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HISTORY

Included in the Paramount story files at the AMPAS library are an early story outline by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan casting Jack Benny in the lead role; a story outline by J. P. McEvoy; and five sequences written by W. C. Fields, titled "Gas station routine," "Golf routine," "Barber shop routine," "Pool room routine" and "Orchestra routine." McEvoy did not receive final writing credit. The film marked the feaure-film debut of Bob Hope (1903--2003) and the last of Paramount's Big Broadcast series. According to an article in NYT , this was Fields's first role following a long illness. The sequence in which Kirsten Flagstad appears was filmed at the Eastern Service Studios at Astoria, Long Island, while the rest of the film continued production in Hollywood. According to a NYT article, the elephant number in this film bent the stage so that it was unusable.
       In his biography, Mitchell Leisen stated that he made a direct recording on the first take of the song "Thanks for the Memory," which was sung by Hope and Shirley Ross, accompanied by a 90-piece orchestra. The tune, which became Hope's theme song, won the 1938 Academy Award for Best Song. Leisen credited Ted Reed with directing Fields's golf and pool routines. Leisen stated that he had his first heart attack on the final night of shooting. For more information on the series, see the entry for The Big Broadcast ... More Less

Included in the Paramount story files at the AMPAS library are an early story outline by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan casting Jack Benny in the lead role; a story outline by J. P. McEvoy; and five sequences written by W. C. Fields, titled "Gas station routine," "Golf routine," "Barber shop routine," "Pool room routine" and "Orchestra routine." McEvoy did not receive final writing credit. The film marked the feaure-film debut of Bob Hope (1903--2003) and the last of Paramount's Big Broadcast series. According to an article in NYT , this was Fields's first role following a long illness. The sequence in which Kirsten Flagstad appears was filmed at the Eastern Service Studios at Astoria, Long Island, while the rest of the film continued production in Hollywood. According to a NYT article, the elephant number in this film bent the stage so that it was unusable.
       In his biography, Mitchell Leisen stated that he made a direct recording on the first take of the song "Thanks for the Memory," which was sung by Hope and Shirley Ross, accompanied by a 90-piece orchestra. The tune, which became Hope's theme song, won the 1938 Academy Award for Best Song. Leisen credited Ted Reed with directing Fields's golf and pool routines. Leisen stated that he had his first heart attack on the final night of shooting. For more information on the series, see the entry for The Big Broadcast above. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Feb 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Feb 38
pp. 12-14.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 37
pp. 18-19.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 37
pp. 10-11.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Feb 38
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
20 Nov 37
pp. 14-15.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Feb 38
p. 46.
New York Times
10 Mar 38
p. 16.
Variety
9 Feb 38
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Leif Erikson
Bernard Punsley
James Conlin
Rudolph Amendt
Pete Theodore Rand
Carol Holloway
Virginia Pound
Paula De Cardo
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
Music adv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
ANIMATION
Cartoon seq
SOURCES
SONGS
"Brunnhilde's Battle Cry" from the opera Die Walküre , music and libretto by Richard Wagner
"Zuni-Zuni," music and lyrics by Tito Guizar
"Don't Tell a Secret to a Rose," "You Took the Words Right Out of My Heart," "Mama, That Moon Is Here Again," "Thanks for the Memory," "The Waltz Lives On" and "This Little Ripple Had Rhythm," music and lyrics by Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 February 1938
Production Date:
mid September--early December 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 February 1938
Copyright Number:
LP7843
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88, 90 or 97
Length(in feet):
8,152
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3813
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Radio announcer Buzz Fielding's girl friend, Dorothy Wyndham, bails him out of jail, where he landed after skipping alimony payments to his three ex-wives, in time to board the S. S. Gigantic for the race against the S. S. Colossal , to cross from New York to Cherbourg in two and a half days. T. Frothingill Bellows, president of the line that owns the Gigantic , buys his accident-prone brother S. B. a ticket on the Colossal . S. B. delays boarding with a vigorous round of golf, using a motorized cart that turns into a small plane which he eventually uses to land on the deck of the Gigantic . The ship is equipped with a special turbine engine invented by Bob Hayes, but S. B. breaks it with his umbrella and then refuses to allow its use, causing the ship to fall behind in the race. Dorothy and Bob fall in love while he fixes the engine. Buzz announces the ship's entertainment in radio broadcasts, while he and his three ex-wives, eager for their alimony, anticipate winning the race and $50,000. Grace, one of Buzz's ex-wives, diverts S. B.'s attentions from Bob while he fixes the engine. Cleo, another ex-wife, reminisces with Buzz, and they slowly rekindle their love. S. B.'s daughter Martha, also accident-prone, is rescued at sea and wreaks havoc aboard the ship. Finally, Buzz fixes the engine and the Gigantic speeds ahead, at one point with S. B. at the helm. They win the race by a nose, and Buzz and Cleo happily reunite, leaving Dorothy and Bob free ... +


Radio announcer Buzz Fielding's girl friend, Dorothy Wyndham, bails him out of jail, where he landed after skipping alimony payments to his three ex-wives, in time to board the S. S. Gigantic for the race against the S. S. Colossal , to cross from New York to Cherbourg in two and a half days. T. Frothingill Bellows, president of the line that owns the Gigantic , buys his accident-prone brother S. B. a ticket on the Colossal . S. B. delays boarding with a vigorous round of golf, using a motorized cart that turns into a small plane which he eventually uses to land on the deck of the Gigantic . The ship is equipped with a special turbine engine invented by Bob Hayes, but S. B. breaks it with his umbrella and then refuses to allow its use, causing the ship to fall behind in the race. Dorothy and Bob fall in love while he fixes the engine. Buzz announces the ship's entertainment in radio broadcasts, while he and his three ex-wives, eager for their alimony, anticipate winning the race and $50,000. Grace, one of Buzz's ex-wives, diverts S. B.'s attentions from Bob while he fixes the engine. Cleo, another ex-wife, reminisces with Buzz, and they slowly rekindle their love. S. B.'s daughter Martha, also accident-prone, is rescued at sea and wreaks havoc aboard the ship. Finally, Buzz fixes the engine and the Gigantic speeds ahead, at one point with S. B. at the helm. They win the race by a nose, and Buzz and Cleo happily reunite, leaving Dorothy and Bob free to continue their romance. +

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.