Mother Wore Tights (1947)

107 mins | Musical | September 1947

Director:

Walter Lang

Writer:

Lamar Trotti

Producer:

Lamar Trotti

Cinematographer:

Harry Jackson

Production Designers:

Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

Although HR production charts place Almira Sessions in the cast, her participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, in Oct 1945, the studio purchased rights to Miriam (Mikie) Young's biography of her parents for $23,000. Frank A. Burt, born Augustus Berek, and Myrtle McKinley enjoyed long careers in vaudeville as Burt and Rosedale. In a Sep 1946 press release found at the AMPAS Library, the studio announced that Peggy Ann Garner would play "Iris Burt," the role Mona Freeman eventually played. Some contemporary reviews list the character portrayed by Ruth Nelson as "Miss Ridgeway," although the screenplay refers to her as "Miss Ridgway." Alfred Newman won an Oscar for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture for Mother Wore Tights . The song "You Do" was nominated for Best Song and Harry Jackson received a nomination for his color cinematography. A radio adaptation of Mother Wore Tights , starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey, was broadcast on Lux Radio Theatre on 2 Feb 1948. The screenplay was also adapted for broadcasts in 1949 and 1955. Mother Wore Tights preserves on color film part of the classic act of ventriloquist Señor ... More Less

Although HR production charts place Almira Sessions in the cast, her participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, in Oct 1945, the studio purchased rights to Miriam (Mikie) Young's biography of her parents for $23,000. Frank A. Burt, born Augustus Berek, and Myrtle McKinley enjoyed long careers in vaudeville as Burt and Rosedale. In a Sep 1946 press release found at the AMPAS Library, the studio announced that Peggy Ann Garner would play "Iris Burt," the role Mona Freeman eventually played. Some contemporary reviews list the character portrayed by Ruth Nelson as "Miss Ridgeway," although the screenplay refers to her as "Miss Ridgway." Alfred Newman won an Oscar for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture for Mother Wore Tights . The song "You Do" was nominated for Best Song and Harry Jackson received a nomination for his color cinematography. A radio adaptation of Mother Wore Tights , starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey, was broadcast on Lux Radio Theatre on 2 Feb 1948. The screenplay was also adapted for broadcasts in 1949 and 1955. Mother Wore Tights preserves on color film part of the classic act of ventriloquist Señor Wences. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Aug 1947.
---
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1947.
---
Film Daily
19 Aug 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 46
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 47
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
4 Jan 47
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Aug 47
p. 3793.
New York Times
21 Aug 47
p. 33.
Variety
20 Aug 47
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Sig Ruman
Joseph J. Greene
Mary Stewart
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
Orch arr
DANCE
Dances staged by
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
STAND INS
Singing double for Mona Freeman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Assoc
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Mother Wore Tights by Miriam Young (New York, 1944).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
"At a Georgia Camp Meeting," music by Kerry Mills.
SONGS
"You Do," "This Is My Favorite City," "Kokomo, Indiana," "Tra-La-La-La-La," "There's Nothing Like a Song," "(Rolling Down Bowling Green) On a Little Two-Seat Tandem" and "Fare-thee-well, Dear Alma Mater," music by Josef Myrow, lyrics by Mack Gordon
"M-o-t-h-er (A Word That Means the World to Me)," music by Theodore Morse, lyrics by Howard Johnson
"Daddy, You've Been a Mother to Me," music and lyrics by Fred Fisher
+
SONGS
"You Do," "This Is My Favorite City," "Kokomo, Indiana," "Tra-La-La-La-La," "There's Nothing Like a Song," "(Rolling Down Bowling Green) On a Little Two-Seat Tandem" and "Fare-thee-well, Dear Alma Mater," music by Josef Myrow, lyrics by Mack Gordon
"M-o-t-h-er (A Word That Means the World to Me)," music by Theodore Morse, lyrics by Howard Johnson
"Daddy, You've Been a Mother to Me," music and lyrics by Fred Fisher
"Burlington Bertie from Bow," music and lyrics by William Hargreaves
"The Mountain," music and lyrics by Señor Wences
"Silent Night, Holy Night," music by Franz Gruber, lyrics by Joseph Mohr, English lyrics anonymous
"Lily of the Valley," music and lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert and Anatol Friedland
"Swingin' Down the Lane," music by Isham Jones, lyrics by Gus Kahn
"Stumbling," music and lyrics by Zez Confrey
"Chew'n Gum Song," music by L. Gallini, lyrics by Frank Burt
"Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey," music by Albert von Tilzer, lyrics by Junie McCree.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1947
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 20 August 1947
Production Date:
mid October 1946--mid January 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
20 August 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1263
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
107
Length(in feet):
9,682
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12050
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1900, Myrtle McKinley graduates from high school in Oakland, California. Her grandparents, with whom she lives, expect her to attend business college in San Francisco but she joins the chorus at a vaudeville theater instead. There Myrtle meets singer/dancer Frank Burt, who eventually invites her to form a double act with him. They are successful together and Myrtle begins to pressure Frank to ask her to marry him. At one point, she leaves Frank to work in an act with another singer, but returns to him when she discovers she is unsuccessful without him. Frank finally proposes marriage and, as husband and wife, they tour the country in vaudeville until Myrtle becomes pregnant. She retires from the act while Frank continues with new partners. After Myrtle goes back to live with her grandmother, she gives birth to a girl, whom she names Iris, and three years later has another daughter, Mikie. A few years pass and Myrtle receives a telegram from Frank urging her to come back to the act as a replacement for a partner who has left to go into the movies. Myrtle resumes touring and the act becomes even more successful. Meanwhile, Iris and Mikie stay with Grandma and attend school, but miss their parents, whom they see only occasionally. One Christmas, when the family is separated, Grandma sends the girls to visit their parents in Boston, where they are appearing, and they enjoy the camaradarie of the entire vaudeville troupe. One summer Frank and Myrtle go on vacation with the girls at an expensive, but stuffy, summer resort filled mostly with elderly guests. However, the family soon livens the place up and Iris meets ... +


In 1900, Myrtle McKinley graduates from high school in Oakland, California. Her grandparents, with whom she lives, expect her to attend business college in San Francisco but she joins the chorus at a vaudeville theater instead. There Myrtle meets singer/dancer Frank Burt, who eventually invites her to form a double act with him. They are successful together and Myrtle begins to pressure Frank to ask her to marry him. At one point, she leaves Frank to work in an act with another singer, but returns to him when she discovers she is unsuccessful without him. Frank finally proposes marriage and, as husband and wife, they tour the country in vaudeville until Myrtle becomes pregnant. She retires from the act while Frank continues with new partners. After Myrtle goes back to live with her grandmother, she gives birth to a girl, whom she names Iris, and three years later has another daughter, Mikie. A few years pass and Myrtle receives a telegram from Frank urging her to come back to the act as a replacement for a partner who has left to go into the movies. Myrtle resumes touring and the act becomes even more successful. Meanwhile, Iris and Mikie stay with Grandma and attend school, but miss their parents, whom they see only occasionally. One Christmas, when the family is separated, Grandma sends the girls to visit their parents in Boston, where they are appearing, and they enjoy the camaradarie of the entire vaudeville troupe. One summer Frank and Myrtle go on vacation with the girls at an expensive, but stuffy, summer resort filled mostly with elderly guests. However, the family soon livens the place up and Iris meets a young man, Bob Clarkman, from a society family. Later, Myrtle persuades Frank to enroll the girls in an exclusive boarding school and Iris continues to see Bob. However, she becomes embarrassed by her parents' profession and is horrified when they announce that they have arranged a booking in the town where the school is located. After Mikie chastises Iris for being ashamed of their parents, Iris tells them that she loves them but that they are so different from her friends' parents. Myrtle arranges with the school's principal to have all of Iris' classmates attend their local appearance. Their elegant act scores a big hit with everyone and Iris realizes that she has been foolish. Later, Iris becomes an honor student in the school of music, and at her graduation ceremony, which is attended by Frank, Myrtle and Mikie, she performs one of the songs her parents have long featured in their act. Iris eventually marries Bob and enters show business. Mikie also marries and every Sunday takes her children to visit their grandparents. +

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.