Sunny (1930 film)

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Directed by William A. Seiter
Written by Henry McCarty and Humphrey Pearson
Based on Sunny
by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto A. Harbach
Starring Marilyn Miller
Lawrence Gray
Inez Courtney
Music by Jerome Kern
Oscar Hammerstein II
Otto A. Harbach
Cinematography Ernest Haller
Arthur Reeves
Edited by LeRoy Stone
Distributed by First National Pictures: A Subsidiary of Warner Bros.
Release date
  • November 9, 1930 (1930-11-09)
Running time
78 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Sunny is a 1930 all-talking Pre-Code musical comedy film, produced and released by First National Pictures, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers. The movie was based on the Broadway stage hit, Sunny, produced by Charles Dillingham, which played from September 22, 1925, to December 11, 1926. Marilyn Miller, who had played the leading part in the Broadway production, was hired by Warner Brothers to reprise the role that made her the highest-paid star on Broadway.[1][2] The film starred Lawrence Gray, O. P. Heggie and Inez Courtney.


The film was completed as a full musical. Due to the backlash against musicals, however, the Warner Bros. were forced to make many cuts to the film and much of the original music is missing or severely truncated. The film had originally been announced as a Technicolor production in trade journals. This was dropped once the studio realized that the public was growing weary of musicals.[citation needed]


Marylin Miller plays the part of an American circus performer, doing her act in a British circus, who is engaged to a man she does not love. A former boyfriend, played by Lawrence Gray, stops by to see her before taking boat back to the United States. Miller realizing that she loves Gray, decides to run away. She embarks on the same boat that Lawrence takes. Her father, who realizes what his daughter has done, reaches the boat just as it is about to leave and manages to board it. While on board, Gray becomes engaged to be married to a wealthy socialite (Barbara Bedford). Miller learns that she will not be allowed to disembark in the United States without a passport. In order to land, Miller marries an American friend, intending to divorce him as soon as she is safely inside the United States. After arriving in the states, Miller tells Gray about her love for him. Bedford overhears them and tells Gray that she will announce their engagement at a party that very night. Disappointed, Miller decides to return to England, but Gray proposes to her just as she is about to leave.


  • The film is in need of restoration. The current circulating print has poor sound that was inappropriately transferred from the original Vitaphone discs in the 1950s. Original Vitaphone discs are still extant which can be used to properly restore the original sound to the film.
  • The film survives only in the cut version which was released in late 1930 by Warner Brothers. Due to the backlash against musicals, the Warner Bros. were forced to cut a lot of the musical sequences before releasing the film.
  • The film was released as a full musical outside of the United States, where a backlash against musicals never occurred. It is unknown whether a print of this longer version still exists.[citation needed]


  • Marilyn Miller was paid $50,000 for her work on this film, after being paid $100,000 for Sally (1929), her previous film.[3]


  • "The Hunt Dance" (Danced by Marilyn Miller)
  • "I Was Alone" (Performed by Marilyn Miller)
  • "When We Get Our Divorce" (Danced by Marilyn Miller and Joe Donahue)
  • "Who?" (Performed by Marilyn Miller and Lawrence Gray)
  • "Oh! Didn't He Ramble" (Performed by Lawrence Gray and Men)
  • "Sunny" (Cut from film before release)
  • "D'Ya Love Me?" (Cut from film before release)
  • "Two Little Love Birds" (Cut from film before release)




  1. ^ Sunny at
  2. ^ Sunny as performed on Broadway September 1926-December 1926; at database
  3. ^ Hanson, Bruce K. (2011-07-14). Peter Pan on Stage and Screen, 1904-2010, 2d ed. McFarland. pp. 122–123. ISBN 9780786486199. 

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