Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)

124 mins | Musical | June 1944

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographers:

Robert Surtees, Robert Planck

Editor:

George Boemler

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Tale of Two Sisters and Two Sisters and a Sailor . In addition to the above-listed numbers, the film includes instrumental excerpts from "Wabash Blues" by Fred Meinken, "Tentación de amor" by Xavier Cugat and Fausto Curbelo, Cugat's "The Thrill of a New Romance" and "Mulata rumbera." The film also features a comic, classical piece in which Gracie Allen plays a simplistic piano "concerto" with an orchestra led by British conducter Albert Coates. According to M-G-M publicity material, Allen had performed her concerto at Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium and the Hollywood Bowl prior to the film's production. Robert Planck, not credited cameraman Robert Surtees, is listed in an early HR production chart as director of photography.
       Although this film was shot after Bathing Beauty , it was released shortly before it, and therefore marked Latin entertainer Carlos Ramírez' American feature-film debut. The film also marked June Allyson and Gloria DeHaven's first starring roles, although both had been in films before. Allyson's first screen appearance was in M-G-M's 1943 musical Best Foot Forward (see above entry). According to a modern interview, Allyson was originally cast in DeHaven's role. As a child, DeHaven, like the character she plays in the picture, accompanied her parents, entertainers Carter DeHaven and Flora Parker, during their vaudeville circuit tours. Although Two Girls and a Sailor was not Tom Drake's first film, "Sgt. Frank Miller" was his first significant role. The HR review described him as a "most promising leading man prospect."
       HR ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Tale of Two Sisters and Two Sisters and a Sailor . In addition to the above-listed numbers, the film includes instrumental excerpts from "Wabash Blues" by Fred Meinken, "Tentación de amor" by Xavier Cugat and Fausto Curbelo, Cugat's "The Thrill of a New Romance" and "Mulata rumbera." The film also features a comic, classical piece in which Gracie Allen plays a simplistic piano "concerto" with an orchestra led by British conducter Albert Coates. According to M-G-M publicity material, Allen had performed her concerto at Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium and the Hollywood Bowl prior to the film's production. Robert Planck, not credited cameraman Robert Surtees, is listed in an early HR production chart as director of photography.
       Although this film was shot after Bathing Beauty , it was released shortly before it, and therefore marked Latin entertainer Carlos Ramírez' American feature-film debut. The film also marked June Allyson and Gloria DeHaven's first starring roles, although both had been in films before. Allyson's first screen appearance was in M-G-M's 1943 musical Best Foot Forward (see above entry). According to a modern interview, Allyson was originally cast in DeHaven's role. As a child, DeHaven, like the character she plays in the picture, accompanied her parents, entertainers Carter DeHaven and Flora Parker, during their vaudeville circuit tours. Although Two Girls and a Sailor was not Tom Drake's first film, "Sgt. Frank Miller" was his first significant role. The HR review described him as a "most promising leading man prospect."
       HR news items and M-G-M publicity items add the following information about the production: Felix Jackson, Leo Townsend, Carl Dudley and Herbert Baker worked on drafts of the film's screenplay, but their contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. George Sidney was initially assigned to direct the picture, and Kathryn Grayson was to star. Al Dubin, Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin were originally hired to write the film's music, along with credited composer Georgie Stoll, and Don Loper was to be the picture's dance director. (Loper did appear in the film as a "small town wolf.") Although Alan Reed, playing his "Falstaff Openshaw" character created on Fred Allen's radio show, singer Dennis Day, and comedienne Nancy Walker were announced as cast members, they did not appear in the completed film. In Aug 1943, HR reported that Duke Ellington was to accompany Lena Horne on a song composed by Johnny Green and Jack Lawrence, but Horne's only number was Johnny S. Black's "Paper Doll."
       HR also claimed that M-G-M was seeking a Jimmy Durante "look-alike" for the role of Durante's screen son, "Junior." Although the CBCS lists Buster Keaton in that part, Durante actually played the role. Virginia O'Brien's comic interpretation of the song "Take It Easy" was added after principal photography was completed. The film was shown to the Army prior to its national release and Allyson "plugged" it in Spanish and Portuguese for South American broadcasts. In addition, Ramírez and Xavier Cugat made Spanish and Portuguese language trailers for the film's Latin American release. The National Board of Review named Two Girls and a Sailor one of its "outstanding pictures." The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Writing (Original Screenplay) category. According to HR , the song "Sweet and Lovely" enjoyed a revival after the release of this film. Modern sources note that Gene Corcoran, playing tenor saxophone, and Mickey Scrima, playing drums, appeared in the film as part of Harry James's band. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Apr 1944.
---
Daily Variety
25 Apr 44
p. 3, 5
Film Daily
27 Apr 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 42
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Sep 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 43
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 43
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Dec 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 44
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 Jan 44
p. 1696.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Apr 44
pp. 1865-66.
New York Times
15 Jun 44
p. 16.
Variety
26 Apr 44
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and His Music Makers
and His Orchestra
with
Ghislaine Perreau
James Carpenter
Fred Beckner
Kathleen Williams
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set des
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Assoc
MUSIC
Vocal arr
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance dir
STAND INS
Double for Jimmy Durante
Voice double on "A Love Like Ours" and "Sweet and
Voice double for June Allyson, finale
Voice double on "Sweet and Lovely"
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Estrellita," music by M. M. Ponce
"Flash" by Harry James
"Charmaine," by Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack
+
MUSIC
"Estrellita," music by M. M. Ponce
"Flash" by Harry James
"Charmaine," by Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack
"Ritual Fire Dance" by Manuel de Falla.
+
SONGS
"Babalu," words and music by Margarita Lecuona
"In a Moment of Madness" and "My Mother Told Me," words by Ralph Freed, music by Jimmy McHugh
"Granada," words and music by Augustín Lara
+
SONGS
"Babalu," words and music by Margarita Lecuona
"In a Moment of Madness" and "My Mother Told Me," words by Ralph Freed, music by Jimmy McHugh
"Granada," words and music by Augustín Lara
"A Love Like Ours," words by Mann Holiner, music by Alberta Nichols
"Rhumba, Rhumba," words by Sammy Gallop, music by José Pafumy
"Sweet and Lovely," words and music by Gus Arnheim, Harry Tobias and Jules Lemare
"Take It Easy," words and music by Al DeBru, Irving Taylor and Vic Mizzy
"You Dear," words by Ralph Freed, music by Sammy Fain
"Young Man with a Horn," words by Ralph Freed, music by Georgie Stoll
"Inka Dinka Doo," words and music by Jimmy Durante, Ben Ryan and Harry Donnelly
"Who Will Be with You When I'm Far Away" and "I Gotta Go, I Gotta Stay," words and music by Jimmy Durante
"A-Tisket A-Tasket," words and music by Al Feldman and Ella Fitzgerald
"Paper Doll," words and music by Johnny S. Black.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Tale of Two Sisters
Two Sisters and a Sailor
Release Date:
June 1944
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 14 June 1944
Production Date:
mid September--24 December 1943
addl scenes began late February 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 May 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12649
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
124
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9915
SYNOPSIS

Sisters Patsy and Jean Deyo grow up watching their parents sing and dance together on the vaudeville circuit, and as soon as they are old enough, start an act of their own. As adults, sober and responsible Patsy constantly warns her younger, more carefree sibling about casual flirtation, admonishing her to save herself for a "good" man. After Jean, who wants to marry a rich man, receives a number of orchids from an admirer who signs himself only as "Somebody," she and Patsy try unsuccessfully to identify him during one of their nightclub performances. Later that night, Jean and Patsy host a "private canteen," inviting dozens of sailors and soldiers to their apartment, and both sisters are attracted to a sailor named Johnny. Johnny is attracted to Jean, who is also the object of Sgt. Frank Miller's affection, but has an enjoyable chat with Patsy. During the evening, Jean points out to Johnny an abandoned warehouse near their apartment and wistfully states that she and Patsy would love to convert the building into a canteen. The next day, the sisters learn from a Mr. Nizby that "Somebody" has purchased the warehouse for them and is paying for its renovation. While Patsy and Jean are inspecting the place, which turns out to be a theatrical warehouse, they discover that Billy Kipp, a popular vaudevillian whom they knew as children, has been secretly living there. The sisters convince Billy, who became a hermit after his wife and son left him years before, to remain at the warehouse. After the building is completely overhauled, the sisters produce an elaborate canteen show paid for by ... +


Sisters Patsy and Jean Deyo grow up watching their parents sing and dance together on the vaudeville circuit, and as soon as they are old enough, start an act of their own. As adults, sober and responsible Patsy constantly warns her younger, more carefree sibling about casual flirtation, admonishing her to save herself for a "good" man. After Jean, who wants to marry a rich man, receives a number of orchids from an admirer who signs himself only as "Somebody," she and Patsy try unsuccessfully to identify him during one of their nightclub performances. Later that night, Jean and Patsy host a "private canteen," inviting dozens of sailors and soldiers to their apartment, and both sisters are attracted to a sailor named Johnny. Johnny is attracted to Jean, who is also the object of Sgt. Frank Miller's affection, but has an enjoyable chat with Patsy. During the evening, Jean points out to Johnny an abandoned warehouse near their apartment and wistfully states that she and Patsy would love to convert the building into a canteen. The next day, the sisters learn from a Mr. Nizby that "Somebody" has purchased the warehouse for them and is paying for its renovation. While Patsy and Jean are inspecting the place, which turns out to be a theatrical warehouse, they discover that Billy Kipp, a popular vaudevillian whom they knew as children, has been secretly living there. The sisters convince Billy, who became a hermit after his wife and son left him years before, to remain at the warehouse. After the building is completely overhauled, the sisters produce an elaborate canteen show paid for by "Somebody," which is attended by hundreds of servicemen, including Johnny and Frank. While Jean and Patsy dance with Johnny, Billy overhears dancer Ben Blue ordering orchids over the telephone and assumes he is "Somebody." Billy rushes to tell Patsy and Jean his suspicions, but they soon realize that Ben is ordering flowers for his wife. When asked by Johnny who she wants "Somebody" to be, Patsy says that she only wants him to be nice and to marry Jean. Patsy then confesses that she wants her own true love to be a poor "straight man." That night, Patsy has a disturbing dream in which she is wooed by Johnny, but ends up losing him to Jean. The next morning, Billy overhears Mr. Nizby place a work order for the canteen and charge the cost to John Dyckman Brown. Sure that he has at last discovered "Somebody's" identity, Billy runs to tell Patsy and Jean the good news. Although Jean is thrilled to learn that the famous millionaire is her admirer, Patsy is disturbed and goes to the Brown mansion to confront him. After accusing first elderly John Dyckman Brown and then his middle-aged son, John Dyckman Brown II, of toying with her sister's affections, Patsy learns that "Somebody" is John Dyckman Brown III, and that he is Johnny. Patsy is devastated, but pretends that she is happy for her sister. After she leaves, Johnny confesses to his father and grandfather that he is actually in love with Patsy, but is afraid to hurt Jean. Later, in New York, a depressed Patsy shows up late at the nightclub and reluctantly tells Jean about Johnny. Jean's excitement about Johnny's money makes Patsy even more glum, and she runs out of club in tears. Unknown to Patsy and Jean, the elder Dyckmans have come to see their show, and are surprised when Billy, having been coaxed onto the stage, performs in the sisters' stead. Jean, meanwhile, realizes that Patsy is in love with Johnny and asks Frank, to whom she has always been attracted, if he is in love with her. When he answers yes, Jean kisses him, and the next day, she announces to Patsy and the Browns that she and Frank, an onion farmer, are marrying. Johnny then proposes to Patsy, and at the canteen that night, Billy is reunited with his long-lost son "Junior," an enlistee who looks exactly like 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.