Something to Sing About (1937)

90 or 93 mins | Musical comedy | 30 September 1937

Producer:

Zion Myers

Cinematographer:

John Stumar

Editor:

Gene Milford

Production Designers:

Robert Lee, Paul Murphy

Production Company:

Grand National Films, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was When I'm with You . This was James Cagney's second and last film for Grand National, with whom he signed during a dispute and lawsuit with Warner Bros. According to a NYT article, Harland Dixon, who staged the dances in the film, had been Cagney's dance instructor in New York before he made it big in a dramatic role in the play Penny Arcade . Dixon stated that at the time Cagney went into dramatic roles, he was developing into a first-rate "hoofer." The article also stated that Cagney ad-libbed some lines in the film, that he practiced going through steps occasionally with Fred Astaire before the film, and that the film's budget was $450,000, which they stated was the equivalent of a $750,000 budget in a major studio. This was Evelyn Daw's first film. According to a FD news item, writer-composer Victor Schertzinger discovered Daw, who came from Geddes, South Dakota, when she was appearing at the Philharmonic in Los Angeles. Schertzinger and music director C. Bakaleinikoff were nominated for an Academy Award in the Music (Scoring) category. According to a HR news item in Feb 1937, the studio originally planned to star Helen Jepson in the film. The following additional cast members are listed in modern sources: Chick Collins ( Man whom Terry fights ), Frank Mills ( Cabby ), Duke Green ( Stuntman ), Larry Steers ( Studio official ), Eddie Hearn ( Studio guard ), Robert McKenzie ( Ship's captain ), Alphonse Martel ( Headwaiter ), The Vagabonds ( Specialty ), Pinkie and Pal ( ... More Less

The working title of this film was When I'm with You . This was James Cagney's second and last film for Grand National, with whom he signed during a dispute and lawsuit with Warner Bros. According to a NYT article, Harland Dixon, who staged the dances in the film, had been Cagney's dance instructor in New York before he made it big in a dramatic role in the play Penny Arcade . Dixon stated that at the time Cagney went into dramatic roles, he was developing into a first-rate "hoofer." The article also stated that Cagney ad-libbed some lines in the film, that he practiced going through steps occasionally with Fred Astaire before the film, and that the film's budget was $450,000, which they stated was the equivalent of a $750,000 budget in a major studio. This was Evelyn Daw's first film. According to a FD news item, writer-composer Victor Schertzinger discovered Daw, who came from Geddes, South Dakota, when she was appearing at the Philharmonic in Los Angeles. Schertzinger and music director C. Bakaleinikoff were nominated for an Academy Award in the Music (Scoring) category. According to a HR news item in Feb 1937, the studio originally planned to star Helen Jepson in the film. The following additional cast members are listed in modern sources: Chick Collins ( Man whom Terry fights ), Frank Mills ( Cabby ), Duke Green ( Stuntman ), Larry Steers ( Studio official ), Eddie Hearn ( Studio guard ), Robert McKenzie ( Ship's captain ), Alphonse Martel ( Headwaiter ), The Vagabonds ( Specialty ), Pinkie and Pal ( Arthur Nelson's Fighting Cats ), Dottie Messmer, Virginia Lee Irwin, Dolly Waldorf ( Three Shades of Blue ), Elinore Welz, Eleanor Prentiss. Modern sources also state that the film was re-issued in 1947 under the title Battling Hoofer . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4-Sep-37
---
Daily Variety
27 Aug 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Jun 37
p. 11.
Film Daily
22 Jun 37
p. 27.
Film Daily
24 Jun 37
p. 4.
Film Daily
31 Aug 37
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jun 37
p. 22.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 37
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 37
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 37
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 37
pp. 7-13.
Motion Picture Daily
28 Aug 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
4 Sep 37
p. 39.
New York Times
18-Jul-37
---
New York Times
12-Sep-37
---
New York Times
21 Sep 37
p. 29.
Variety
1 Sep 37
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Victor Schertzinger Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITER
Story and mus
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
SOUND
Sd supv
DANCE
Dances staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Still photog
SOURCES
SONGS
"Something to Sing About," "Loving You," "Out of the Blue," "Right or Wrong" and "Any Old Love," music and lyrics by Victor Schertzinger.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Battling Hoofer
When I'm with You
Release Date:
30 September 1937
Production Date:
late June--late July 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Grand National Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 September 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7409
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90 or 93
Length(in feet):
8,321
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3628
SYNOPSIS

New York band leader and hoofer Terry Rooney leaves his band and sweetheart, singer Rita Wyatt, to come to Hollywood to star in a film for Galore Pictures. Although he receives the "put-down" treatment reserved for newcomers, studio head B. O. Regan and publicity man Hank Meyers think that he will be a smash success. When they see the rushes of a fake fight that turns real when a "regular" throws a real punch, their suspicions about his appeal are confirmed, but they don't let him know. After the fight, Terry, who is now depressed about his chances in Hollywood, calls Rita, and they elope on a tramp steamer under their real names, Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus McGillicuddy. By the time they return, Terry's film has opened, and he has become a star. Regan and Hank try to sign him to a seven-year contract, but it contains a clause that he not marry, because of his appeal as a single man to women. Rita suggests that she come to Hollywood as his secretary, but once work begins, their marriage is strained because they rarely see each other. After Rita returns to New York, while Terry finishes the film, his co-star, the studio's leading star, Stephanie Hajos, tells a columnist that she and Terry are engaged. Terry learns about this and leaves to be with Rita. When Rita calls to find out about the story, Stephanie, who has come to Terry's bungalow to explain, answers the phone, and Rita suspects that the story is true. After Rita agrees to be billed as "Mrs. Terry Rooney" to save the jobs of their band, ... +


New York band leader and hoofer Terry Rooney leaves his band and sweetheart, singer Rita Wyatt, to come to Hollywood to star in a film for Galore Pictures. Although he receives the "put-down" treatment reserved for newcomers, studio head B. O. Regan and publicity man Hank Meyers think that he will be a smash success. When they see the rushes of a fake fight that turns real when a "regular" throws a real punch, their suspicions about his appeal are confirmed, but they don't let him know. After the fight, Terry, who is now depressed about his chances in Hollywood, calls Rita, and they elope on a tramp steamer under their real names, Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus McGillicuddy. By the time they return, Terry's film has opened, and he has become a star. Regan and Hank try to sign him to a seven-year contract, but it contains a clause that he not marry, because of his appeal as a single man to women. Rita suggests that she come to Hollywood as his secretary, but once work begins, their marriage is strained because they rarely see each other. After Rita returns to New York, while Terry finishes the film, his co-star, the studio's leading star, Stephanie Hajos, tells a columnist that she and Terry are engaged. Terry learns about this and leaves to be with Rita. When Rita calls to find out about the story, Stephanie, who has come to Terry's bungalow to explain, answers the phone, and Rita suspects that the story is true. After Rita agrees to be billed as "Mrs. Terry Rooney" to save the jobs of their band, Terry appears during her number behind her and, while dancing with her, shows her a headline that says his romance with Stephanie was a hoax. +

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.