Music for Millions (1945)

117 or 120 mins | Comedy-drama | February 1945

Director:

Henry Koster

Writer:

Myles Connolly

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographer:

Robert Surtees

Editor:

Douglass Biggs

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Dear Barbara and 100 Girls and a Man, an apparent takeoff on producer Joe Pasternak and director Henry Koster's 1937 hit Universal film One Hundred Men and a Girl. In addition to the above-listed numbers, a medley of classical music, featuring works by Ludwig von Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and others, is heard in the film. Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" is performed first by José Iturbi on the piano and then by Larry Adler on the harmonica. Although HR announced that a sextette from the opera Lucia, sung by Judy Garland, James Melton, Lauritz Melchior, Carlos Ramirez, Marion Bell and an unnamed singer, was to be performed in the film, it was not included in the completed film. Producer Joe Pasternak and director Henry Koster, who previously had worked together on Universal's popular Deanna Durbin pictures, began preparation for this film while still at that studio, according to a HR news item.
       When M-G-M took over the project, Susan Peters and Frank Morgan were announced as the stars. Donna Reed was then slated to star and was listed in early HR production charts, but was replaced by June Allyson because of a scheduling conflict. According to a Feb 1944 HR news item, Jimmy Durante's role was enlarged in response to a favorable preview audience reaction to his performance in Two Girls and a Sailor (See Entry). Although HR announced that Clem Bevans had been cast as "the doctor" in the ...

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The working titles of this film were Dear Barbara and 100 Girls and a Man, an apparent takeoff on producer Joe Pasternak and director Henry Koster's 1937 hit Universal film One Hundred Men and a Girl. In addition to the above-listed numbers, a medley of classical music, featuring works by Ludwig von Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and others, is heard in the film. Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" is performed first by José Iturbi on the piano and then by Larry Adler on the harmonica. Although HR announced that a sextette from the opera Lucia, sung by Judy Garland, James Melton, Lauritz Melchior, Carlos Ramirez, Marion Bell and an unnamed singer, was to be performed in the film, it was not included in the completed film. Producer Joe Pasternak and director Henry Koster, who previously had worked together on Universal's popular Deanna Durbin pictures, began preparation for this film while still at that studio, according to a HR news item.
       When M-G-M took over the project, Susan Peters and Frank Morgan were announced as the stars. Donna Reed was then slated to star and was listed in early HR production charts, but was replaced by June Allyson because of a scheduling conflict. According to a Feb 1944 HR news item, Jimmy Durante's role was enlarged in response to a favorable preview audience reaction to his performance in Two Girls and a Sailor (See Entry). Although HR announced that Clem Bevans had been cast as "the doctor" in the picture, Harry Davenport actually played the part. Cyd Charisse was listed as a cast member in HR, but she was not seen in the viewed print. HR also announced Jimmy Clark as a cast member, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Myles Connolly's original screenplay for the film was nominated for an Academy Award. A Lux Radio Theatre presentation of this film, starring O'Brien, Durante, Iturbi and Frances Gifford as "Barbara," was broadcast on 27 May 1946.

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
CREDIT
HISTORY CREDITS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Dec 1944
---
Daily Variety
13 Dec 1944
p. 3, 6
Film Daily
18 Dec 1944
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 1944
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 1944
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 1944
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 1944
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 1944
p. 22
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 1944
p. 14
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 1944
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 1944
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 1944
p. 13
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1944
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1944
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 1944
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 1944
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 1944
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 1944
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
27 Dec 1944
p. 14
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Oct 1944
p. 2142
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Dec 1944
p. 2226
New York Times
22 Dec 1944
p. 12
Variety
13 Dec 1944
p. 8
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Capt. Somers
Paul E. Burns
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Henry Koster Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Assoc
MUSIC
Georgie Stoll
Mus adpt and dir
Incidental mus
Orch
Cond and playing the music of Dvorak, Tschaikovsky
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Matte paintings
Matte paintings cam
Transparency projection shots
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
MUSIC
Fourth Movement of Symphony No. 5 in E Minor ( The New World Symphony ) by Antonín Dvorák; excerpts from Piano Concerto in A Minor by Edvard Grieg; March of the Toys by Victor Herbert; "Clair de Lune" by Claude Debussy; Waltz in E Minor by Frédéric Chopin; "Hallelujah Chorus" from The Messiah by George Frideric Handel; "Jam Session" by Calvin Jackson.
SONGS
"Toscanini, Iturbi and Me," words and music by Walter Bullock, Ralph Spina and Jimmy Durante; "At Sundown," words and music by Walter Donaldson; "Umbriago," words and music by Jimmy Durante and Irving Caesar.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Dear Barbara
One hundred girls and a man
Release Date:
February 1945
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 Dec 1944
Production Date:
22 May--5 Sep 1944
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Loew's Inc.
1 December 1944
LP13052
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
117 or 120
Length(in feet):
10,549
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

When seven-year-old "Mike" arrives in New York from Connecticut, she discovers that her grown sister, Barbara "Babs" Ainsworth, has not come to meet her train. Though she presents a brave front, Mike is soon cornered by concerned passersby and a policeman, who escort her to Symphony Hall, where Babs, a bassist, is performing. Mike cannot resist greeting Babs during the concert and annoys conductor José Iturbi when she steps onto the stage in the middle of a piece. Iturbi is ready to fire Babs for the disturbance until his stage manager, "Andy" Andrews, reminds him that with so many of the symphony's male players gone because of the war, he cannot afford to lose anyone. Babs, who was unaware that her aunt was sending Mike, is overjoyed by the reunion, especially as her husband Joe is off fighting in the Pacific and she is alone. After she and her many roommates, all female orchestra members, sneak Mike into their "no children" boardinghouse, Babs faints. Later, Babs's doctor informs a worried Mike that Babs is pregnant and instructs her to take good care of her sister. Although Mike and her roommates have been sworn to secrecy about Babs's condition, their obvious concern for her quickly alerts Iturbi, who is surprisingly sympathetic. Just before the orchestra is scheduled to leave for Florida on a tour, a telegram arrives for Babs at the boardinghouse. Babs and Mike are out, so harp player Rosalind, one of Babs's roommates, reads the message herself. As feared, the telegram contains bad news about Joe, and Rosalind and the others decide not to tell the fragile Babs ...

More Less

When seven-year-old "Mike" arrives in New York from Connecticut, she discovers that her grown sister, Barbara "Babs" Ainsworth, has not come to meet her train. Though she presents a brave front, Mike is soon cornered by concerned passersby and a policeman, who escort her to Symphony Hall, where Babs, a bassist, is performing. Mike cannot resist greeting Babs during the concert and annoys conductor José Iturbi when she steps onto the stage in the middle of a piece. Iturbi is ready to fire Babs for the disturbance until his stage manager, "Andy" Andrews, reminds him that with so many of the symphony's male players gone because of the war, he cannot afford to lose anyone. Babs, who was unaware that her aunt was sending Mike, is overjoyed by the reunion, especially as her husband Joe is off fighting in the Pacific and she is alone. After she and her many roommates, all female orchestra members, sneak Mike into their "no children" boardinghouse, Babs faints. Later, Babs's doctor informs a worried Mike that Babs is pregnant and instructs her to take good care of her sister. Although Mike and her roommates have been sworn to secrecy about Babs's condition, their obvious concern for her quickly alerts Iturbi, who is surprisingly sympathetic. Just before the orchestra is scheduled to leave for Florida on a tour, a telegram arrives for Babs at the boardinghouse. Babs and Mike are out, so harp player Rosalind, one of Babs's roommates, reads the message herself. As feared, the telegram contains bad news about Joe, and Rosalind and the others decide not to tell the fragile Babs anything about it until after the baby is born. On the train to Florida, however, Mike finds Babs quietly sobbing in her berth and learns that she has not heard from Joe in four months and is convinced that he is dead. Mike, who loves to pray to St. Christopher, urges her doubting sister to have faith in God and pray for Joe's return. Soon after arriving in Florida, Babs catches Rosalind yelling at Mike for accidentally spilling the contents of her purse and then notices Rosalind nervously pocketing the fallen telegram. Later, Babs accuses her friends of hiding something from her, but Rosalind insists that the telegram was for her. Despite assurances from Mike, Rosalind and the others, Babs remains doubtful about the future and confesses her fears to Iturbi, who tries to cheer her up with his music. Upon returning to New York, clarinet player Marie, who along with the other women, fears that Babs is going to miscarry, asks her uncle Ferdinand, an alcoholic, petty crook who goes by the name "Bish," to forge a letter from Joe. Bish agrees to compose a letter in which "Joe" reveals that he has been lost on an island for four months, and the next day, an official-looking letter arrives for Babs at the boardinghouse. Babs is relieved to read that Joe is alive and well and rushes to church with Mike to give thanks. Babs's joy makes Rosalind and the others feel especially guilty, but they remain determined to keep their secret until the baby arrives. Later, before a concert, Babs goes into labor, and Mike and her reluctant new friend, Andy, wait at the hospital for the baby's arrival. As they are about to go on stage, Marie and the others, meanwhile, find out from a chagrined Bish that the forged letter was never written. Overjoyed to learn that Joe truly is alive, the women perform Handel's Messiah with gusto and join Iturbi in rejoicing when word comes from Mike that Babs has given birth to a boy.

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

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