It Happened in Brooklyn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
It Happened in Brooklyn
It Happened in Brooklyn FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Richard Whorf
Produced by Jack Cummings
Written by Isobel Lennart
J. P. McGowan
Starring Frank Sinatra
Peter Lawford
Kathryn Grayson
Jimmy Durante
Music by Johnny Green
Cinematography Robert Planck
Edited by Blanche Sewell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • April 7, 1947 (1947-04-07)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,819,000[1]
Box office $2,664,000[1]

It Happened in Brooklyn is a 1947 MGM musical romantic comedy film directed by Richard Whorf and starring Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Peter Lawford, and Jimmy Durante and featuring Gloria Grahame and Marcy McGuire. It Happened in Brooklyn was Sinatra's third film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who had purchased his contract from RKO because Louis B. Mayer was a huge Sinatra fan.[2][full citation needed]

The film contains six songs written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, and included "The Song's Gotta Come From the Heart" (performed as a duet by Sinatra and Durante), "The Brooklyn Bridge", "Whose Baby Are You", "I Believe", "Time After Time", and "It's the Same Old Dream".


A post-World War II feel-good movie, It Happened in Brooklyn begins in England at the end of the war. Danny Miller (Frank Sinatra) is with a group of GIs awaiting transportation home to the US. On his last night there, he meets Jamie Shellgrove (Peter Lawford), who is a very shy young man whose grandfather feels should be taken under someone's wing. After observing Miller come to his grandson's aid at the piano, he asks Danny to speak with his son, to give him "some words of encouragement". In order to look good in front of the Brooklyn-born nurse (Gloria Grahame) who scolded him for not making friends, he agrees, even going so far as to saying what would really fix Jamie up would be for him to come to Brooklyn. As he rushes out to catch his transport to the docks for the voyage home, Danny discovers that Jamie is really the heir to a duke. Upon Danny's return to Brooklyn, the film revolves around characters realizing their dreams of escaping working-class drudgery: in Sinatra's case to become a singer/musician rather than a shipping clerk, in Lawford's case to break out of his extreme shyness to gain a wife and a career as a songwriter, and in Grayson's case to break out of her schoolteaching job to star in the opera (although this last is not shown coming to pass, but she presumably lives happily ever after as she is brought to England as the fiancée of the Lawford character, who is heir to a dukedom). The story ends with Danny realizing the nurse he talked to at the start of the film is the only girl for him, and since he figures she's got to be back in Brooklyn herself, and he's got all kinds of friends now, he's optimistic about finding and winning her. The film's tagline was "Happy songs! Happy stars! Happy romance!". Lawford dances while singing a song, a performance that was particularly well received by both critics and public, outshining future fellow Rat Pack member Sinatra. One highlight of the film is seeing and hearing Sinatra and Grayson singing "Là ci darem la mano" from Mozart's 1787 opera Don Giovanni.


The original director was supposed to be George Sidney,[citation needed] but he was replaced by Richard Whorf, who is probably best known for his television directing, particularly The Beverly Hillbillies, Gunsmoke and My Three Sons. Filming was interrupted for approximately ten days when Durante had to go and finish filming on This Time for Keeps. The piano solos in the film were performed by the pianist and composer André Previn.

Box office[edit]

The film earned $1,877,000 in the US and Canada and $787,000 elsewhere, resulting a loss of $138,000.[1]

Variety says the film earned $2,150,000 in rentals.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

It Happened in Brooklyn was generally well received, Variety noting that: "Much of the lure will result from Frank Sinatra's presence in the cast. Guy's acquired the Bing Crosby knack of nonchalance, throwing away his gag lines with fine aplomb. He kids himself in a couple of hilarious sequences and does a takeoff on Jimmy Durante, with Durante aiding him, that's sockeroo."


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Turner Classic Movies
  3. ^ "Top Grossers of 1947", Variety, 7 January 1948 p 63

External links[edit]