The Sun Comes Up
|The Sun Comes Up|
|Directed by||Richard Thorpe|
|Produced by||Robert Sisk|
|Screenplay by||Margaret Fitts
|Story by||Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings|
Claude Jarman Jr.
Pal (credited as "Lassie")
|Music by||André Previn|
|Edited by||Cotton Warburton|
|Box office||$1,280,000 (Domestic earnings)
$764,000 (Foreign earnings)
The Sun Comes Up is a 1949 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor picture with Lassie. Jeanette MacDonald had been off the screen for five years until her return in Three Daring Daughters (1948), but The Sun Comes Up was to be her last. In it, she had to share the screen not with an up-and-coming younger actress but with a very popular animal star. Although her retreat from a film career can be blamed largely on an increasingly debilitating heart ailment (which eventually took her life at the age of 61 in 1965), MacDonald continued to make concert and TV appearances after this. Her last radio appearance was a broadcast version of this same story on Screen Guild Theater in March 1950.
Ex-opera singer Helen Lorfield Winter (Jeanette MacDonald) rents a house in the small town of Brushy Gap, in the hills not too far from the Smokies, Blue Ridge, and Atlanta Georgia with her dog, Lassie, after the tragic death of her son. There she befriends Jerry, a young orphan (Claude Jarman Jr.). Growing attached to Jerry, but not wanting children so soon after the death of her own son, Helen leaves Brushy Gap to resume her singing career. While she is away, Jerry is caught in heavy rain returning Lassie home and develops pneumonia. Helen returns to Brushy Gap to find the owner of the house, Thomas Chandler (Lloyd Nolan), nursing Jerry back to health. Soon after Jerry has recovered, the orphanage catches on fire, and Lassie and Tom both rescue Jerry from the blaze. Helen then decides to adopt Jerry and remain in Brushy Gap.
- Pal (credited as "Lassie") as Lassie
- Jeanette MacDonald as Helen Lorfield Winter
- Lloyd Nolan as Thomas I. Chandler
- Claude Jarman Jr. as Jerry
- Lewis Stone as Arthur Norton
- Percy Kilbride as Mr. Willie B. Williegood
- Nicholas Joy as Victor Alvord
- Margaret Hamilton as Mrs. Golightly
- Hope Landin as Mrs. Pope
- Esther Somers as Susan, the maid
According to MGM records the film earned $2,044,000 at the box office, resulting in a loss of $549,000.
On November 27, 2012, The Sun Comes Up was released on DVD through the Warner Archive.
- Turk, Edward Baron "Hollywood Diva: A Biography of Jeanette MacDonald" (University of California Press, 1998)
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- John V. Young, Ghost Towns of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Cruz, California: Paper Visions, 1979, ISBN 978-0-934136-01-3, p. 151.
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