Springtime in the Rockies

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Springtime in the Rockies
Directed byIrving Cummings
Screenplay byWalter Bullock
Ken Englund
Jacques Thery (adaptation)
Based onSecond Honeymoon
1936 Redbook story
by Philip Wylie
Produced byWilliam LeBaron
William Goetz (executive producer) (uncredited)
StarringBetty Grable
John Payne
Carmen Miranda
Cesar Romero
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Edited byRobert L. Simpson
Music byAlberto Colombo
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 6, 1942 (1942-11-06)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3.5 million (United States)[1] $240,000 (United Kingdom)[2]

Springtime in the Rockies is an American Technicolor musical comedy film released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1942. It stars Betty Grable, with support from John Payne, Carmen Miranda, Cesar Romero, Charlotte Greenwood, and Edward Everett Horton. Also appearing were Grable's future husband Harry James and his band. The director was Irving Cummings. The screenplay was based on the short story "Second Honeymoon" by Philip Wylie.


During the thirty-fourth week of their hit Broadway show, dancer Vicky Lane awaits the arrival of her partner, Dan Christy, but as usual, he is late. Vicky thinks that Dan is buying her an engagement ring and is infuriated to discover that he has been on a date with socialite Marilyn Crothers.

Fed up with Dan's womanizing and insensitivity, Vicky quits the show and returns to her former dancing partner and beau, Victor Prince, who is still in love with her.

Three months pass as Dan sinks into a depression and cannot find a backer for his new show. He sits in bars, drinking by himself. His agent, "the Commissioner", tells him that financiers Bickel and Brown will back his show, but only if he can get Vicky to return. Dan is pessimistic, for Vicky and Victor are beginning a new engagement with Harry James and His Music Makers at the famous Lake Louise resort in the Canadian Rockies. The Commissioner tells Dan to romance Vicky so that she will come back, and not tell her about Bickel and Brown until she arrives in New York. He then asks bartender McTavish to get the drunken Dan on the next plane to Lake Louise.

When Dan awakens sometime later, he finds himself at the Canadian resort and learns that he has hired McTavish as his valet and Rosita Murphy, who was working in the souvenir shop at the Detroit airport, as his secretary. McTavish is an eccentric whose wealthy aunt bankrolled him to several college degrees.

Dan meets Vicky, who happily shows off her engagement ring from Victor. Dan is discouraged but hits upon the scheme of making Vicky jealous by romancing Rosita. His plan appears to be working until Vicky learns the truth from Rosita, who has aroused the interest of Victor, although she prefers McTavish. Vicky's friend, Phoebe Gray, is also intrigued by McTavish, and the couples spend much time pursuing and arguing with each other.

One evening, Dan barges into Vicky's room and refuses to leave even when she summons Victor. He hides, but is discovered by Victor, who accuses Vicky of being unfaithful, and she breaks off their engagement. Later that evening, Vicky and Dan reconcile. Dan proposes marriage and promises to be honest with her. He tries to tell her about the new show, but she rushes off to plan their departure the next morning. So instead he suggests a honeymoon in New York. As she is checking out in the morning, Vicky meets the Commissioner, and Bickel and Brown, who have just arrived. They spill the beans about the show.

Thinking that Dan is using her once again, Vicky runs off in tears, but quick-thinking Rosita covers up for Dan, convincing Vicky that he intended to take her to California for their honeymoon. In the process, however, Bickel and Brown are lost as backers and Rosita must persuade McTavish to invest some of his inheritance in the show. The show opens with Vicky and Dan as the star performers, supported by Harry James, Rosita and Victor, and McTavish and Phoebe.[3]



Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda in Springtime in the Rockies.

Although Wylie's story was published as "Second Honeymoon", it was purchased by Twentieth Century-Fox under the title "Worship the Sun". An article published by The Hollywood Reporter noted that Frederick Jackson was working on the picture's script, but the extent of his contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a 20 December 1941 story outline, contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Library, Fred Astaire and Rudy Vallée were originally considered for the male leads.

According to the Records of the Legal Department, also at UCLA, the studio paid $1,000 for a waiver from Villa Moret Inc., holders of the copyright to the song "When It's Springtime in the Rockies", for the use of the title. The legal records also reveal that Twentieth Century-Fox paid approximately $1,160 to Republic Pictures, which had prior claim on the title for use on a Roy Rogers picture. That film was then released as Romance on the Range in 1942. A 22 June 1942 studio press release noted that the songs "Magazines" and "I Like to Be Loved by You", by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, were to be included in the film, but they were not in the finished picture.

According to a The Hollywood Reporter news item, the studio intended to shoot the picture on location at Lake Louise in Canada due to "defense regulations hindering exterior shooting in the Hollywood area". Only background shots were filmed in Canada, however. "I Had the Craziest Dream", which is sung by Harry James's band singer Helen Forrest in the film, became one of Betty Grable's signature songs. Grable and James were married in 1943, and according to modern sources, they named their first-born daughter, Victoria Elizabeth, after the character Grable played in this film. The couple were divorced in 1965.

Other versions[edit]

Twentieth Century-Fox first filmed Wylie's story in 1936 under the title Second Honeymoon. That picture was directed by Walter Lang and starred Tyrone Power and Loretta Young.

Donald Duck quacks a version of the song while bathing in the 1938 short Mickey's Trailer.

Grable starred with Dick Powell in the Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, broadcast on 22 May 1944.

The legal records reveal that in 1946, the studio intended to film another remake, entitled Autumn in Acapulco, but that version was never produced.[3]

Box office[edit]

Springtime in the Rockies was a big hit for Grable and for Fox: it grossed about $2 million, and was among the ten most successful films at the box office in 1942.[4]

Critical views[edit]

The New York Times wrote that "aside from the settings and stunning costumes, practically everything in Springtime in the Rockies has a drearily familiar air."[5]



  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 219
  2. ^ Glancy, Mark (20 August 1999). "When Hollywood Loved Britain: The Hollywood 'British' Film 1939-1945: The Hollywood British Film, 1939-45". Mark Glancy. ISBN 9780719048531. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Springtime in the Rockies". American Film Institute Catalog. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Solomon, Aubrey (2002). "Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History". Aubrey Solomon. p. 61. ISBN 9780810842441. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "Springtime in the Rockies (1942) At the Roxy". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Springtime in the Rockies (1942) - IMDb". IMDb.

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