Good News (1947)

92 or 95 mins | Musical comedy | 26 December 1947

Director:

Charles Walters

Producer:

Arthur Freed

Cinematographer:

Charles Schoenbaum

Editor:

Albert Akst

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

This film marked the directorial debut of Charles Walters, a former actor and dancer who had previously worked as a dance director on several M-G-M films of the early 1940s. The film also marked the first screenplay written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who began their long collaboration first as performers when they formed the group "The Revuers" with singer/comedian Judy Holliday. The Revuers were seen was very briefly seen in the 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox film Greenwich Village (see below). Comden and Green went on to write a number of popular Broadway and film musicals, including On the Town (see below).
       Pre-production news items in HR indicate that actress Gloria De Haven was originally set for the part played by Patricia Marshall, a stage actress who made her motion picture debut in the film. While a 7 Mar 1947 HR news item noted that De Haven had been dropped from the cast due to "differences over the script," a news item appearing in HR two weeks later announced that De Haven refused the role and, as a result, was dropped from the M-G-M talent roster. De Haven was suspended for only a brief time, however, and went on to appear in several M-G-M films. Actor Jackie Cooper was tested for a role in Feb 1947, but he was not cast in the picture. A song entitled "An Easier Way," by Roger Edens, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, was deleted from the film before its release. The cut song, sung by June Allyson, was preserved, however, and was shown on the Turner Classic Movie channel as part of ... More Less

This film marked the directorial debut of Charles Walters, a former actor and dancer who had previously worked as a dance director on several M-G-M films of the early 1940s. The film also marked the first screenplay written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who began their long collaboration first as performers when they formed the group "The Revuers" with singer/comedian Judy Holliday. The Revuers were seen was very briefly seen in the 1944 Twentieth Century-Fox film Greenwich Village (see below). Comden and Green went on to write a number of popular Broadway and film musicals, including On the Town (see below).
       Pre-production news items in HR indicate that actress Gloria De Haven was originally set for the part played by Patricia Marshall, a stage actress who made her motion picture debut in the film. While a 7 Mar 1947 HR news item noted that De Haven had been dropped from the cast due to "differences over the script," a news item appearing in HR two weeks later announced that De Haven refused the role and, as a result, was dropped from the M-G-M talent roster. De Haven was suspended for only a brief time, however, and went on to appear in several M-G-M films. Actor Jackie Cooper was tested for a role in Feb 1947, but he was not cast in the picture. A song entitled "An Easier Way," by Roger Edens, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, was deleted from the film before its release. The cut song, sung by June Allyson, was preserved, however, and was shown on the Turner Classic Movie channel as part of a marathon screening of M-G-M musicals, with songs that were cut from them.
       Good News opened to generally favorable reviews, although the NYT reviewer noted Peter Lawford's weakness as a dancer and singer and wrote that Allyson "can't sing worth a fig." (In fact, singer Patt Hyatt dubbed the songs "Just Imagine" and "The Best Things in Life are Free" for Allyson.) Roger Edens, Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin received an Academy Award nomination for the song "Pass The Peace Pipe," which was not in the Broadway musical version of Good News and was originally written for the film Ziegfeld Follies (see below). A biography of director and lyricist Arthur Freed provides the following information about the film: Robert Alton staged the film's two production numbers. Van Johnson was initially cast in the role of "Tommy Marlowe," and Mickey Rooney was considered for the part before it went to Lawford. Lawford protested his assignment to the film, arguing that his English accent would be inappropriate for the part of an American college student. The film was completed under budget, at a final cost of $1,666,718, and grossed nearly $3,000,000 in its initial release.
       Good News was the second M-G-M adaptation of the Broadway musical. The first adaptation, in 1930, was directed by Nick Grinde and starred Mary Lawlor and Stanley Smith (See Entry). Although a Jun 1943 HR news item announced that producer Sam Coslow planned a revamped and updated version of the 1930 film, that project was never made. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Dec 1947.
---
Film Daily
2 Dec 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 47
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 47
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 47
p. 50.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 47
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 47
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
29 Mar 47
p. 52.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Dec 47
p. 3965.
New York Times
5 Dec 47
p. 53.
Variety
3 Dec 47
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Black and white asst
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Women's cost
Men's cost
Men's ward
Men's ward asst
Women's ward
Women's ward asst
MUSIC
Mus dir
Voc arr
SOUND
Rec dir
Sd mixer
Sd stage man
MAKEUP
Hairstyles des by
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to Arthur Freed
Asst to Roger Edens
Roger Edens' secretary
Unit mgr
Scr supv
Asst props
Best boy
Best boy
Asst to Charles Walters
Casting dir
Asst casting dir
Peter Lawford's coach on football seq
STAND INS
Singing voice double for June Allyson
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Assoc
Technicolor tech
Technicolor asst
Technicolor col dept
Technicolor col dept
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical Good News by Lawrence Schwab, Lew Brown, Frank Mandel, B. G. DeSylva and Ray Henderson (New York, 6 Sep 1927).
SONGS
"Pass the Peace Pipe," music and lyrics by Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane and Roger Edens
"Good News," "He's a Ladies Man," "Lucky in Love," "The Best Things in Life Are Free," "Just Imagine," "Tait Song" and "The Varsity Drag," music and lyrics by B. G. DeSylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson
"The French Lesson," music and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 December 1947
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 4 December 1947
Production Date:
early March--late May 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 December 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1397
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
92 or 95
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12519
SYNOPSIS

In 1927, Pat McClellan, having just completed finishing school, arrives at Tait College to begin her studies and pledge at the Phi Gamma Gamma sorority. Pat's arrival causes quite a stir on campus, and she exploits the attention by making a showy display of her newly acquired sophistication. She wins the immediate adoration of the players on the school football team, but Connie Lane, one of her fellow sorority sisters, sees through her French-speaking pretensions and is disgusted by her vanity. Connie, who works part-time at the university library, disapproves of the slinky red dress that Pat intends to wear to the upcoming sorority party and tells her that the dress is too "extreme and obvious." Pat, however, ignores Connie's advice, and makes a splashy entrance at the party, attracting the notice of all the male students, including Tommy Marlowe, the captain of the football team. Pat deliberately ignores Tommy, and instead pursues Peter Van Dyne, III, simply because he comes from a well-to-do family. Pat's rejection makes Tommy want her all the more, and he vows to learn French to be able to converse with her in her preferred language. Connie is secretly in love with Tommy, and though she is disappointed in his determination to attract Pat, she consents to tutor him in French. Tommy learns how to speak French well enough to ask Pat to the prom in French, but he is crushed when Pat turns down his invitation. When Babe Doolittle, Connie's roommate, learns of the rejection, she decides, for the sake of the football team, to intervene and prevent Tommy from becoming depressed. As part of her plan, Babe tries to interest Pat ... +


In 1927, Pat McClellan, having just completed finishing school, arrives at Tait College to begin her studies and pledge at the Phi Gamma Gamma sorority. Pat's arrival causes quite a stir on campus, and she exploits the attention by making a showy display of her newly acquired sophistication. She wins the immediate adoration of the players on the school football team, but Connie Lane, one of her fellow sorority sisters, sees through her French-speaking pretensions and is disgusted by her vanity. Connie, who works part-time at the university library, disapproves of the slinky red dress that Pat intends to wear to the upcoming sorority party and tells her that the dress is too "extreme and obvious." Pat, however, ignores Connie's advice, and makes a splashy entrance at the party, attracting the notice of all the male students, including Tommy Marlowe, the captain of the football team. Pat deliberately ignores Tommy, and instead pursues Peter Van Dyne, III, simply because he comes from a well-to-do family. Pat's rejection makes Tommy want her all the more, and he vows to learn French to be able to converse with her in her preferred language. Connie is secretly in love with Tommy, and though she is disappointed in his determination to attract Pat, she consents to tutor him in French. Tommy learns how to speak French well enough to ask Pat to the prom in French, but he is crushed when Pat turns down his invitation. When Babe Doolittle, Connie's roommate, learns of the rejection, she decides, for the sake of the football team, to intervene and prevent Tommy from becoming depressed. As part of her plan, Babe tries to interest Pat in Tommy by telling her that Tommy is the heir to his family's pickle fortunes. Pat's interest in Tommy is suddenly piqued, but Tommy, meanwhile, has asked Connie to the prom. Connie is overjoyed that Tommy has asked her to be his date, but her excitement is dashed in an instant when Tommy tells her he is going with Pat. As Tommy's grades begin to slip, Coach Johnson grows increasingly concerned that Tommy will not have the high marks he needs to play in the big game against Colton University. With Tommy's football-playing future at stake, Johnson and others implore Connie to rescue Tommy and coach him for a re-examination in his French class. Connie reluctantly agrees to the arrangement, and, to her astonishment, Tommy makes romantic overtures to her during their first lesson. After admitting to Connie that his interest in Pat was a mistake, Tommy tries to get out of his promise to announce his engagement to Pat by deliberately failing the French test and forcing his own suspension from the big football game. Despite his attempts to stay out of the game and avoid his commitment to Pat, Tommy is forced to play. As a result, Tommy plays poorly and the team suffers greatly. During the game, Connie gets an idea to save the team from defeat by telling Pat that Tommy has suddenly become penniless. Connie's plan works, and when Tommy learns that Pat has left him, he delivers a victory for the team and looks forward to an unimpeded romance with Connie. +

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

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