Atlantic City (1944)

86 mins | Drama | 15 September 1944

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HISTORY

The DV review lists this film's preview running time as 70 minutes, although all other sources list the length as 86 minutes. According to a Jul 1943 HR news item, Republic originally intended for the picture's screenplay to place more emphasis on the development of the Miss America Beauty Pageant, although the main character, "Brad Taylor," is not based on the real pageant's founder. The news item also noted that "former 'Miss Americas' are being sought and will be used in the production." In Feb 1944, HR noted that producer Albert J. Cohen had written to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor and George Jessel, asking for their permission to "use actors portraying them" in the film. Although Cohen did receive permission from Jessel, who offered to coach the actor playing him, none of the celebrities appear as characters in the finished picture.
       According to HR news items, Sophie Tucker was to be in the cast, and Wilbur Evans was "considering the lead." HR also noted that New York actor Stanley Stewart was being tested for a leading singing role, and that former silent picture star Dorothy Brenda was to join the cast. The appearance of Stewart and Brenda in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. In Mar 1944, 2d unit director Anthony Mann led a technical crew obtaining "atmosphere shots" at Atlantic City, NJ, according to HR . The film marked the screen debut of dancer Robert B. Castaine.
       Bobby Connolly, who was originally set as the film's dance director, suffered a fatal heart attack in Mar 1944 and was replaced by Seymour Felix. ... More Less

The DV review lists this film's preview running time as 70 minutes, although all other sources list the length as 86 minutes. According to a Jul 1943 HR news item, Republic originally intended for the picture's screenplay to place more emphasis on the development of the Miss America Beauty Pageant, although the main character, "Brad Taylor," is not based on the real pageant's founder. The news item also noted that "former 'Miss Americas' are being sought and will be used in the production." In Feb 1944, HR noted that producer Albert J. Cohen had written to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor and George Jessel, asking for their permission to "use actors portraying them" in the film. Although Cohen did receive permission from Jessel, who offered to coach the actor playing him, none of the celebrities appear as characters in the finished picture.
       According to HR news items, Sophie Tucker was to be in the cast, and Wilbur Evans was "considering the lead." HR also noted that New York actor Stanley Stewart was being tested for a leading singing role, and that former silent picture star Dorothy Brenda was to join the cast. The appearance of Stewart and Brenda in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. In Mar 1944, 2d unit director Anthony Mann led a technical crew obtaining "atmosphere shots" at Atlantic City, NJ, according to HR . The film marked the screen debut of dancer Robert B. Castaine.
       Bobby Connolly, who was originally set as the film's dance director, suffered a fatal heart attack in Mar 1944 and was replaced by Seymour Felix. As noted in the onscreen credits, the film features recreations of two famous vaudeville teams: Gallagher and Shean (for which Jack Kenny replaced the late Ed Gallagher) and Van & Schenck (for which Charles Marsh replaced the late Joe Schenck). Although information in the copyright records credits Gallagher and Shean as the writers of their signature patter song, "Absolutely Mr. Gallagher, Postively Mr. Shean," Gallagher's Var obituary reported that Bryan Foy had sued them over the song, which he claimed to have written. According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the patter song's lyrics were initially rejected by the Breen office "by reason of extreme sex suggestiveness." The lyrics were revised and later accepted, but the song "Get Out and Get Under," for which Belle Baker wrote special lyrics, was dropped from the film after the lyrics were rejected due to "obvious sex suggestive double meaning."
       According to a HR news item, the film's premiere in Atlantic City was to be attended by many local leaders, including the mayor, sixteen "Miss Atlantic City" pageant winners acting as hostesses, and Tom Endicott, the director of the first "Miss America" pageant. In 1950, the picture was re-edited and re-released as Atlantic City Honeymoon . More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Aug 1944.
---
Daily Variety
31 Jul 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Aug 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 44
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 44
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 44
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 44
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 44
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 44
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 44
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
31 Jul 1944.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 May 44
p. 1899.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Aug 44
p. 2030.
New York Times
14 Aug 44
p. 4.
Variety
2 Aug 44
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and Orchestra
and his Orchestra
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus supv
Orch arr
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Ain't Got Nobody," music by Spencer Williams and Dave Peyton, lyrics by Roger Graham
"After You've Gone," music and lyrics by Henry Creamer and Turner Layton
"By the Beautiful Sea," music by Harry Carroll, lyrics by R. Harold Atteridge
+
SONGS
"I Ain't Got Nobody," music by Spencer Williams and Dave Peyton, lyrics by Roger Graham
"After You've Gone," music and lyrics by Henry Creamer and Turner Layton
"By the Beautiful Sea," music by Harry Carroll, lyrics by R. Harold Atteridge
"On a Sunday Afternoon," music by Harry Von Tilzer, lyrics by Andrew B. Sterling
"The Bird on Nellie's Hat," music by Alfred Solman
lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb
"Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me," music and lyrics by Charles McCarron, Carey Morgan and Arthur Swanstrom
"Nobody's Sweetheart Now," music and lyrics by Gus Kahn, Ernie Erdman, Billy Meyers and Elmer Schoebel
"Ain't Misbehavin'," music by Thomas "Fats" Waller and Harry Brooks, lyrics by Andy Razaf
"All of Me," music and lyrics by Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks
"The Darktown Strutters' Ball," music and lyrics by Shelton Brooks
"Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Shean," music and lyrics by Ed Gallagher and Al Shean
"That's How You Can Tell They're Irish," composers undetermined.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 September 1944
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Atlantic City, NJ: 29 July 1944
St. Louis, MO opening: 8 August 1944
New York opening: 12 August 1944
Production Date:
24 April--early June 1944
late June 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 August 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12828
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
86
Length(in feet):
7,816
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10157
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In 1915, would-be entreprenuer Brad Taylor is intent on making a name for himself in his hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Brad's father Jake runs a boardinghouse that caters to vaudevillians, who usually owe Jake back rent, and Brad's girl friend, Marilyn Whitaker, is an aspiring singer. Marilyn's partner, Carter Graham, is in love with Marilyn, but she has eyes only for Brad, despite his constant preoccupation with his work. With the help of Jake's vaudeville friends, Brad stages a successful show featuring Marilyn and Graham at his small theater. With the profits from the show, Brad renovates Jake's boardinghouse and turns it into a fancy hotel, then casually tells Marilyn to go to New York when she is offered a part in a Broadway show. Crushed that Brad does not care if she stays or goes, Marilyn decides to leave, but is thrilled when Brad asks her to stay and appear in his new show. Unknown to Marilyn, Brad only wants her to fill in for the missing star, and Marilyn is devastated when she learns the truth from Brad's comical helper, The Professor. Brad finally proposes to Marilyn, and the first two years of their marriage pass quickly as Brad builds up his businesses in Atlantic City. Although Brad's ruthless methods increase his real estate holdings, Marilyn and Jake caution him that he must make friends along the way. Marilyn also pays for Brad's business dealings when no one shows up at her housewarming party. Jake warns Brad that he is neglecting his wife, but Brad ignores his father and builds more theaters, including the Apollo, where he stages a successful ... +


In 1915, would-be entreprenuer Brad Taylor is intent on making a name for himself in his hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Brad's father Jake runs a boardinghouse that caters to vaudevillians, who usually owe Jake back rent, and Brad's girl friend, Marilyn Whitaker, is an aspiring singer. Marilyn's partner, Carter Graham, is in love with Marilyn, but she has eyes only for Brad, despite his constant preoccupation with his work. With the help of Jake's vaudeville friends, Brad stages a successful show featuring Marilyn and Graham at his small theater. With the profits from the show, Brad renovates Jake's boardinghouse and turns it into a fancy hotel, then casually tells Marilyn to go to New York when she is offered a part in a Broadway show. Crushed that Brad does not care if she stays or goes, Marilyn decides to leave, but is thrilled when Brad asks her to stay and appear in his new show. Unknown to Marilyn, Brad only wants her to fill in for the missing star, and Marilyn is devastated when she learns the truth from Brad's comical helper, The Professor. Brad finally proposes to Marilyn, and the first two years of their marriage pass quickly as Brad builds up his businesses in Atlantic City. Although Brad's ruthless methods increase his real estate holdings, Marilyn and Jake caution him that he must make friends along the way. Marilyn also pays for Brad's business dealings when no one shows up at her housewarming party. Jake warns Brad that he is neglecting his wife, but Brad ignores his father and builds more theaters, including the Apollo, where he stages a successful "Harlem on Parade" show. When the United States enters World War I, Brad enlists, and while he fights overseas, Marilyn throws herself into selling bonds. Marilyn becomes a star on Broadway but happily gives up her career when Brad comes home. Jake tries to make Brad see how much Marilyn has sacrificed for him, but the driven Brad continues to neglect his wife while talking a group of investors into holding a yearly beauty pageant, which will feature a contestant from each state. Soon Brad crowns Miss America of 1921, then resigns from the committee in order to focus his attention on his newest enterprise, a huge entertainment complex on the pier. After Jake sadly advises Marilyn to leave Brad and rebuild her own career, Brad's business luck runs out when the pier is destroyed by a fire. Brad's other businesses are repossessed in order to pay for his losses, and he is left with only the Apollo, which is deeply in debt. Brad appeals to his business associates for help, but, still galled by Brad's meteoric rise, they refuse to lend him any money. A chastened Brad admits to Jake that he and Marilyn were right all along about the need to build true friendships, and Jake determines to help his son. With the aid of The Professor, Marilyn and his old vaudeville buddies, Jake stages an enormously successful show to raise money for Brad's remaining theater. As he watches the show, Brad apologizes to Jake's friends, on whom he had once looked down, and his sincere repentance moves Marilyn. After she performs in the spectacular finale, Marilyn embraces her husband. +

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.