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Out of This World (1945 film)

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Out of This World
Directed byHal Walker
Produced bySam Coslow
Written byWalter DeLeon
Arthur Phillips
StarringEddie Bracken
Veronica Lake
Diana Lynn
Music byVictor Young
Harold Arlen
CinematographyStuart Thompson
Edited byStuart Gilmore
Production
company
Release date
  • July 13, 1945 (1945-07-13)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Out of This World is a 1945 American romantic comedy film directed by Hal Walker and starring Eddie Bracken, Veronica Lake, and Diana Lynn.[1] The picture was a satire on the Frank Sinatrabobby soxer’ cult.[citation needed]

Plot

Betty Miller and her Sirens are a struggling all-female band who play at a benefit for an orphanage. The following act is shy Western Union messenger Herbie Fenton, who stuns Betty with his amazing singing voice, performing "Out of This World". In the audience are Bing Crosby's four sons, even though they are not orphans (due to "Dad and his horses"); they recognize the voice right away. Dorothy Dodge, secretary to the orphanage's main benefactor, faints during his performance. A photo of Herbie holding Dorothy up is published in Life magazine.

The next day, Betty gets a much-needed job offer in New York, but it stipulates she must bring her male singer: Herbie. She talks him into signing an exclusive contract for fifty dollars per week, an easy task as he is smitten with her. They do not have enough for train fare to New York, but Dorothy gives Betty the money ... in exchange for 25% of Herbie. Then the hotel manager wants his bill paid, so the girls have to sell more shares of the contract. On the train, Betty is horrified to discover they have sold another 100% of Herbie. Betty can only hope that Herbie flops, but she doesn't know that Dorothy hires "bobby soxers" to scream and swoon at his performance. Later, Betty confides to Herbie that she wants to marry either someone handsome or one with $100,000, explaining that her mother married a vaudeville actor and she wants the security her mother never had.

On The Crawford Glamour Hour radio show, Herbie sings "I'd Rather Be Me", and the bobby soxers do their job so well that J. C. Crawford, the show's sponsor, pressures Betty into signing a contract ($750 a week for the orchestra and $1000 for Herbie), reminding her that he has an exclusive option on her band.

On the train after a performance, Herbie tells Betty he loves her, and he is now worth $100,000. She tells him she feels the same, but asks him to propose later, after she gets something straightened out. She summons all the contract shareholders to New York. When Herbie finds out Betty's financial dealings, he believes Betty lied about everything and quits.

Crawford has arranged a big charity event, to be broadcast nationwide (to 50,000,000 potential customers) and featuring Herbie. When he finds out that Herbie refuses to perform, he threatens to sue everyone involved. The other shareholders sell out to Dorothy, who then sells all of Herbie to Crawford for a hefty profit. Meanwhile, Betty sees to it that Herbie catches a cold, so he has an excuse not to sing at the event. Crawford does not believe Herbie has lost his voice, so to keep Betty out of jail, Herbie comes up with the idea to lip sync to a recording. Afterward, Dorothy points out that Betty is 19, and as a minor, cannot be party to a contract.

In one of the last numbers at the event, five noted orchestra leader-pianists, Carmen Cavallaro, Ted Fio Rito, Henry King, Ray Noble and Joe Reichman, show off their piano talents.

Cast

Production

The film was originally known as Divided by Three. It was meant to star Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton after their success in Miracle of Morgan's Creek.[2] However, Hutton was then assigned to the film California, so her role was assigned to Diana Lynn, who had played her younger sister in Miracle of Morgan's Creek.[3]

Veronica Lake was then brought in to play the third lead. It was a step down for Lake, who had been one of Paramount's biggest stars. Hedda Hopper wrote that Paramount gave her the part supporting Lynn because "Lake clipped her own wings in her Boston bond appearance... It's lucky for Lake, after Boston, that she isn't out of pictures."[4]

Filming started in June 1944.

Reception

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote, "Imagine a shy young singer with Eddie Bracken’s looks and the soothing voice of Bing Crosby and you have a picture of the hero of this film...That trick of movie prestidigitation is the novel twist of the show and is good for a laugh whenever Eddie opens his mouth and Bing’s warbling comes out. To be sure, Mr. Crosby never shows up, but his four fair-haired youngsters are on hand in one scene to represent the family and toss a few quips about dad...Mr. Crosby sings three fairish songs amusingly..."[5]

Soundtrack

Eddie Bracken’s songs are dubbed by Bing Crosby.[5]

  • "Out of This World" (Harold Arlen / Johnny Mercer) sung by Bing Crosby, and mimed by Eddie Bracken
  • "June Comes Around Every Year" (Harold Arlen / Johnny Mercer) sung by Bing Crosby, and mimed by Eddie Bracken
  • "I'd Rather Be Me" (Eddie Cherkose / Sam Coslow / Felix Bernard) sung by Bing Crosby, and mimed by Eddie Bracken
  • "All I Do Is Beat This Gol-Darn Drum" (Bernie Wayne / Ben Raleigh)
  • "A Sailor with an Eight-Hour Pass" (Bernie Wayne / Ben Raleigh]), sung by Cass Daley
  • "Ghost of Mr. Chopin" (Eddie Cherkose / Sam Coslow / Felix Bernard)
  • "It Takes a Little Bit More" (Eddie Cherkose / Sam Coslow / Felix Bernard).[6]

Bing Crosby recorded three of the songs for Decca Records.[7] Crosby's songs were also included in the Bing's Hollywood series.

"Out of This World" was a hit in 1945 for Jo Stafford and Tommy Dorsey.[8]

References

  1. ^ "Out of This World". American Film Institute. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  2. ^ "Screen News Here and in Hollywood". The New York Times. January 7, 1944. p. 13.
  3. ^ "Screen News Here and in Hollywood". The New York Times. March 11, 1944. p. 10.
  4. ^ Hopper, Hedda (July 20, 1944). "Sonny Sings a Song!". The Washington Post. p. 5.
  5. ^ a b Crowther, Bosley (June 7, 1945). The New York Times.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Fred (1986). Road to Hollywood. John Joyce.
  7. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". A Bing Crosby Discography. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 565. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
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Out of This World (1945 film)
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