Great music, great filming, and a routine but snappy plot...total big band fun
Orchestra Wives (1942)
Archie Mayo is a functional director remembered a couple of first rate
movies, "Petrified Forest" and "A Night in Casablanca." Now Hollywood
has slews of great movies by directors like this, getting just the
right mixture of elements to succeed, but their other movies still
usually have elements, moments, or qualities that rise above and make
This is a war time big band lightweight romance. But it has such great
music and some polished great acting (some), the contrived plot is easy
to swallow. It's a fun, excellent ride, not at all shabby. Ann
Rutherford is really first rate, sweet and smart when she needs to be,
and touching at others.
The music? Completely Glenn Miller. The real Glenn Miller, even though
he takes on the name of Gene Morrison for the role. And it's great to
see them playing (or pretending to play--it's a pretty good match, but
not live recording and filming). It's the great film introduction for
"I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," which is enough to enshrine the movie
(including a second version with a pair of African-American singers and
dancers leading the way). This is Miller's second film, and is part of
the home front cheerleading (in the best sense) a worried public as the
U.S. entered the war. Miller of course formed a whole new band for the
war effort, and died when his plane disappeared in Europe. It's part of
his lore, and it adds some pathos to how we see the movie now, in
The male lead, across from Rutherford, is the band's trumpet player,
meant to be the incomparable Harry James, but played not by the real
James (which would have been fun) but by George Montgomery. Cesar
Romaro plays a clichéd role, and makes the most of it, endlessly
cheerful. And look for a young Jackie Gleason a couple of times (he's a
The fairy tale ending is perfectly unbelievable, and a great feel-good
cherry on a feel-good movie. Like many Astaire-Rogers movies, this
musical drama is far far better than it should have been!.
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The Glenn Miller version was a huge success and very popular...Ray Anthony became famous as a result of his trumpet solo for "At Last" and Ray Eberle was a heartï»¿ throb in his time....It was probably more popular than was Etta's version, until it was performed in a very subpar version by Beyonce at the Inauguration..., then the hype took over and youtube had it's way.....let's face it, Beyonce is no Etta James or Patricia Friday.
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After watching all four Donald Strachey films, I can easily say this one is my favourite.
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sun valle serenade, veri beautiful movie.
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Well of all the movies I have seen....Mousehunt has the most intelligent mouse I know!!.
You would never guess that eddie murphy would be a cyborg...HAHAHA Hilarious .
A Place in the Sun - 1950s movie staring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Shelley Winters. The story is great and the chemistry between the young and beautiful Elisabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift if hot. A lover's tragic tale..
Frida- A beautiful film full of pathos and vitality. Mouse Hunt fun for the family..
burleque- not nearly as bad as you think it will be. .
definitive band musical
This film, the second to feature the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and probably
best of the many films to include bandleaders in the cast, does exactly what
it says on the tin present a film about orchestra wives, those
long-suffering mates of band musicians. What plot there is can be summed up
in a couple of lines, concerning romances, new marriages, old flames, and
The production works better than Sun Valley Serenade', as that film largely
had to support a plot for Sonja Henje. This time, there's more scope for
other characters to make their impact, however brief. And yes, that is
Cesar Romero playing piano for Miller. I'm not sure why, but there you
Miller himself was no actor, but it is of great interest to see him lead his
band on screen (and also to put faces to singers Tex Beneke and Ray Eberle).
The unique arrangements were perfect for screen soundtracks and there are
several hit numbers featured throughout Orchestra Wives'..