Something for the Boys (1944)

84 or 87 mins | Musical comedy | November 1944

Full page view
HISTORY

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, in Nov 1942, the studio advanced $62,500 to Michael Todd and Savoy Productions for production of the musical, then purchased the screen rights to it in 1943. Although the legal records give the purchase price as $265,000, a 12 Mar 1943 HR news item lists the amount paid by Fox as $305,000. Per the agreement with Todd, Fox could not release the film until at least the summer of 1944, which, as HR noted, was to "enable the stage original to play the key cities and tour without competition from the celluloid version." Only one of Cole Porter's songs for the musical was included in the film version. HR news items note that William Perlberg was originally slated to produce this film, Irving Cummings was to direct it and Betty Grable was to star in it. In Jan 1944, Bruce Humberstone was assigned to direct the picture and Brenda Marshall was set for the female lead. According to HR , Humberstone auditioned The Jeepers, a seven-piece novelty orchestra, but they do not appear in the finished film. Although a 23 Feb 1944 HR news item noted that dance director Nick Castle was working with Carmen Miranda to prepare a "four-movement, symphonic treatment" of the popular song "Mairzy Doats," the number was not included in the film. In Apr 1944, HR noted that Scott Elliott had been tested for the film, but his participation in the finished picture has not been confirmed. Although a ... More Less

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, in Nov 1942, the studio advanced $62,500 to Michael Todd and Savoy Productions for production of the musical, then purchased the screen rights to it in 1943. Although the legal records give the purchase price as $265,000, a 12 Mar 1943 HR news item lists the amount paid by Fox as $305,000. Per the agreement with Todd, Fox could not release the film until at least the summer of 1944, which, as HR noted, was to "enable the stage original to play the key cities and tour without competition from the celluloid version." Only one of Cole Porter's songs for the musical was included in the film version. HR news items note that William Perlberg was originally slated to produce this film, Irving Cummings was to direct it and Betty Grable was to star in it. In Jan 1944, Bruce Humberstone was assigned to direct the picture and Brenda Marshall was set for the female lead. According to HR , Humberstone auditioned The Jeepers, a seven-piece novelty orchestra, but they do not appear in the finished film. Although a 23 Feb 1944 HR news item noted that dance director Nick Castle was working with Carmen Miranda to prepare a "four-movement, symphonic treatment" of the popular song "Mairzy Doats," the number was not included in the film. In Apr 1944, HR noted that Scott Elliott had been tested for the film, but his participation in the finished picture has not been confirmed. Although a HR news item and studio press releases include Billie Seward, Stanley Prager, Chester Conklin, Harry Seymour and Jo-Carroll Dennison in the cast, they do not appear in the completed film. The picture marked the screen debuts of popular singer Perry Como and actor Rory Calhoun, who appeared under the name Frank McCown. Modern sources also include Judy Holliday in the cast. A studio credit sheet lists the film's running time as 78 min.
       According to information in the legal records and the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, the following writers worked on various versions of the screenplay: Harry Segall, Marian Spitzer, Eddie Welch, Snag Werris, Samuel Hoffenstein and Betty Reinhardt. The extent of their contributions to the completed film has not been confirmed, however. Notes from a 12 Jan 1944 studio conference reveal that production head Darryl F. Zanuck wanted the same writers who wrote Greenwich Village , a 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox picture starring Carmen Miranda, to write Miranda's dialogue for this film, because "they wrote especially for her, with mispronunciations, etc., and she is very funny when she is given this style of writing." The Greenwich Village screenwriters did not contribute to Something for the Boys , but Miranda's trademark mangling of the English language is included in the film. The studio records also note that the "Southland Routine," which is performed by Phil Silvers, includes excerpts from the following songs: "Southland" by Silvers, Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh; "Dixie's Land" by Dan Emmet; "All Over God's Heaven," traditional spiritual; "Shortnin' Bread," words by Jacques Wolfe, music traditional; "Indian Dance" by Urban Theilman; and "Climin' Up Dem Golden Stairs" by McHugh and Adamson. The studio records contain letters from songwriters Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, who stated that the "Southland Routine" was based on their work. In early 1945, Twentieth Century-Fox paid the composers three thousand dollars not to pursue their claim. According to a 3 Feb 1943 HR news item, owners of the radio show The Court of Missing Heirs filed an infringment of copyright lawsuit against the producers and owners of the play Something for the Boys . The owners of the radio program alleged that the play infringed on their show's premise. The disposition of the suit is unknown. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Nov 1944.
---
Daily Variety
31 Oct 44
p. 3, 8
Film Daily
1 Nov 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
24 Nov 1944.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jan 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 44
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 44
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Oct 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 44
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Aug 44
p. 2071.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Nov 44
p. 2165.
New York Times
28 Feb 1943.
---
New York Times
30 Nov 44
p. 19.
Variety
1 Nov 44
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Mus settings des by
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged and dir by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech dir
Research dir
Research asst
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical Something for the Boys book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, songs by Cole Porter (New York, 7 Jan 1943).
SONGS
"Something for the Boys," music and lyrics by Cole Porter
"Boom-Brrachee-Boom," "Eighty Miles Outside of Atlanta," "I Wish We Didn't Have to Say Good Night," "Samba-Boogie," "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" and "In the Middle of Nowhere," music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson
"Batuca Nega," music and lyrics by Ary Barroso.
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1944
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 23 November 1944
New York opening: week of 29 November 1944
Production Date:
completed 26 June 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 November 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13222
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
84 or 87
Length(in feet):
7,817
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After cousins actress Blossom Hart, defense plant worker Chiquita Hart and inventor Harry Hart each learn that they are heirs to a large plantation in Masonville, Georgia, they travel separately to Masonville, and in the office of lawyer Col. Jefferson L. Calhoun, meet for the first time. As they are all poor, they are thrilled by the inheritance, but when Calhoun takes them to Magnolia Manor, they discover that the once glorious plantation house is now a ruin. In addition, paying the plantation's various property and inheritance taxes will put them deeply in debt. While the cousins are bemoaning their fate, Staff Sgt. Ronald "Rocky" Fulton, who was a well-known orchestra leader before joining the military, arrives with some of his men, including Sgt. Laddie Green. Rockie explains that the married service men of nearby Camp Dixon want to rent rooms in the manor for their wives, who have been unable to live close to their husbands due to a lack of available housing. The men pitch in and help the cousins fix up the manor, although Chiquita is continually bothered by the fact that she can pick up radio programs on the fillings in her teeth. Rocky, who has begun a romance with Blossom, suggests that they put on a musical show to raise funds for the renovations. On the day that "The Old Southern Corn Revue" is to open, Blossom is stunned by the arrival of Melanie Walker, a snobbish, rich woman, who Rocky is forced to admit is his fiancée. Melanie, believing that Rocky has arranged for the manor to be let just for her, imperiously announces the changes ... +


After cousins actress Blossom Hart, defense plant worker Chiquita Hart and inventor Harry Hart each learn that they are heirs to a large plantation in Masonville, Georgia, they travel separately to Masonville, and in the office of lawyer Col. Jefferson L. Calhoun, meet for the first time. As they are all poor, they are thrilled by the inheritance, but when Calhoun takes them to Magnolia Manor, they discover that the once glorious plantation house is now a ruin. In addition, paying the plantation's various property and inheritance taxes will put them deeply in debt. While the cousins are bemoaning their fate, Staff Sgt. Ronald "Rocky" Fulton, who was a well-known orchestra leader before joining the military, arrives with some of his men, including Sgt. Laddie Green. Rockie explains that the married service men of nearby Camp Dixon want to rent rooms in the manor for their wives, who have been unable to live close to their husbands due to a lack of available housing. The men pitch in and help the cousins fix up the manor, although Chiquita is continually bothered by the fact that she can pick up radio programs on the fillings in her teeth. Rocky, who has begun a romance with Blossom, suggests that they put on a musical show to raise funds for the renovations. On the day that "The Old Southern Corn Revue" is to open, Blossom is stunned by the arrival of Melanie Walker, a snobbish, rich woman, who Rocky is forced to admit is his fiancée. Melanie, believing that Rocky has arranged for the manor to be let just for her, imperiously announces the changes she intends to make, and the infuriated Blossom refuses to speak to Rocky. Before the show, Rocky explains to a disapproving Chiquita that he loves only Blossom. The show is a big success, and the next morning, Chiquita advises Blossom to fight for Rocky if she loves him. The snooty Melanie ends up covered with eggs after she tries to work one of Harry's new inventions, and she seeks solace from Lt. Ashley Crothers. While the lieutenant is there, he discovers that Harry is hosting a dice game for some of the soldiers, none of whom have wives staying at the manor. Crothers arrests the soldiers and recommends that the house be posted as off-limits for all military personnel. Col. Grubbs approves Crother's suggestion, and soon the wives are packing to leave. Meanwhile, after Harry learns that carborundum from the defense plant got into Chiquita's fillings and is causing her to receive radio programs, he decides to build an invention around the idea. One afternoon, Rocky comes to the house to try to talk to Blossom, who refuses to see him. Rocky is supposed to be on duty for war games, and is captured by the "enemy" army, which has taken over the manor as its headquarters. Hoping to save both his stripes and the manor, Rocky enlists the aid of Chiquita and Harry, who begin building a transmitter to send a message to Rocky's unit via Chiquita's teeth. The message is sent, and the cousins distract the "enemy" army with a song and dance show while Rocky's army assembles for its attack. Soon after, Rocky's side has prevailed in the manuevers, and in appreciation of Blossom, Chiquita and Harry's help, the off-limits sign is removed and the manor is once again the site of much happiness for the military men and their wives. At a celebratory party, Rocky announces that he has been selected for officer's candidate school, and the happy Blossom reconciles with him. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.