New Orleans (1947 film)
|Directed by||Arthur Lubin|
|Screenplay by||Elliot Paul|
Dick Irving Hyland
|Story by||Elliot Paul|
Herbert J. Biberman
|Produced by||Jules Levey|
|Starring||Arturo de Córdova|
|Music by||Nat W. Finston|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
New Orleans is a 1947 American musical romance film featuring Billie Holiday as a singing maid and Louis Armstrong as a bandleader; supporting players Holiday and Armstrong perform together and portray a couple becoming romantically involved. During one song, Armstrong's character introduces the members of his band, a virtual Who's Who of classic jazz greats, including trombonist Kid Ory, drummer Zutty Singleton, clarinetist Barney Bigard, guitar player Bud Scott, bassist George "Red" Callender, pianist Charlie Beal, and pianist Meade Lux Lewis. Also performing in the film is cornetist Mutt Carey and bandleader Woody Herman. The music, however, takes a back seat to a rather conventional plot. The movie stars Arturo de Córdova and Dorothy Patrick, features Marjorie Lord, and was directed by Arthur Lubin.
A casino owner and a high society singer fall in love during the birth of the blues in New Orleans.
- Arturo de Córdova as Nick Duquesne
- Dorothy Patrick as Miralee Smith
- Marjorie Lord as Grace Voiselle
- Irene Rich as Mrs. Rutledge Smith
- John Alexander as Col. McArdle
- Richard Hageman as Henry Ferber
- Jack Lambert as Biff Lewis
- Bert Conway as Tommy Lake
- Joan Blair as Constance Vigil
- John Canady
- Louis Armstrong
- Billie Holiday as Endie
- Woody Herman and His Orchestra
- Zutty Singleton as Drums
- Barney Bigard as Clarinet
- Kid Ory as Trombone
- Bud Scott as Guitar
- Red Callender as Bass
- Charlie Beal as Piano
- Meade Lux Lewis as Piano
- Mutt Carey as Trumpet
- Shelley Winters as Miss Holmbright (Nick's New York secretary; uncredited)
New Orleans has its origins in an abandoned component of an unfinished RKO Pictures feature film by Orson Welles — "The Story of Jazz" segment of It's All True. A history of jazz alternatively titled "Jam Session", the section of the film was being written by Elliot Paul in 1941 under contract to Welles. The story of Louis Armstrong was to have been central to that segment of It's All True.: 29, 282, 325 : 138–139
An additional connection to Welles is that several members of the film's Original New Orleans Ragtime Band — Kid Ory, Mutt Carey, Bud Scott, Barney Bigard and Zutty Singleton — had first been brought together in 1944, for his CBS Radio series, The Orson Welles Almanac.: 138–139
In July 1946 Arthur Lubin was scouting for locations in New Orleans. He hoped to feature Lena Horne, Duke Ellington and other black musicians. Ten days of location filming started on 28 August and cost $110,000. The National Jazz Foundation collaborated with Lubin during filming.
De Cordova was borrowed from Eagle Lion in August. Dorothy Patrick was borrowed from MGM. Levey was so pleased with the performances of Patrick and de Cordova he wanted to reteam them in a film called Monterey to celebrate California's 100th anniversary. (This film would be never made.)
Diabolique magazine wrote "it’s one of those movies where critics generally go “the music’s great but everything else is terrible and isn’t Hollywood racist” which is basically true – but it was 1947, what did people expect? At least there is a lot of music, Louis Armstrong and Dorothy Patrick are charming, it’s fascinating to see Holliday in a movie and I love how in the story her character marries Armstrong’s. Also Lubin seems to have genuine affection for the characters and the music – it’s much better than his previous three features."
Although most of the music created for New Orleans was truncated in the film's release version,: 117 a soundtrack issued in 1983 made the full versions of the songs available, with additional music cut from the final release. Songs include "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?"
- New Orleans Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 15, Iss. 169, (Jan 1, 1948): 18.
- Benamou, Catherine L., It's All True: Orson Welles's Pan-American Odyssey. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0-520-24247-0
- Stowe, David Ware, Swing Changes: Big-Band Jazz in New Deal America. Cambridge, Massachusetts [u.a.]: Harvard University Press, 1998, ISBN 9780674858268
- "New Orleans". American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- Elusive Saga of Jazz May Be Found Here: New Orleans' Screens Real Story of How American Folk Music Developed Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 27 Oct 1946: B1.
- Comedy Snaring Roz; Culver Studio-Pacted Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times Calif]24 July 1946: A2.
- Looking at Hollywood Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 25 July 1946: 23.
- 'AMBER' IN HOLLYWOOD: NOTED IN HOLLYWOOD Yes and No The Pay-Off By THOMAS F. BRADY. New York Times 3 Nov 1946: 65.
- "Jules Levey Crew in new Orleans". 28 August 1946. p. 15. Cite magazine requires
- CAGNEY, BOGEAUS CLOSE STUDIO DEAL THE NEW YORK TIMES.1 Aug 1946: 30.
- Jane Greer Attains Dramatic Highroad Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 16 Sep 1946: A2.
- Schallert, Edwin. "Paramount Recruits Television's Blossom" Los Angeles Times 10 Oct 1946: A3.
- Vagg, Stephen (14 September 2019). "The Cinema of Arthur Lubin". Diabolique Magazine.
- "New Orleans". Kino Lorber Home Video. Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- Bergan, Ronald, The United Artists Story. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1986, ISBN 0-517-56100X
- "New Orleans Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-03-24.