Let's Dance (1950)

111-112 mins | Musical comedy | 23 November 1950

Director:

Norman Z. McLeod

Writer:

Allan Scott

Producer:

Robert Fellows

Cinematographer:

George Barnes

Production Designers:

Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Little Boy Blue . Information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals the following information about the production: Paramount postponed production on the film from 15 May 1949 to 5 Jul 1949 so that actress Betty Hutton could appear in Annie Get Your Gun for M-G-M. A lengthy studio memo noted that although production officially began on 5 Jul 1949, many of the musical numbers were worked on prior to that date. In addition, the memo indicates that the script was frequently re-written on the set, and the finished film initially ran for two hours and twenty minutes. Although a production number titled "Ming Toy" was shot on 13 Sep 1949, it was not included in the final film. The song "Tunnel of Love" was originally written by Frank Loesser for the 1949 M-G-M film Neptune's Daughter , but was not included in that production (see below). Modern sources report that this number featured a solo performance by Hutton. A HR news item indicates that Jane Cowl was initially cast in the role of "Serena," but withdrew from the film due to a knee ... More Less

The working title of this film was Little Boy Blue . Information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals the following information about the production: Paramount postponed production on the film from 15 May 1949 to 5 Jul 1949 so that actress Betty Hutton could appear in Annie Get Your Gun for M-G-M. A lengthy studio memo noted that although production officially began on 5 Jul 1949, many of the musical numbers were worked on prior to that date. In addition, the memo indicates that the script was frequently re-written on the set, and the finished film initially ran for two hours and twenty minutes. Although a production number titled "Ming Toy" was shot on 13 Sep 1949, it was not included in the final film. The song "Tunnel of Love" was originally written by Frank Loesser for the 1949 M-G-M film Neptune's Daughter , but was not included in that production (see below). Modern sources report that this number featured a solo performance by Hutton. A HR news item indicates that Jane Cowl was initially cast in the role of "Serena," but withdrew from the film due to a knee injury. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Aug 1950.
---
Daily Variety
9 Aug 50
p. 3, 5
Film Daily
11 Aug 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
Jul 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 49
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Aug 50
p. 442.
New York Times
30 Nov 50
p. 42.
Variety
9 Sep 50
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Sam Harris
Dick Keene
Harry V. Cheshire
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
Suggested by a story by
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Prop shop
Props
COSTUMES
Gowns
Ward
Ward
Ward
MUSIC
Vocal arr
Mus assoc
Spec orch arr
Mus casting
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
Asst to Hermes Pan
Dance asst
Dance asst
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Rehearsal pianist
Prod mgr
Asst prod mgr
Casting
Outer casting
Pub
Scr supv
Stage eng
Mike grip
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor tech
Technicolor asst
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Little Boy Blue" by Maurice Zolotow in Pic (Oct 1948).
SONGS
"The Hyacinth," "I Can't Stop Talking About Him," "Oh Them Dudes," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Why Fight the Feeling" and "Tunnel of Love," music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Little Boy Blue
Release Date:
23 November 1950
Production Date:
5 July--7 September 1949
Addl scenes: 21 November 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 November 1950
Copyright Number:
LP638
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
111-112
Length(in feet):
10,055
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13951
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In London in 1944, performers Kitty McNeil and Donald Elwood entertain British and American troops. Kitty becomes infuriated when Donald, after years of being non-commital, unexpectedly announces onstage that they are to be married. Because Kitty has already married Richard Everett, an American flyer whom she met in a hospital outside London, the performing act splits up. Kitty soon becomes a widow, however, and five years later, she and her son Richie are living with the wealthy Everett family in Boston. Although Dick's sister Carola is sympathetic, Kitty feels stifled by her grandmother-in-law Serena's disapproval of her former profession, and her strict discipline of Richie, and secretly moves to New York with him. Donald is an unsuccessful New York investment broker, and continues to perform for a meager salary at Larry Channock's nightclub. Although Donald first sees Kitty again in the Chili Cabana café, he pretends to run into her on the sidewalk. The former partners try to impress each other with exaggerated success stories, but Donald soon learns the truth, and promises to get Kitty work at the nightclub. That night, Donald falls asleep in Kitty's apartment after telling Richie a story. Unknown to Kitty, a private detective is following her and takes note of her nighttime visitor. Kitty is soon working as a cigarette girl at Larry's nightclub, and the staff looks after Richie, providing him with an education as well as regular meals and naps. Serena's lawyers, Edmund Pohlwhistle and Charles Wagstaffe, show up at the nightclub and threaten Kitty with a subpoena unless she gives Serena custody of Richie. Even Elsie and Bubbles Malone, two beautiful showgirls, fail to dissuade the ... +


In London in 1944, performers Kitty McNeil and Donald Elwood entertain British and American troops. Kitty becomes infuriated when Donald, after years of being non-commital, unexpectedly announces onstage that they are to be married. Because Kitty has already married Richard Everett, an American flyer whom she met in a hospital outside London, the performing act splits up. Kitty soon becomes a widow, however, and five years later, she and her son Richie are living with the wealthy Everett family in Boston. Although Dick's sister Carola is sympathetic, Kitty feels stifled by her grandmother-in-law Serena's disapproval of her former profession, and her strict discipline of Richie, and secretly moves to New York with him. Donald is an unsuccessful New York investment broker, and continues to perform for a meager salary at Larry Channock's nightclub. Although Donald first sees Kitty again in the Chili Cabana café, he pretends to run into her on the sidewalk. The former partners try to impress each other with exaggerated success stories, but Donald soon learns the truth, and promises to get Kitty work at the nightclub. That night, Donald falls asleep in Kitty's apartment after telling Richie a story. Unknown to Kitty, a private detective is following her and takes note of her nighttime visitor. Kitty is soon working as a cigarette girl at Larry's nightclub, and the staff looks after Richie, providing him with an education as well as regular meals and naps. Serena's lawyers, Edmund Pohlwhistle and Charles Wagstaffe, show up at the nightclub and threaten Kitty with a subpoena unless she gives Serena custody of Richie. Even Elsie and Bubbles Malone, two beautiful showgirls, fail to dissuade the lawyers from their mission, and the next day, Donald helps defend Kitty when she appears before a judge, who grants her sixty days to find more lucrative employment or a husband. Donald proposes to Kitty, but while they are in line at the marriage license bureau, she learns that he still intends to give up entertaining and pursue investment brokering, at which he is a dismal failure. Kitty rejects Donald, and also refuses to accept $20,000 from Carola, who earnestly wants to help her. Kitty starts dating Donald's friend, wealthy playboy Timothy Bryant, but when they announce their engagement, Donald determines that they are mismatched, and insinuates to Timothy that Kitty is a gold digger. When Kitty then appears wearing his mother's heirloom necklace, Timothy breaks off the engagement. As sixty days have passed, Serena takes custody of Richie. Donald, meanwhile, has invested Carola's $20,000, which she turned over to him, in a racehorse, and impresses Serena when he gets an exorbitant offer to purchase the horse, after it wins a $50,000 sweepstakes. Having charmed Serena, Donald, who plans to give the winnings to Kitty, then declines Serena's offer to become her business manager because of her selfish treatment of Richie. At the same time, Kitty sneaks Richie out of the house. Serena, Pohlwhistle, and Wagstaffe report Richie's kidnapping to the police and then go to the nightclub to find him. Donald and the restaurant staff help hide Richie, and Kitty pretends to be distraught over news of her son's "kidnapping." However, when she learns that Donald has finally accepted his destiny as a dancer, Kitty goes on with the show, and announces their impending marriage onstage. After the show, Serena offers them her country home. +

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.