Where Do We Go from Here? (film)
|Where Do We Go from Here?|
1945 Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||Gregory Ratoff|
|Written by||Morrie Ryskind
|Music by||Kurt Weill
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century-Fox|
|Release dates||23 May 1945|
|Running time||78 minutes|
Where Do We Go from Here (1945) is an original movie musical produced by Twentieth Century-Fox, and starring Fred MacMurray, Joan Leslie, June Haver, Gene Sheldon, Anthony Quinn and Fortunio Bonanova. The score was composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. Gregory Ratoff directed and Morrie Ryskind wrote the screenplay from a story by Sig Herzig and Ryskind.
The film is notable as Weill's only musical written directly for the screen and for its anachronistic blend of history and contemporary (1940s) slang. At the time, the mock-operatic sequence, "The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria," was one of the longest musical sequences ever created for a screen musical.
Fred MacMurray stars as Bill Morgan, a young American who is eager to join the military and fight for his country during World War II, but his 4F status prevents him from enlisting. Bill does his bit for the war effort by collecting scrap metal. Among the discarded junk he discovers a mysterious brass bottle which he rubs to clean off the grime.
Suddenly, Ali, a Genie (Gene Sheldon), appears and offers to grant him three wishes. Without thinking, Bill says he wants to be in the US army. In a puff of smoke, Bill finds himself a foot soldier in George Washington's Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. After a run-in with some Hessian soldiers, Bill escapes by wishing himself into the Navy. Once again the Genie transfers him, but this time to the crew of Christopher Columbus's ship on his maiden voyage to the new world. Once on shore, he agrees to buy Manhattan Island from a local native (Anthony Quinn).
Bill next finds himself whisked forward in time to New Amsterdam in the mid-17th century. When he claims that he owns the Island, he is thrown in jail. Ali finally gets it right and Bill finds himself in the right time and place by the end of the film. June Haver plays the girl Bill thinks he loves and Joan Leslie plays the girl who loves (and ultimately lands) him.
Kurt Weill had not been well served by Hollywood. His scores for the Broadway shows Knickerbocker Holiday, Lady in the Dark, and One Touch of Venus had been drastically cut for their film adaptations. Although a few cuts were made in his proposed score for Where Do We Go from Here, most of his work with Ira Gershwin remains, including a lengthy mock-opera bouffé aboard Columbus' ship during which the crew threatens to mutiny.
Co-stars June Haver and Fred MacMurray met while working on this film, and were later married.
Where Do We Go from Here? has never been released on home video. A recording taken directly from the soundtrack of the film was released on LP (Ariel KWH 10) and a set of rehearsal recordings performed by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin is currently available on the CD Tryout (DRG Records) including extended versions of the songs "Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria", "Song of the Rhineland", and "Manhattan (Indian Song)."
- All at Once
- If Love Remains
- Song of the Rhineland
- Columbus (The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria)
- It Could Have Happened to Anyone (cut)
- Woo, Woo, Woo, Woo, Manhattan (cut)