Romance on the High Seas

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Romance on the High Seas
theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Produced byAlex Gottlieb
Screenplay byJulius J. and
Philip G. Epstein
additional dialogue by
I. A. L. Diamond
Based onFrom a story by
S. Pondal Rios
and Carlos A. Olivari
StarringJack Carson
Janis Paige
Don De Fore
and Doris Day
Music byJule Styne
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Musical numbers orchestrated and conducted by Ray Heindorf
CinematographyElwood Bredell, A.S.C.
Edited byRudi Fehr
Distributed byWarner Bros.
A Michael Curtiz Production
Release date
  • June 25, 1948 (1948-06-25)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2 million[1] or $2,532,000[2]
Box office$2.1 million (US rentals)[3] or $3,225,000[2]

Romance on the High Seas, known in the United Kingdom as It's Magic,[4][5] is a 1948 American Technicolor musical romantic comedy film directed by Michael Curtiz, and starred Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Don DeFore and Doris Day in her film debut.[6] The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Original Song for "It's Magic" (music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn), and Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture (Ray Heindorf).


Doris Day as Georgia Garrett, singing "I'm in Love"

Elvira Kent (Janis Paige) and her husband Michael (Don DeFore) suspect each other of cheating. For their wedding anniversary, Elvira books an ocean cruise to Rio de Janeiro but her husband claims that unexpected business will prevent him from going. Seeing an opportunity, Elvira pretends to take the trip alone, but in fact sends singer Georgia Garrett (Doris Day), a woman she'd met at the travel agency, in her place and under her name. By secretly staying behind, Elvira hopes to find out if Michael is indeed sneaking around behind her back. Michael, however, is suspicious over Elvira's supposed willingness to go on the trip alone, and so hires private detective Peter Virgil (Jack Carson) to see if she is sneaking around behind his back.

Peter joins the cruise and, as part of his job, becomes acquainted with Georgia. Georgia, following the instructions of the real Elvira, keeps up the ruse by pretending to be Elvira to everyone, including Peter. Georgia and Peter are attracted to each other and gradually fall in love, which causes conflict for both of them.

During one of the cruise stops, Georgia's friend, Oscar Farrar (Oscar Levant), comes on board. Oscar is in love with Georgia despite Georgia's lack of interest in him, and when Peter spots them together, he thinks he has discovered the identity of Elvira's lover.

The film's third act is set in a Rio hotel, where all the principal characters converge and ride a merry-go-round of mistaken identities. Sorting out their true identities, resolving the crossed love plots, concludes the picture.


Unbilled (in order of appearance)



Originally conceived as a star vehicle for Betty Hutton, the film had to be recast when Hutton became pregnant, and thus unavailable. Other established stars like Judy Garland and Jane Powell were briefly considered, before Michael Curtiz was talked into auditioning Doris Day, a well-known band vocalist, but hitherto not considered an actress. Her personal life was in some turmoil at the time, as her second marriage, to musician George Weidler, was ending, and this, combined with her evident nervousness, led her to deliver a notably teary, emotive version of Embraceable You at the audition. Impressed by her singing ability and fresh-faced good looks, Curtiz signed her to a film contract and cast her in the leading role of Georgia Garrett. Despite the change in star and the late casting of Janis Paige, the film was financially successful.

Box Office[edit]

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $2,200,000 domestically and $1,025,000 foreign.[2]


The film was nominated for the following American Film Institute lists:


  1. ^ Variety 18 February 1948 p7
  2. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 28 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  3. ^ "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  4. ^ "Alternative title (see Also Known As section)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  5. ^ Hinton, Nigel (2008). Time Bomb (Reprint ed.). Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1582462370.
  6. ^ "Romance on the High Seas". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  8. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  9. ^ "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 19 August 2016.

External links[edit]