Presenting Lily Mars (1943)

102 or 104 mins | Musical, Comedy-drama | 1943

Director:

Norman Taurog

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Editor:

Albert Akst

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to modern sources, M-G-M acquired Booth Tarkington's novel as a vehicle for Lana Turner. HR news items add the following information about the production: George Murphy was originally cast as Judy Garland's co-star. Although Herbert Stothart was announced as Roger Edens' co-composer in Jul 1942, only Edens is credited onscreen. Tommye Adams tested for a part in late Jul 1942, and Mary Elliott, a former Miss South Carolina, was to make her screen debut in the picture, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Twins Lyn and Lee Wilde made their screen debuts in the picture. Wally Cassell and Albert Morin were announced as cast members, but were not in the final film. Saxophonist Gil Rodin, drummer Ray Bauduc, trumpeter Max Herman, trombonist Bruce Squires and clarinetist Pete Carpenter, members of Bob Crosby's band, were to be featured in the film, but their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed.
       In late Sep 1942, principal photography was halted for several weeks while the finale was being rehearsed. That finale, which featured Garland singing "Paging Mr. Greenback" by E. Y. Harburg, Sammy Fain and Lew Brown set against a patriotic background, was reshot by Roy Del Ruth in Mar 1943. The new finale consisted of a medley of songs, including "Broadway Rhythm," "Three O'Clock in the Morning" and "Where There's Music." Modern sources state that the studio decided to reshoot the finale after preview audiences reacted negatively to it. CBCS lists Gerald Pierce, William Stahl and Cooper Norris in roles that were not included in the completed film, but were probably part of the original finale. ... More Less

According to modern sources, M-G-M acquired Booth Tarkington's novel as a vehicle for Lana Turner. HR news items add the following information about the production: George Murphy was originally cast as Judy Garland's co-star. Although Herbert Stothart was announced as Roger Edens' co-composer in Jul 1942, only Edens is credited onscreen. Tommye Adams tested for a part in late Jul 1942, and Mary Elliott, a former Miss South Carolina, was to make her screen debut in the picture, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Twins Lyn and Lee Wilde made their screen debuts in the picture. Wally Cassell and Albert Morin were announced as cast members, but were not in the final film. Saxophonist Gil Rodin, drummer Ray Bauduc, trumpeter Max Herman, trombonist Bruce Squires and clarinetist Pete Carpenter, members of Bob Crosby's band, were to be featured in the film, but their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed.
       In late Sep 1942, principal photography was halted for several weeks while the finale was being rehearsed. That finale, which featured Garland singing "Paging Mr. Greenback" by E. Y. Harburg, Sammy Fain and Lew Brown set against a patriotic background, was reshot by Roy Del Ruth in Mar 1943. The new finale consisted of a medley of songs, including "Broadway Rhythm," "Three O'Clock in the Morning" and "Where There's Music." Modern sources state that the studio decided to reshoot the finale after preview audiences reacted negatively to it. CBCS lists Gerald Pierce, William Stahl and Cooper Norris in roles that were not included in the completed film, but were probably part of the original finale. According to modern sources, former Broadway dancer and future M-G-M director Charles Walters choreographed the reshot finale, as well as appearing as Garland's partner. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
1 May 1943.
---
Daily Variety
28 Apr 43
pp. 3-4.
Film Daily
28 Apr 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 42
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 42
pp. 14-15.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 42
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Sep 42
, 15609
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 43
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
1 May 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 May 43
p. 1289.
New York Times
30 Apr 43
p. 25.
Variety
28 Apr 43
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Addl scenes dir by
WRITERS
Comedy constr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
Musical presentation
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus adpt
SOUND
Rec dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Judy Garland's makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
STAND INS
Vocal stand-in for Judy Garland
Vocal stand-in for Judy Garland
Singing double for Judy Garland on "Every Little M
Vocal stand-in for Marta Eggerth
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Presenting Lily Mars by Booth Tarkington (New York, 1933).
SONGS
"Is It Really Love?" and "When I Look at You," words and music by Paul Francis Webster
"Russian Rhapsody," words and music by Paul Francis Webster and Walter Jurman
"Every Little Movement," words by Otto Harbach, music by Karl Hoschna
+
SONGS
"Is It Really Love?" and "When I Look at You," words and music by Paul Francis Webster
"Russian Rhapsody," words and music by Paul Francis Webster and Walter Jurman
"Every Little Movement," words by Otto Harbach, music by Karl Hoschna
"Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son," words by Burton Lane, music by E. Y. Harburg
"Broadway Rhythm," words by Arthur Freed, music by Nacio Herb Brown
"Where There's Music," words and music by Roger Edens
"Three O'Clock in the Morning," words by Dorothy Terriss, music by Julian Robeldo.
+
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 29 April 1943
Production Date:
3 August--late September 1942
late October 1942
addl scenes began early March 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 May 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12080
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
102 or 104
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8986
SYNOPSIS

Nineteen-year-old Lily Mars of Midhaven, Indiana, wants desperately to become an actress and so convinces neighbor Mimi Thornway to introduce her to her son John, a Broadway theatrical producer. When John, who is in town with the touring show of his latest production, learns about Lily, however, he refuses to meet her, sure that she is just another rank amateur. Undaunted, Lily steals John's annotated copy of Let Me Dream , his next play, and then tells him that he can pick it up at her house. To John's dismay, Lily forces him to watch her mawkish rendition of "Lady Macbeth's" soliloquy before returning his script. Although John angrily advises Lily to give up her acting dreams, Lily remains determined to prove her talent. To that end, she and her youngest sister Poppy dress in rags and stand outside John's study, reciting lines from a Victorian melodrama. Lily's performance is also witnessed by Russian-born actress Isobel Rekay and Let Me Dream playwright Owen Vail, who have dropped by to see John on their way to the theater. Hearing Poppy yelling "Papa, Papa" at an annoyed John, Owen and Isobel, with whom John is romantically entangled, assume the worst. Later, when Lily crashes John's post-show party, Owen offers to help her confront the producer with his "misdeeds." John soon straightens out Owen and Isobel and begins chasing Lily around his house, determined to make good on his threat to spank her if she ever again bothered him. Lily momentarily distracts John by singing a swing number with the hired band, then agrees to leave peaceably. Before going, however, Lily ... +


Nineteen-year-old Lily Mars of Midhaven, Indiana, wants desperately to become an actress and so convinces neighbor Mimi Thornway to introduce her to her son John, a Broadway theatrical producer. When John, who is in town with the touring show of his latest production, learns about Lily, however, he refuses to meet her, sure that she is just another rank amateur. Undaunted, Lily steals John's annotated copy of Let Me Dream , his next play, and then tells him that he can pick it up at her house. To John's dismay, Lily forces him to watch her mawkish rendition of "Lady Macbeth's" soliloquy before returning his script. Although John angrily advises Lily to give up her acting dreams, Lily remains determined to prove her talent. To that end, she and her youngest sister Poppy dress in rags and stand outside John's study, reciting lines from a Victorian melodrama. Lily's performance is also witnessed by Russian-born actress Isobel Rekay and Let Me Dream playwright Owen Vail, who have dropped by to see John on their way to the theater. Hearing Poppy yelling "Papa, Papa" at an annoyed John, Owen and Isobel, with whom John is romantically entangled, assume the worst. Later, when Lily crashes John's post-show party, Owen offers to help her confront the producer with his "misdeeds." John soon straightens out Owen and Isobel and begins chasing Lily around his house, determined to make good on his threat to spank her if she ever again bothered him. Lily momentarily distracts John by singing a swing number with the hired band, then agrees to leave peaceably. Before going, however, Lily informs John that he acts hostily toward her because he is afraid of his attraction to her. Despite her bravado, Lily breaks down in tears as soon as she arrives home and is comforted by her three sisters and brother. Lily's kind mother Flora, a hatmaker, then advises her to follow her dream and go to New York. By the time Lily arrives there, having hitchhiked the entire way, John is already rehearsing Let Me Dream . Lily manages to sneak into John's theater and hides out undetected until she is discovered by charwoman Frankie. Former actress Frankie confesses that she, too, came to New York as a starry-eyed youth and reassures Lily that, no matter what happens, she belongs on Broadway. The next day during rehearsal, Lily reveals herself to John when she starts dancing with the show's chorus line and faints from hunger. A suddenly sympathetic John treats Lily to lunch and allows her to remain in the chorus. After John arranges a boardinghouse for Lily, Isobel, sensing John's growing interest in the young woman, complains about the play's third act. While Owen and John are rewriting the act one night, Lily shows up at the theater and suggests her own ending. John and Owen incorporate Lily's ideas into the revised act and, despite Owen's warnings that he is getting too involved with Lily, John casts her as Isobel's maid. Two weeks later, Isobel drops by the same nightclub to which John, who is now smitten with Lily, has taken her and watches in horror as Lily imitates her on the club's stage. After a jealous Isobel quits the next day, John announces he is closing the show. Lily insists that she can take over Isobel's part, and blinded by his love for her, John agrees to cast her. Lily founders in the demanding role, however, and just before the play is to open, John reluctantly informs her that he is replacing her with Isobel, with whom he has made peace. John advises Lily not to give up, but to stay with the show in her original, modest part. Lily is crushed by John's decision and tells her family, who have come to New York to see her in her first starring role, that she is a failure. The Marses shower Lily with love and support, and to John's relief and delight, Lily makes her entrance as the maid. Sometime later, as John watches with pride, Lily makes another entrance, but this time she is a full-fledged star. +

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

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