Sensations of 1945 (1944)

85 mins | Musical | 30 June 1944

Director:

Andrew L. Stone

Writer:

Dorothy Bennett

Producer:

Andrew L. Stone

Cinematographers:

John Mescall, Peverell Marley

Editor:

James Smith

Production Designer:

Charles Odds

Production Company:

Andrew Stone Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Sensations and Sensations of 1944 . According to a HR news item, the studio decided to change the title from Sensations of 1944 to accommodate a longer run at the theaters. Although onscreen credits note that the film contained ten original songs, only nine songs were performed in the picture. Other HR news items yield the following information about the production: The film was initially to be shot in Cinecolor, but was later changed to black and white because of the technical difficulties associated with color. Producer-director Andrew Stone decided to satisfy audience craving for circus entertainment, which had been curtailed by wartime travel restrictions, by grouping six specialty acts in the number "Circus in the Sky." Leon Schlesinger devised an animated sequence for the film to illustrate Cab Calloway's "jive talk." HR news items add the following performers to the cast: Katherine Dunham and her dancers; Captain Heyer, the owner of Starless Night; Uncle Willie and Patsy; Robert Dudley; Eddie Chandler ; Charles Phillips; Barbier; Charles Hiby; Sam Lufkin and Bill Wolfe. Their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed, however. Although pre-production news items announced Bobby Connolly as choreographer, the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined.
       Reactions to an Apr 1944 sneak preview led Stone to add scenes featuring W. C. Fields, according to a HR news item. This film marked Fields's last screen appearance, and was Eleanor Powell's first role since leaving M-G-M. The War Department delayed release of this picture because it objected to ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Sensations and Sensations of 1944 . According to a HR news item, the studio decided to change the title from Sensations of 1944 to accommodate a longer run at the theaters. Although onscreen credits note that the film contained ten original songs, only nine songs were performed in the picture. Other HR news items yield the following information about the production: The film was initially to be shot in Cinecolor, but was later changed to black and white because of the technical difficulties associated with color. Producer-director Andrew Stone decided to satisfy audience craving for circus entertainment, which had been curtailed by wartime travel restrictions, by grouping six specialty acts in the number "Circus in the Sky." Leon Schlesinger devised an animated sequence for the film to illustrate Cab Calloway's "jive talk." HR news items add the following performers to the cast: Katherine Dunham and her dancers; Captain Heyer, the owner of Starless Night; Uncle Willie and Patsy; Robert Dudley; Eddie Chandler ; Charles Phillips; Barbier; Charles Hiby; Sam Lufkin and Bill Wolfe. Their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed, however. Although pre-production news items announced Bobby Connolly as choreographer, the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined.
       Reactions to an Apr 1944 sneak preview led Stone to add scenes featuring W. C. Fields, according to a HR news item. This film marked Fields's last screen appearance, and was Eleanor Powell's first role since leaving M-G-M. The War Department delayed release of this picture because it objected to scenes showing soldiers behaving in an undignified manner, according to a 1 Jun 1944 HR news item. A Nov 1944 HR news item adds that vaudeville comic Pat Henning sued Andrew Stone Productions for editing his performance out of the film and denying him screen credit. The outcome of that suit is unknown. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Jun 1944.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jun 44
p. 3, 9
Film Daily
23 Jun 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 43
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jan 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 44
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 44
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Feb 44
p. 1746.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Jun 44
p. 1957.
New York Times
7 Jul 44
p. 13.
Variety
21 Jun 44
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd tech
DANCE
Dances and choreography
Acrobatic choreographer
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
ANIMATION
Anim "Hep Cat" sequence
SOURCES
SONGS
"No Never," "Spin Little Pinball," "Sensations," "Mr. Hepster's Dictionary," "Wake Up Man, You're Slippin," "One Love," "Circus in the Sky," "Divine Lady" and "Kiss Serenade," music and lyrics by Al Sherman and Harry Tobias.
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 June 1944
Production Date:
3 January--1 March 1944
addl scenes 10 March 1944 and 28 April 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Andrew Stone Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 June 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12825
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,664
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As dancer Ginny Walker performs on stage, a veiled woman in the audience stands up, accuses Ginny of stealing her husband and then fires a gun at her. After Ginny collapses and is taken to her dressing room, the woman, Julia Westcolt, a friend of Ginny's, dashes backstage, discards her veil, and then congratulates her friend on their successful publicity stunt. When Ginny's press agents, Gus Crane and his son Junior, visit their client backstage, she brags about her feat and chides them for not being more creative in promoting her. Horrified at Ginny's brashness, Junior, a conservative Harvard graduate, chastises her and leaves the room. In his absence, Ginny conspires with Gus to teach his son a lesson. The next morning, when Junior arrives at the office, he finds Ginny seated at his father's desk and she coolly informs him that Gus has given her control of the business. Ginny scrutinizes the books and discovers that three of their clients, a restaurateur, a circus owner and the manager of a ballet, are unable to pay their bills. After accusing Junior of failing to promote them properly, Ginny conceives of the idea of combining the three talents in one tent under the rubric "Circus in the Sky." Circus in the Sky becomes a smashing success, and Ginny signs "The Great Gustafson," a wirewalker, as a client and bets Junior that she can make him front-page news. Ginny wins her bet when the papers headline Gustafson's death-defying plan to cross the 1,000-foot Royal Gorge on a wire cable, but Junior chides her for risking her client's life to achieve her goal. After ... +


As dancer Ginny Walker performs on stage, a veiled woman in the audience stands up, accuses Ginny of stealing her husband and then fires a gun at her. After Ginny collapses and is taken to her dressing room, the woman, Julia Westcolt, a friend of Ginny's, dashes backstage, discards her veil, and then congratulates her friend on their successful publicity stunt. When Ginny's press agents, Gus Crane and his son Junior, visit their client backstage, she brags about her feat and chides them for not being more creative in promoting her. Horrified at Ginny's brashness, Junior, a conservative Harvard graduate, chastises her and leaves the room. In his absence, Ginny conspires with Gus to teach his son a lesson. The next morning, when Junior arrives at the office, he finds Ginny seated at his father's desk and she coolly informs him that Gus has given her control of the business. Ginny scrutinizes the books and discovers that three of their clients, a restaurateur, a circus owner and the manager of a ballet, are unable to pay their bills. After accusing Junior of failing to promote them properly, Ginny conceives of the idea of combining the three talents in one tent under the rubric "Circus in the Sky." Circus in the Sky becomes a smashing success, and Ginny signs "The Great Gustafson," a wirewalker, as a client and bets Junior that she can make him front-page news. Ginny wins her bet when the papers headline Gustafson's death-defying plan to cross the 1,000-foot Royal Gorge on a wire cable, but Junior chides her for risking her client's life to achieve her goal. After Gustafson safely completes his challenge, Junior and Ginny return to their New York office, where Dan Lindsay, a retired Broadway producer, approaches them about selling his memoirs. Feeling sorry for the once illustrious but now impoverished producer, Junior welcomes Dan as a client. When Collins, the owner of the Plantation Club, hires Ginny to promote his club, she arranges for the acts to be projected on an outside wall of the club across from Times Square, thus causing a near-riot. The police then arrest Ginny for disturbing the peace and she spends the night in jail. Next, Ginny announces her new idea to hire Dan on a weekly salary to host the Gay Nineties Club. Junior applauds her for arranging a steady income for the elderly producer until he discovers that Ginny has secured ten percent of the club's profits for the agency and has hired Dan to exploit his loyal show business friends, including W. C. Fields, who has offered to perform for free. Angered by Ginny's selfishness, Junior gives Dan the agency's ten percent and then informs Ginny that he is leaving the business to re-enlist in the Army. After Junior re-enlists, Gus tells Ginny that he was hoping that she and Junior would fall in love. When Ginny protests that she thought that Junior loved Chloe Connor, the owner of the dancing horse Starless Night, Gus explains that Chloe was only a client and that Dan was concerned about her welfare because she had been forced to retire after a bad fall. To make amends, Ginny decides to perform with Starless Night and donate the proceeds to Chloe. After weeks of training, Ginny is ready to perform with the horse. On opening night, Junior, touched by Ginny's selflessness, appears backstage and proclaims his love for her. +

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.