by Mark Hellinger
Written by Norman Panama
Melvin Frank
Starring Eddie Cantor
Joan Leslie
Dennis Morgan
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography Arthur Edeson
Edited by Irene Morra
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release date(s)
  • 1943 (1943)
Running time 124 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) is a musical comedy film made by Warner Brothers as a World War II fundraiser, with the stars donated their salaries to the Hollywood Canteen, which was founded by John Garfield and Bette Davis, who appear in this film.[1] It was directed by David Butler and stars Eddie Cantor, Dennis Morgan, Joan Leslie, Edward Everett Horton and S. Z. Sakall.[2][3]

Plot[edit]

The film is a musical with a slim plot, involving theater producers (Horton and Sakall) staging a wartime charity program, only to have the production taken over by their egotistical star (Eddie Cantor, playing himself). Meanwhile, an aspiring singer (Morgan) and his songwriter girlfriend (Leslie) conspire to get into the charity program by replacing Cantor with their look-alike friend, tour bus driver Joe Simpson (also played by Cantor, in a dual role).

Many of Warner Brothers's stars performed in musical numbers, including several who were not known as singers. The film features the only screen musical numbers ever done by Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Ida Lupino. Each of the cast members was paid a $50,000 fee for their appearance which was then donated to the Hollywood Canteen.[4]

The film was popular with audiences, and the critic James Agee called it "the loudest and most vulgar of the current musicals. It is also the most fun."[5] Ticket sales combined with the donated salaries of the performers raised more than two million dollars for the Hollywood Canteen.[6]

Cast[edit]

Cameo appearances

Musical numbers[edit]

  • "Thank Your Lucky Stars" sung by Dinah Shore
  • "Ridin' For a Fall" sung by Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
  • "Hotcha Cornia" performed by Spike Jones & His City Slickers
  • "We're Staying Home Tonight" sung by Eddie Cantor
  • "Goin' North" sung by Jack Carson and Alan Hale, Sr.
  • "Love Isn't Born (It's Made)" sung by Ann Sheridan
  • "No You, No Me" sung by Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
  • "The Dreamer" sung by Dinah Shore
  • "Ice Cold Katie" performed by Hattie McDaniel and Willie Best
  • "How Sweet You Are" sung by Dinah Shore
  • "That's What You Jolly Well Get" sung by Errol Flynn
  • "They're Either Too Young, Or Too Old" sung by Bette Davis, including a brief jitterbug performance by Davis and dancecontest winner Conrad Weidel. Written by Frank Loesser and Arthur Schwartz[1]
  • "The Dreamer" reprise sung by Olivia de Havilland, Ida Lupino and George Tobias (Olivia de Havilland dubbed by Lynn Martin)[1]
  • "Good Night, Good Neighbor" sung by Dennis Morgan with an accompanying dance by Alexis Smith
  • Final Medley with brief reprises of
    • "We're Staying Home Tonight" (Eddie Cantor)
    • "How Sweet You Are" (chorus girls)
    • "Goin' North" (Jack Carson and Alan Hale, Sr.)
    • "The Dreamer" (Dinah Shore and Olivia de Havilland, Ida Lupino and George Tobias)
    • "Ridin' For a Fall" (Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie)
    • "Love Isn't Born (It's Made)" (Ann Sheridan)
    • "That's What You Jolly Well Get" (Errol Flynn)
    • "Good Night, Good Neighbor" (Dennis Morgan)
    • "They're Either Too Young, Or Too Old" (Bette Davis)
    • "Ice Cold Katie" (Hattie McDaniel and Eddie Cantor)
    • "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (ensemble)

Production[edit]

Producer Mark Hellinger and director David Butler both made cameo appearances in the film.[7] The film utilized sets which had been built for the Warner Bros. films The Green Pastures and Wonder Bar.[7] Thank Your Lucky Stars was the film debut of both Dinah Shore and Spike Jones and his City Slickers.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

The song ""They're Either Too Young or Too Old" by Arthur Schwartz (music) and Frank Loesser (lyrics) was nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Music, Original Song", but lost to "You'll Never Know" by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon from the film, Hello Frisco, Hello. Despite not winning the award, Kitty Kallen and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra had a hit with the song.[1][8]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Landazuri, Margaret. "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (article) on TCM.com
  2. ^ Variety film review; August 18, 1943, page 10.
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; August 21, 1943, p.136.
  4. ^ Spada (1993). p.194
  5. ^ Ringgold, Gene, The Films of Bette Davis, Cadillac Publishing Co., 1966, p.123
  6. ^ Spada, James, More Than a Woman, Little, Brown and Company, 1993, ISBN 0-316-90880-0 p 195
  7. ^ a b c "Notes" on TCM.com
  8. ^ "Awards" on IMDB.com

Bibliography

External links[edit]