Blue Skies (1946)

104 mins | Musical | 27 December 1946

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HISTORY

The title card on the viewed print reads: "Irving Berlin's Blue Skies ." According to a 17 Sep 1945 HR news item, Paramount planned to allot fifty minutes of screen time for Bing Crosby's singing. Of the many Berlin songs that are featured in the film, three were written expressly for the picture: "Running Around in Circles," "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song" and "A Serenade to an Old-Fashioned Girl."
       According to Var , the cue sheet for the film listed forty-two songs, but a number of them were cut before release. HR news items give the following information about the production: Producer/director Mark Sandrich, who made an earlier Berlin musical, Holiday Inn (see below) with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, was scheduled to make this film, but died of a heart attack on 4 Mar 1945. On 21 Jun 1945, HR announced that, on doctor's orders that he rest, producer Joseph Sistrom dropped his assignment as producer and was replaced by Sol C. Siegel. Paul Draper, who had been a dance director in the 1930s, began shooting the role of "Jed Potter," but was reported out of the picture on 31 Jul 1945. According to modern sources, Draper was dropped because of a difficulty with his speech. Cyd Charisse and Risë Stevens were considered for leading roles. For the roles of chorus girls, the Goldwyn Girls, Columbia's Cover Girls and Twentieth Century-Fox's Diamond Horseshoe Girls were tested, and a composite group was eventually used. Ten full-sized nightclub sets were built for the film, according to modern sources.
       Blue Skies is the film in ... More Less

The title card on the viewed print reads: "Irving Berlin's Blue Skies ." According to a 17 Sep 1945 HR news item, Paramount planned to allot fifty minutes of screen time for Bing Crosby's singing. Of the many Berlin songs that are featured in the film, three were written expressly for the picture: "Running Around in Circles," "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song" and "A Serenade to an Old-Fashioned Girl."
       According to Var , the cue sheet for the film listed forty-two songs, but a number of them were cut before release. HR news items give the following information about the production: Producer/director Mark Sandrich, who made an earlier Berlin musical, Holiday Inn (see below) with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, was scheduled to make this film, but died of a heart attack on 4 Mar 1945. On 21 Jun 1945, HR announced that, on doctor's orders that he rest, producer Joseph Sistrom dropped his assignment as producer and was replaced by Sol C. Siegel. Paul Draper, who had been a dance director in the 1930s, began shooting the role of "Jed Potter," but was reported out of the picture on 31 Jul 1945. According to modern sources, Draper was dropped because of a difficulty with his speech. Cyd Charisse and Risë Stevens were considered for leading roles. For the roles of chorus girls, the Goldwyn Girls, Columbia's Cover Girls and Twentieth Century-Fox's Diamond Horseshoe Girls were tested, and a composite group was eventually used. Ten full-sized nightclub sets were built for the film, according to modern sources.
       Blue Skies is the film in which Astaire danced his famous "Puttin' on the Ritz" number. Shortly after the film was released, Astaire announced his retirement from films, but he returned to the screen in 1948, co-starring with Judy Garland in Easter Parade (see below) at M-G-M. He made numerous films from the late 1940s through the 1960s and did not completely retire from films until the early 1980s. Irving Berlin was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music (Song) for "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song," and Robert Emmett Dolan was nominated for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Sep 1946.
---
Daily Variety
26 Sep 46
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Sep 46
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 45
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 45
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 45
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 45
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 45
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 45
p. 24.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 46
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Mar 46
p. 2884.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Sep 46
p. 3221.
New York Times
17 Oct 46
p. 28.
Variety
7 Mar 1946.
---
Variety
25 Sep 46
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Sam Harris
Laura Corbeille
Ricky Riccardi
Billy Burt
Mary Stewart
William H. Benter
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on an orig idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Process photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Cost des by
Cost executed by
MUSIC
Vocal arr
Mus assoc
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody," "Got My Captain Working for Me Now," "You'd Be Surprised," "All By Myself," "A Serenade to an Old-Fashioned Girl," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "C-U-B-A," "A Couple of Song and Dance Men," "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song," "Always," "Remember," "Blue Skies," "Russian Lullaby," "Everybody Step," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Getting Nowhere," "Heat Wave," "Any Bonds Today?" "This Is the Army, Mr. Jones" and "White Christmas," music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 December 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 17 Oct 1946
Production Date:
16 Jul--late Sep 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 December 1946
Copyright Number:
LP758
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
104
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11075
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Radio broadcaster Jed Potter opens his radio program by telling his audience about three performers who were influenced by Irving Berlin's music: In 1919, when the song "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" is a hit, Jed is in love with pretty chorus girl Mary O'Hara. However, Mary falls in love with Jed's former vaudeville partner, crooner and shiftless nightclub owner Johnny Adams. Jed helps Mary get a starring role in a big Broadway production, while Johnny opens and sells a series of clubs. Johnny and Mary quickly fall in love, and on her opening night, she suggests they marry, but he turns her down, insisting he does not want stability. Two years pass, and Jed gallantly helps Mary forget Johnny and eventually proposes, but Johnny reappears, and he and Mary wed. The couple moves from town to town as Johnny opens nightclub after nightclub, and in New York, three years later, after Mary has given birth to a baby girl named Mary Elizabeth, Johnny opens the Top Hat, his most successful club. When Mary learns that Johnny plans to sell it, she issues an ultimatum, but he sells the club despite her protests. Mary and Johnny divorce, and years later, Mary and Jed's show opens in Chicago, where Johnny has just opened a new club. Johnny visits Mary Elizabeth, who realizes that he is her daddy and has him sing her a song about "running around in circles." She also tells Johnny that her mother will be marrying Jed the next week, and Johnny skips town. When Mary and Jed visit Johnny's club to invite him to the wedding, Mary is ... +


Radio broadcaster Jed Potter opens his radio program by telling his audience about three performers who were influenced by Irving Berlin's music: In 1919, when the song "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" is a hit, Jed is in love with pretty chorus girl Mary O'Hara. However, Mary falls in love with Jed's former vaudeville partner, crooner and shiftless nightclub owner Johnny Adams. Jed helps Mary get a starring role in a big Broadway production, while Johnny opens and sells a series of clubs. Johnny and Mary quickly fall in love, and on her opening night, she suggests they marry, but he turns her down, insisting he does not want stability. Two years pass, and Jed gallantly helps Mary forget Johnny and eventually proposes, but Johnny reappears, and he and Mary wed. The couple moves from town to town as Johnny opens nightclub after nightclub, and in New York, three years later, after Mary has given birth to a baby girl named Mary Elizabeth, Johnny opens the Top Hat, his most successful club. When Mary learns that Johnny plans to sell it, she issues an ultimatum, but he sells the club despite her protests. Mary and Johnny divorce, and years later, Mary and Jed's show opens in Chicago, where Johnny has just opened a new club. Johnny visits Mary Elizabeth, who realizes that he is her daddy and has him sing her a song about "running around in circles." She also tells Johnny that her mother will be marrying Jed the next week, and Johnny skips town. When Mary and Jed visit Johnny's club to invite him to the wedding, Mary is distraught to find him gone, and Jed realizes she will always love Johnny and calls off the wedding. Despite Mary's admonition, Jed drinks before going onstage to do a dangerous dance on a bridge and falls, ending his dancing career. Jed now relates over the airwaves that Mary blamed herself for his injury, and Jed has not seen her since that night. Jed makes a public appeal during the broadcast for Mary to return to Johnny, who, after touring with the troops during World War II, is in the studio. As Johnny sings, Mary joins him and they embrace. Jed, Johnny and Mary then leave the studio together. +

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.