The Strip (1951)

84 or 88 mins | Drama | 31 August 1951

Director:

Leslie Kardos

Writer:

Allen Rivkin

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographer:

Robert Surtees

Editor:

Albert Akst

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Leonid Vasian

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

In the opening credits Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra are included in the cast, above "Guest Stars" Vic Damone and Monica Lewis, but Armstrong is not included in the end credits. Pete Rugolo, who is credited with Leo Arnaud with the film's orchestrations, was a well-known jazz arranger. As noted in a voice-over narration, the area of Los Angeles known as the "Sunset Strip" was an unincorporated part of Los Angeles county that surrounded Sunset Blvd., west of Hollywood and east of Beverly Hills. Because the area was not part of the city of Los Angeles, it was policed by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. In 1984, Sunset Blvd. and surrounding areas were incorporated into the new city of West Hollywood. According to HR news items, and confirmed by the film, much of the picture was shot on location in and around the Sunset Strip. Interiors were shot at popular nightclubs Mocambo and Ciro's and at restaurants Little Hungary and Stripps. A news item in the Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express noted that the "La Bota" number, featuring Marcia Lewis, was filmed inside Ciro's.
       According to HR news items, Bob Spencer, Helen Spring, Michael Dugan and Eddie Polo were in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been verified. A 31 May 1951 HR "Rambling Reporter" column indicated that Sammy Gordon was planning to sue M-G-M, which used his nightclub for interiors of the film, but failed to show the exterior, as promised, even though "every other place on the Strip had their names prominently displayed."
       In addition to the numbers performed in ... More Less

In the opening credits Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra are included in the cast, above "Guest Stars" Vic Damone and Monica Lewis, but Armstrong is not included in the end credits. Pete Rugolo, who is credited with Leo Arnaud with the film's orchestrations, was a well-known jazz arranger. As noted in a voice-over narration, the area of Los Angeles known as the "Sunset Strip" was an unincorporated part of Los Angeles county that surrounded Sunset Blvd., west of Hollywood and east of Beverly Hills. Because the area was not part of the city of Los Angeles, it was policed by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. In 1984, Sunset Blvd. and surrounding areas were incorporated into the new city of West Hollywood. According to HR news items, and confirmed by the film, much of the picture was shot on location in and around the Sunset Strip. Interiors were shot at popular nightclubs Mocambo and Ciro's and at restaurants Little Hungary and Stripps. A news item in the Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express noted that the "La Bota" number, featuring Marcia Lewis, was filmed inside Ciro's.
       According to HR news items, Bob Spencer, Helen Spring, Michael Dugan and Eddie Polo were in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been verified. A 31 May 1951 HR "Rambling Reporter" column indicated that Sammy Gordon was planning to sue M-G-M, which used his nightclub for interiors of the film, but failed to show the exterior, as promised, even though "every other place on the Strip had their names prominently displayed."
       In addition to the numbers performed in the released film, jazz instrumentals that were recorded by Louis Armstrong but cut from the production included "Ain't Misbehavin'" by Fats Waller and Harry Brooks, "One O'Clock Jump" by Count Basie and "I'm Coming, Virginia" by Donald Heywood. Those numbers, plus several songs from the film were included in the CD-anthology album "Now You Has Jazz: Louis Armstrong at M-G-M," released in 1997. "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, but "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," from the Paramount film Here Comes the Groom won the award (see above). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Aug 1951.
---
Daily Variety
3 Aug 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Aug 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 51
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 51
p. 3.
Los Angeles Herald Express
3 Feb 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Aug 51
p. 974.
Variety
8 Aug 51
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Guest stars:
[and]
and His Orchestra:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost des
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Mont seq by
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Hair styles des
Makeup created by
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Ole Miss Blues" by W. C. Handy
"That's a Plenty" by Lew Pollack
"Hines' Retreat" and "Fatha's Time" by Earl "Fatha" Hines and "J. T. Jive" by Louis Armstrong.
SONGS
"A Kiss to Build a Dream On," music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby and Oscar Hammerstein II
"Shadrack," music and lyrics by Robert MacGimsey
"La Bota," music and lyrics by Charles Wolcott and Haven Gillespie II
+
SONGS
"A Kiss to Build a Dream On," music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby and Oscar Hammerstein II
"Shadrack," music and lyrics by Robert MacGimsey
"La Bota," music and lyrics by Charles Wolcott and Haven Gillespie II
"Basin Street Blues," music and lyrics by Spencer Williams
"Don't Blame Me," music and lyrics by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
31 August 1951
Production Date:
early January--mid February 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1109
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84 or 88
Length(in feet):
7,688
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15216
SYNOPSIS

Early one morning, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies rush to an apartment building near the Sunset Strip, where they find Jane Tafford unconscious from a bullet wound to her shoulder. Jane's body was found by neighbor Paulette Ardrey, who reveals the identity of a man in one of Jane's photographs. A short time later, detectives from the sheriff's office arrive at the home of Delwyn "Sonny" Johnson and find him shot to death. Deputies then go to see Stanley Maxton, the man Paulette identified, and take him to headquarters. Lt. Detective Bonnabel questions Stan about the shootings, and he reveals that Jane had been his girl until she started seeing Sonny, who used to be his boss. He then tells Bonnabel about Sonny: Following military service in Korea, Stan is released from a Kansas veteran's hospital and heads to Los Angeles to work as a drummer. On the way, his car is hit by Sonny, who pays for the damages and, in Los Angeles, offers Stan a job as a phone man at his bookie joint. One day, deputies raid the place, but Stan gets away by sneaking out a window and running onto the Strip. He then talks his way into a car driven by Jane, who tells him that she is a dancer at Fluff's Dixieland nightclub. One night, Sonny goes to Fluff's and meets Jane again. He is infatuated with her and after closing time asks her out. Jane, who only wants to date men who can help her aspiring acting career, asks the kindly Fluff to say that he does not approve of Stan, but Fluff ... +


Early one morning, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies rush to an apartment building near the Sunset Strip, where they find Jane Tafford unconscious from a bullet wound to her shoulder. Jane's body was found by neighbor Paulette Ardrey, who reveals the identity of a man in one of Jane's photographs. A short time later, detectives from the sheriff's office arrive at the home of Delwyn "Sonny" Johnson and find him shot to death. Deputies then go to see Stanley Maxton, the man Paulette identified, and take him to headquarters. Lt. Detective Bonnabel questions Stan about the shootings, and he reveals that Jane had been his girl until she started seeing Sonny, who used to be his boss. He then tells Bonnabel about Sonny: Following military service in Korea, Stan is released from a Kansas veteran's hospital and heads to Los Angeles to work as a drummer. On the way, his car is hit by Sonny, who pays for the damages and, in Los Angeles, offers Stan a job as a phone man at his bookie joint. One day, deputies raid the place, but Stan gets away by sneaking out a window and running onto the Strip. He then talks his way into a car driven by Jane, who tells him that she is a dancer at Fluff's Dixieland nightclub. One night, Sonny goes to Fluff's and meets Jane again. He is infatuated with her and after closing time asks her out. Jane, who only wants to date men who can help her aspiring acting career, asks the kindly Fluff to say that he does not approve of Stan, but Fluff is so impressed when he sees Stan's drumming that he offers him a job. Although flattered, Stan declines, saying that he has a high-paying position in an insurance company. Encouraged by Fluff, who needs Stan to replace the club's recently drafted drummer, Jane lets Stan take her home and says that they could see each other often if he worked at Fluff's. Stan is reluctant at first, because Sonny pays him a lot, but decides that Jane, and the chance to work as a drummer, are more important. Sonny agrees to let Stan quit, and gives him money, but warns him to forget everything. Fluff is happy to have Stan at the club, but is concerned that he is going to be hurt by Jane's ambition. One afternoon, Stan goes to see Jane after buying her a new hat. While he is at her apartment, Paulette drops by and asks Jane to babysit her son Artie while she goes to an audition. Stan has bragged that he has a friend who might have connections in the movie industry, so Jane urges him to introduce her. As the three drive to Sonny's, they are involved in a minor accident when the unruly Artie steps on the car accelerator. Stan is happy that Sonny is impressed with Jane, but points out that she is his girl. At dinner that night, Stan talks to Jane about their future and she realizes that he is proposing. She thanks him for his help, but tells him that becoming a star is the most important thing in her life. Stan soon becomes a hit at Fluff's nightclub, but becomes jealous when he realizes that Jane is seeing a lot of Sonny. Against Fluff's good advice, Stan starts to follow Sonny and Jane, until one morning when he is visited by Baer and Boynton, Sonny's henchmen. They offer him money and say that Sonny wants him to head his Phoenix office right away. Stan declines, but is frightened enough to tell Fluff he is quitting. Fluff counsels Stan to stand up to Sonny, or risk having a life of fear, so he goes to Sonny and threatens to tell everything to the police. Stan then rushes to Jane's apartment, but when he arrives, only Baer and Boynton are waiting for him. They hit Stan, then take him for a ride. During the drive, as Stan remembers Artie's prank, he steps on the accelerator and causes an accident that enables him to get away. He then goes to Fluff's to warn Jane and tell her that he has to leave town. Although Jane does not love Stan, she feels responsible for his problems and promises to straighten things out with Sonny. As Stan ends his story, he tells Bonnabel that he remained at Fluff's, then went home shortly before the deputies arrived that morning. Just then, Bonnabel receives a phone call from the hospital. Although the doctor tells him that Jane is still alive, but has not regained consciousness, Bonnabel tells Stan that Jane has confessed to Sonny's murder. An agitated Stan then says that it was he who killed Sonny. Bonnabel goes to Fluff, who is unaware of what has happened, but corroborates Stan's original story. Later that afternoon, Bonnabel shows Stan Jane's signed statement revealing that she shot Sonny in self-defense, and tells him that he is free to go. When Stan asks about Jane, Bonnabel reveals that she did wake up and give a confession, but died a short time later. He then accompanies Stan to Fluff's, where everyone is happy to see Stan take his place onstage. +

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

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