On Your Toes (1939)

93 mins | Musical comedy | 14 October 1939

Director:

Ray Enright

Cinematographer:

James Wong Howe

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Actress and ballerina Vera Zorina, who frequently was billed as "Zorina," was listed that way in her above the title credit, but her full name was listed in the end credits. Although one of the onscreen credits for Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart reads "Music and lyrics by," none of Hart's lyrics from On Your Toes , the Broadway musical he co-wrote with Rogers and George Abbott, were used within the released film.
       According to pre-production news items in HR , Warner Bros. originally wanted James Cagney to play the male lead. When Cagney was unavailable, Eddie Albert was slated for the role. When Albert refused to report for work unless he was given a raise, however, the studio considered signing Ray Bolger for the part. Other pre-production news items in HR note that Lloyd Bacon was slated to direct the film, but was re-assigned to Career Man . Alan Hale replaced Adolphe Menjou in the role of "Sergei Alexandrovitch" because Menjou had a prior committment to The Housekeeper's Daughter . A HR production chart credits Sid Hickox with photography, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Other news items in HR add that the film was shot partially on location at Toluca Lake, CA. The film was released in England and France on 6 Oct ... More Less

Actress and ballerina Vera Zorina, who frequently was billed as "Zorina," was listed that way in her above the title credit, but her full name was listed in the end credits. Although one of the onscreen credits for Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart reads "Music and lyrics by," none of Hart's lyrics from On Your Toes , the Broadway musical he co-wrote with Rogers and George Abbott, were used within the released film.
       According to pre-production news items in HR , Warner Bros. originally wanted James Cagney to play the male lead. When Cagney was unavailable, Eddie Albert was slated for the role. When Albert refused to report for work unless he was given a raise, however, the studio considered signing Ray Bolger for the part. Other pre-production news items in HR note that Lloyd Bacon was slated to direct the film, but was re-assigned to Career Man . Alan Hale replaced Adolphe Menjou in the role of "Sergei Alexandrovitch" because Menjou had a prior committment to The Housekeeper's Daughter . A HR production chart credits Sid Hickox with photography, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Other news items in HR add that the film was shot partially on location at Toluca Lake, CA. The film was released in England and France on 6 Oct 1939. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
24 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Oct 39
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Jul 39
p. 41.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Oct 39
p. 43.
New York Times
21 Oct 39
p. 12.
Variety
25 Oct 39
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture; Jack L. Warner in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Photog for "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet
Spec eff
Spec eff
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Orch arr
DANCE
Dance dir
Asst to Balanchine
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical play On Your Toes by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and George Abbott, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart (New York, 11 Apr 1936).
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 October 1939
Production Date:
began 5 June 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 October 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9618
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5573
SYNOPSIS

In the 1920's, vaudeville reigned supreme as the Dancing Dolans tapped their way across the nation's stages. Fifteen years later, the act has become dated, and son Junior decides to quit to become a great composer. While in a bar, Junior meets Russian composer Ivan Boultonoff, who offers to teach him the art of composition. The pair return to Ivan's hotel room, where the Russian ballet troupe of impresario Sergei Alexandrovitch is quartered. That night, as Ivan dozes, Junior composes a ballet he names "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." The next morning, Ivan awakens and presents the composition as his own to Alexandrovitch, who takes an instant disliking to Junior. In addition to Alexandrovitch, Junior also meets Vera Barnova, the troupe's prima ballerina whom, he discovers, he knew as a girl in vaudeville. As Vera and Junior resume their romance, one of the dancers in the chorus disappears, and Junior is pressed into dancing his part. When Junior's performance turns the turgid ballet into a farce, however, Junior flees the theater in disgrace. The critics, however, hail Junior's blunder as a new technique, prompting Peggy Porterfield, the ballet's patroness, to insist upon staging "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." The embarrassed Junior returns to bid Vera farewell, and when Vera discovers that he and not Ivan wrote the ballet, she insists upon his participation in the show. Junior's ideas clash with those of Konstantin Morrisine, the lead male dancer, and when their disagreement ends in a skirmish, Morrisine breaks his ankle, forcing Junior to take his place on stage. Meanwhile, the resentful Alexandrovitch arranges for Junior to be assassinated at the end ... +


In the 1920's, vaudeville reigned supreme as the Dancing Dolans tapped their way across the nation's stages. Fifteen years later, the act has become dated, and son Junior decides to quit to become a great composer. While in a bar, Junior meets Russian composer Ivan Boultonoff, who offers to teach him the art of composition. The pair return to Ivan's hotel room, where the Russian ballet troupe of impresario Sergei Alexandrovitch is quartered. That night, as Ivan dozes, Junior composes a ballet he names "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." The next morning, Ivan awakens and presents the composition as his own to Alexandrovitch, who takes an instant disliking to Junior. In addition to Alexandrovitch, Junior also meets Vera Barnova, the troupe's prima ballerina whom, he discovers, he knew as a girl in vaudeville. As Vera and Junior resume their romance, one of the dancers in the chorus disappears, and Junior is pressed into dancing his part. When Junior's performance turns the turgid ballet into a farce, however, Junior flees the theater in disgrace. The critics, however, hail Junior's blunder as a new technique, prompting Peggy Porterfield, the ballet's patroness, to insist upon staging "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." The embarrassed Junior returns to bid Vera farewell, and when Vera discovers that he and not Ivan wrote the ballet, she insists upon his participation in the show. Junior's ideas clash with those of Konstantin Morrisine, the lead male dancer, and when their disagreement ends in a skirmish, Morrisine breaks his ankle, forcing Junior to take his place on stage. Meanwhile, the resentful Alexandrovitch arranges for Junior to be assassinated at the end of the dance, but Ivan discovers his plot and saves Junior's life as the curtain falls to thunderous applause. +

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

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