East Side of Heaven

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East Side of Heaven
East Side of Heaven poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Butler
Produced by David Butler
Herbert Polesie
Written by William M. Conselman
James V. Kern
Story by David Butler
Herbert Polesie
Starring Bing Crosby
Joan Blondell
Mischa Auer
Irene Hervey
C. Aubrey Smith
Robert Kent
Jerome Cowan
Music by Charles Previn
Cinematography George Robinson
Edited by Irene Morra
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • April 7, 1939 (1939-04-07)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English

East Side of Heaven is a 1939 American musical film directed by David Butler and written by William M. Conselman and James V. Kern. The film stars Bing Crosby, Joan Blondell, Mischa Auer, Irene Hervey, C. Aubrey Smith, Robert Kent and Jerome Cowan.[1][2] Filming took place in Hollywood from January 13 to March 7, 1939. The film was released on April 7, 1939, by Universal Pictures and had its New York premiere at Radio City Music Hall on May 4, 1939.[3] This was another independent production in which Crosby had a financial interest.

Plot[edit]

A man finds himself the father, by proxy, of a ten-month-old baby and becomes involved in the turbulent lives of the child's family.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Variety liked it, saying, inter alia: "East Side of Heaven is a grand package of entertainment that will play a merry tune at the b. o... Despite his financial interests, Crosby gives support plenty of work and opportunity for some fat lines and situations. Result is a nicely molded piece of light entertainment, long on the comedy and human interest sides, with Crosby the dominant factor throughout. . . Picture is smartly paced, hitting a nice tempo at the start and rolling merrily to the finish. . . Four tunes by Monaco and Burke are handled competently by Crosby, all good, and all with a chance for pop attention.[4]

Bosley Crowther writing in The New York Times was in favor of it too. "If there is anything in motion pictures more subtly calculated to paralyze the critical facility than Bing Crosby, it is the formula which Universal has happily hit upon in East Side of Heaven, at the Music Hall: Bing Crosby and a baby. Whatever the cause—and it is never too wise to inquire too nicely into the origins of the comic spirit—the result in this case is the most felicitous occurrence involving Crosby since last year’s Sing You Sinners Even for persons who hate crooning, the spectacle of Mr. Crosby dutifully chanting holiday greetings over the telephone for Postal Union Telegraph...should afford a certain sadistic pleasure...And those rare, dyspeptical types who hate both crooners and babies will derive an evil joy from the scenes in which Bing forced to hide the child after it is kidnapped from grandpa by mama, walks the floor in his pajamas crooning to the helpless infant."[5]

Soundtrack[edit]

"Sing a Song of Sunbeams"
"Hang Your Heart on a Hickory Limb"
"That Sly Old Gentleman"
"East Side of Heaven"
All written by James V. Monaco and Johnny Burke and sung by Bing Crosby.
"Happy Birthday" sung by Bing Crosby.
"Fifty Years Ago Today" sung by Bing Crosby.
"Now That You Are Man and Wife" sung by Bing Crosby.[6]

Bing Crosby recorded four of the songs for Decca Records.[7] "Sing a Song of Sunbeams", "East Side of Heaven" and "That Sly Old Gentleman" all achieved top ten positions in the charts. [8] Crosby's songs were also included in the Bing's Hollywood series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "East Side of Heaven (1939) - Overview". TCM.com. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  2. ^ "East Side of Heaven". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  3. ^ Macfarlane, Malcolm. "Bing Crosby - Day by Day". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "Variety". April 12, 1939.
  5. ^ Crowther, Bosley (May 5, 1939). "The New York Times".
  6. ^ Reynolds, Fred (1986). Road to Hollywood. Gateshead, UK: John Joyce. p. 97.
  7. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". A Bing Crosby Discography. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 107. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.

External links[edit]