Give a Girl a Break (1954)

82 mins | Musical comedy | 1 January 1954

Director:

Stanley Donen

Producer:

Jack Cummings

Cinematographer:

William C. Mellor

Editor:

Adrienne Fazan

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The opening credits read "Starring Marge and Gower Champion." A 10 Aug 1951 item in HR's "Rambling Reporter" column stated that Gene Kelly and Carleton Carpenter would appear in the film. A modern source also claims that Kelly was slated to star in the film, along with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Ann Miller. ...

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The opening credits read "Starring Marge and Gower Champion." A 10 Aug 1951 item in HR's "Rambling Reporter" column stated that Gene Kelly and Carleton Carpenter would appear in the film. A modern source also claims that Kelly was slated to star in the film, along with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland and Ann Miller.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Dec 1953
---
Daily Variety
1 Dec 1953
p. 3
Film Daily
4 Dec 1953
p. 12
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1951
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 1952
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 1952
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 1953
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 1953
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
5 Nov 1953
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Dec 1953
p. 2093
Variety
2 Dec 1953
p. 6
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
William Mellor
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost des
Herschel McCoy
Men's cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus dir
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Irving G. Ries
Spec eff
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Hair styles
Makeup created by
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Gower Champion
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Challenge Dance" by André Previn and Saul Chaplin.
SONGS
"Give a Girl a Break," "Nothing Is Impossible," "In Our United States," "It Happens Every Time" and "Applause, Applause," music by Burton Lane, lyrics by Ira Gershwin.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 January 1954
Production Date:
mid Oct--early Dec 1952; addl scenes late Mar 1953
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Loew's Inc.
30 November 1953
LP3754
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
82
Length(in feet):
7,406
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16339
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

At rehearsals for a new Broadway musical revue, Give a Girl a Break , harried young director-choreographer Ted Sturgis is dressed down by the temperamental star, Janet Hallson, who then breaks her contract and walks out. Ted's former dancing partner, Madelyn Corlane, is proposed as a possible replacement for Janet, but Ted insists she has given up show business, and claims that he can turn the right girl into a star. Ted lets the newspapers know that he is looking for an unknown actress to replace Janet, and a throng of hopeful performers shows up at the theater. Ted's assistant, Bob Dowdy, is immediately smitten with pretty young dancer Suzy Doolittle, while the show's composer, Leo Belney, prefers the elegant Joanna Moss. When Ted and Bob go into producer Felix Jordan's office, they are surprised to see Madelyn, who has decided to make a comeback. Ted agrees to audition the three women the following morning, and privately tells Felix that Madelyn left him two years ago for another man. Suzy runs home and shares the good news with her mother, who insists that Suzy skip the date she made with Bob and prepare for her audition. Meanwhile, Joanna rushes to her home and tells all the neighbors in her apartment building that she is going to star in the show. Joanna's husband, Burton Bradshaw, informs her that he has just been offered a job as head of the music department at a small university in Minnesota, but she refuses to leave New York. Madelyn, meanwhile, tells her boyfriend, Anson Pritchett, that she wants to go back on the stage. Anson discourages Madelyn from auditioning, however, and she reluctantly ...

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At rehearsals for a new Broadway musical revue, Give a Girl a Break , harried young director-choreographer Ted Sturgis is dressed down by the temperamental star, Janet Hallson, who then breaks her contract and walks out. Ted's former dancing partner, Madelyn Corlane, is proposed as a possible replacement for Janet, but Ted insists she has given up show business, and claims that he can turn the right girl into a star. Ted lets the newspapers know that he is looking for an unknown actress to replace Janet, and a throng of hopeful performers shows up at the theater. Ted's assistant, Bob Dowdy, is immediately smitten with pretty young dancer Suzy Doolittle, while the show's composer, Leo Belney, prefers the elegant Joanna Moss. When Ted and Bob go into producer Felix Jordan's office, they are surprised to see Madelyn, who has decided to make a comeback. Ted agrees to audition the three women the following morning, and privately tells Felix that Madelyn left him two years ago for another man. Suzy runs home and shares the good news with her mother, who insists that Suzy skip the date she made with Bob and prepare for her audition. Meanwhile, Joanna rushes to her home and tells all the neighbors in her apartment building that she is going to star in the show. Joanna's husband, Burton Bradshaw, informs her that he has just been offered a job as head of the music department at a small university in Minnesota, but she refuses to leave New York. Madelyn, meanwhile, tells her boyfriend, Anson Pritchett, that she wants to go back on the stage. Anson discourages Madelyn from auditioning, however, and she reluctantly withdraws. Later, when Suzy does not show up for their date, Bob tracks her down at the rehearsal studio and walks her home, and they begin to fall in love. At her apartment, Madelyn is dressing for a costume party when Ted shows up to insist that she audition. Madelyn admits she is afraid of failing the audition, but a spirited dance with Ted restores her confidence. The following morning, after the three women audition, Felix tells Ted and Leo he does not know which one to choose. Misunderstanding a comment Felix makes, Bob runs outside and tells Suzy she has the part. The men continue to argue over the decision for hours, until Felix finally proposes drawing a name out of a hat. Joanna wins the part, and when Felix calls Suzy, she is crushed that Bob misled her. Ted delivers the bad news to Madelyn in person. She takes the rejection gracefully, then breaks up with Anson, telling him she plans to leave town and open a dancing school. On the final day of rehearsal, Ted finds Joanna in tears in her dressing room as Burton prepares to leave for Minnesota. When Burton insists that Joanna go with him, she happily agrees, getting out of her contract by announcing that she is pregnant. Bob races to tell Suzy, who has not spoken to him since the day of the audition, that she will take over the part. When Bob returns to the theater, Ted informs him that he wanted to cast Madelyn but has been unable to find her. Opening night is a success, but Ted remains downhearted about Madelyn. As Ted paces the empty theater after the show, Madelyn enters and tells him she has realized that it was not the stage she wanted to return to, but him. The partners happily kiss and leave the theater together.

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

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