Lake Placid Serenade (1944)

85 mins | Comedy-drama | 23 December 1944

Director:

Steve Sekely

Cinematographer:

John Alton

Editor:

Arthur Roberts

Production Designer:

Russell Kimball

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Lake Placid . According to a Mar 1944 HR news item, George Sherman was set to direct the picture, and a 4 Aug 1944 LAEx item reported that Brad Taylor was set for the lead. Although Taylor is listed on HR production charts, he was replaced by Robert Livingston. Production charts also include Laurie Haile in the cast, but her participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. Copyright materials noted that twelve-year-old Jo Ann McGowan, was the daughter of ice skaters Everett McGowan and Ruth Mack. Background scenes were shot on location at Lake Placid, NY, according to HR , which also noted that Vera Hruba Ralston and Roy Rogers were to be crowned King and Queen of Winter during Lake Placid's annual winter carnival, after the film's release there on 28 Dec 1944. In 1953, the picture was re-edited and re-released as Winter Serenade ... More Less

The working title of this film was Lake Placid . According to a Mar 1944 HR news item, George Sherman was set to direct the picture, and a 4 Aug 1944 LAEx item reported that Brad Taylor was set for the lead. Although Taylor is listed on HR production charts, he was replaced by Robert Livingston. Production charts also include Laurie Haile in the cast, but her participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. Copyright materials noted that twelve-year-old Jo Ann McGowan, was the daughter of ice skaters Everett McGowan and Ruth Mack. Background scenes were shot on location at Lake Placid, NY, according to HR , which also noted that Vera Hruba Ralston and Roy Rogers were to be crowned King and Queen of Winter during Lake Placid's annual winter carnival, after the film's release there on 28 Dec 1944. In 1953, the picture was re-edited and re-released as Winter Serenade . More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Dec 1944.
---
Daily Variety
20 Dec 44
p. 4.
Film Daily
21 Dec 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 44
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 44
p. 47.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 44
p. 4, 9
Los Angeles Examiner
4 Aug 1944.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Oct 44
p. 2142.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Dec 44
p. 2239.
New York Times
25 Dec 44
p. 15.
Variety
20 Dec 44
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Ice dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Re-rec and eff mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Transparency Projection shots
DANCE
Dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Tech adv
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Deep Purple," by Peter DeRose
"L'amour de l'apache," by Jacques Offenbach
"My Isle of Golden Dreams," by Walter Blaufuss
+
MUSIC
"Deep Purple," by Peter DeRose
"L'amour de l'apache," by Jacques Offenbach
"My Isle of Golden Dreams," by Walter Blaufuss
"National Emblem March," by E. E. Bagley
"A Love Story--Intermezzo," by Heinz Provost
"Serenade," by Ricardo Drigo
"The Moldau" by Bedrich Smetana
"When the Citrus Is in Bloom," composer undetermined.
+
SONGS
"Winter Wonderland," music by Felix Bernard, lyrics by Richard Smith
"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee," music by Lewis F. Muir, lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
"While Strolling Through the Park One Day," music and lyrics by Ed Haley and Robert A. Keiser
+
SONGS
"Winter Wonderland," music by Felix Bernard, lyrics by Richard Smith
"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee," music by Lewis F. Muir, lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert
"While Strolling Through the Park One Day," music and lyrics by Ed Haley and Robert A. Keiser
"Hej Slovane," composer undetermined.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 December 1944
Production Date:
1 August--late September 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 December 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13066
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,668
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10420
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Ice skater Vera Haschek lives with her godfather, Jaroslav "Papa" Haschek, in a small Czechoslovakian village, where she diligantly practices for the country's championship skating match. The night before the competition, superstitious Papa presents Vera with a pair of silver skates that he has made for her by hand. Vera triumphs at the match and is crowned the Czechoslovakian champion, thereby drawing the attention of three visiting Americans who are seeking a star for their new ice show. The group consists of the rich Countess, impressario Carlton Webb and press agent Jiggers. Before they can approach Vera, however, she receives an invitation to appear at the Lake Placid Ice Carnival as a special guest. Papa and the other villagers bid Vera farewell at the train station, and one friend gives her a porcelein doll, which is supposed to summon the love of Vera's life. During the journey, Vera resists attempts by the Countess, Webb and Jiggers to sign her to a contract, and in Lake Placid, Vera is a hit in the show. Vera's happiness is destroyed though, by the news that Germany is about to invade Czechoslovakia. Vera rushes to New York, where she meets with Walter Benda, the Czech consul. Benda informs her that he has not been able to contact her godfather and advises her to find her uncle, Carl Cermak, who moved to the United States many years previously. Carl is now a successful businessman, and although they have never met before, he welcomes her to his home. There, Vera gets a mixed reception from Carl's daughters. Susan is friendly, but snobbish Irene is ... +


Ice skater Vera Haschek lives with her godfather, Jaroslav "Papa" Haschek, in a small Czechoslovakian village, where she diligantly practices for the country's championship skating match. The night before the competition, superstitious Papa presents Vera with a pair of silver skates that he has made for her by hand. Vera triumphs at the match and is crowned the Czechoslovakian champion, thereby drawing the attention of three visiting Americans who are seeking a star for their new ice show. The group consists of the rich Countess, impressario Carlton Webb and press agent Jiggers. Before they can approach Vera, however, she receives an invitation to appear at the Lake Placid Ice Carnival as a special guest. Papa and the other villagers bid Vera farewell at the train station, and one friend gives her a porcelein doll, which is supposed to summon the love of Vera's life. During the journey, Vera resists attempts by the Countess, Webb and Jiggers to sign her to a contract, and in Lake Placid, Vera is a hit in the show. Vera's happiness is destroyed though, by the news that Germany is about to invade Czechoslovakia. Vera rushes to New York, where she meets with Walter Benda, the Czech consul. Benda informs her that he has not been able to contact her godfather and advises her to find her uncle, Carl Cermak, who moved to the United States many years previously. Carl is now a successful businessman, and although they have never met before, he welcomes her to his home. There, Vera gets a mixed reception from Carl's daughters. Susan is friendly, but snobbish Irene is annoyed by her cousin's simple clothes and manners. In order to escape Irene, Vera practices skating on the backyard ice pond, and falls down just as Paul Jordan, Carl's junior partner, passes by. Vera, believing that Paul is the man sent by her porcelein doll, is immediately smitten, as is Paul with her. Paul promises to give her a skating lesson on Christmas Eve but must leave before learning her name or telling her his. Unknown to Vera, Irene is infatuated with Paul and calls him her fiancé, even though he has not proposed. Time passes as Carl grows more attached to Vera, who awaits the return of her mysterious suitor. On Christmas Eve, the family opens their presents, and Irene states that she is giving an expensive pipe to her fiancé. Vera then waits by the ice pond where Paul, who has returned from his business trip, arrives and greets her enthusiastically. The couple begins to skate, but when Vera sees the pipe fall from Paul's pocket, she realizes who he is and runs off without an explanation. Vera returns to Lake Placid, and there she and cowboy star Roy Rogers are crowned the queen and king of the winter carnival. Susan, who has deduced that Vera and Paul have fallen in love, arranges for them to meet, but when Paul declares his affection, Vera again disappears, although she accidentally leaves one of her handmade skates. Vera agrees to sign with the Countess and Webb, but only if her real name is not advertised, so Jiggers devises a campaign whereby she is billed as "The Cinderella Girl." After a number of successful shows, Jiggers engineers a publicity stunt whereby dozens of young men with skates will go to Madison Square Gardens during Vera's appearance there. Carl sees the newspaper ad for the show, which includes a photograph of Vera, and arranges for the attendance of Paul and Papa, who has been located and sent for by Carl. Vera is thrilled to see Papa, and after her show, Papa reveals that Paul is the one who found her skate. Irene apologizes for her earlier jealousy, and the happy Paul and Vera embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.