Cast & Crew
At the end of World War II, Steve Kimball, an egotistical foreign correspondent, is anxious to return to New York for a series of lecture dates and agrees to chaperone a troupe of fifteen youthful entertainers who have been stranded in Europe because of the war. In exchange for his service, Steve is given a cot in the troupe's shipboard dormitory room. Sneaking onboard with the fifteen youths is Bridget Forrester, who became separated from her reporter father during the war. When Steve discovers his extra charge, he insists upon reporting Bridget to the captain. Due to lack of space onboard the ship, Steve's group is joined by Kay Lawrence, an American singer also returning home. Upon learning of Bridget's predicament, Kay chides Steve for his lack of sympathy. When Steve approaches the captain to report Bridget, he overhears the officer ordering another stowaway off the boat and has a change of heart. After discovering that Steve has tried to bribe the ship's radio operator to give priority to his news stories, the captain forbids him access to the radio room. The ever-resourceful Steve presses Bridget into service by having her send his messages in a special "love code" so that the captain won't suspect. When Steve forbids the teenagers to sing or hold hands, they decide to divert his attention by striking up a romance between him and Kay. That night, Bridget enlists Kay in their scheme and she agrees to join Steve for a stroll on deck. Although Steve protests that women are of no interest to him, when he goes to bed that night, he calls out Kay's name in his sleep. The next day, determined to impress Kay, Steve inscribes a copy of a book he has written and places it on a deck chair for her to find. When the ship's pastor preaches a sermon about humility, however, Steve tries to hide the book before Kay can find it. After Kay chides him for trying to impress her, Steve admits that he is lonely, and the two agree to meet for lunch. Later, the captain asks Steve to help in a shipboard broadcast of the "America Speaks" show, and Kay suggests letting the teenagers perform. Meanwhile, Bridget has developed a crush on Steve and spurns the attentions of Jimmy, a member of the troupe who has fallen in love with her. That night, Steve generously turns the show over to the youngsters, and after their performance, the lovesick Jimmy proposes to Bridget. After rejecting Jimmy's proposal, Bridget vows to win Steve's heart from Kay. When Steve gives Bridget another message to send, written in the love code, Kay finds it and assumes that Steve is two-timing her. Bridget, intent on breaking them up, says nothing when Kay insists on sending the message herself and adds two lines of her own, changing the message to read that Steve has authored the Allied Peace Plan. Upon receiving the scoop, Steve's editor trumpets it in banner headlines. When the boat docks in New York, Steve, unaware of his newfound celebrity, runs after Kay, who still refuses to speak to him. Steve is stopped by State Department officials, who take him to jail and lock him in a cell with his publisher and editor, who then confront the unwary Steve with his story. Realizing that Steve's arrest is her fault, Bridget finds Kay and explains everything. As Steve's editor and publisher prepare to strangle him, a call comes from the State Deparment, ordering his release. When Kay is late for her performance at the nightclub because she has gone to meet Steve, Bridget steps into her spot and is joined by Jimmy.
James Jordan Jr.
Peg E. Garrabrant
Linda Van Loon
Marcel De La Brosse
Charles D. Brown
William B. Davidson
Albert S. D'agostino
Albert Hay Malotte
Francis M. Sarver
Sing Your Way Home
Haley, six years past his triumph as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (1939), was often cast as a second banana but, in Sing Your Way Home, enjoys one of his leading-man roles. Co-starring and showing off her skills as a vocalist is Anne Jeffreys, best remembered as Marion Kerby in the TV series Topper. She plays a beauty who shares a love-hate relationship with Haley.
"I'll Buy That Dream," written by Allie Wrubel and Herb Magidson and sung in the film by Jeffreys (reprised by Marcy McGuire and Glen Vernon), was nominated for an Oscar® as Best Song. One of 14 nominees in that category that year, it lost to Rodgers & Hammerstein's "It Might As Well Be Spring" from State Fair. Other Wrubel/Magidson numbers in Sing Your Way Home are "Heaven Is a Place Called Home," sung by Vernon and others and reprised by Jeffreys; "Seven O'Clock in the Morning," sung by McGuire; and "Who Did It?," sung by McGuire with chorus. There's also a choral arrangement of the traditional hymn "The Lord's Prayer" as arranged by Albert Hay Malotte.
Mann, who had made his feature-film directorial debut three years earlier with Dr. Broadway (1942), is not immediately associated with musicals. He would soon be recognized as a master of film noir thrillers including Desperate (1947), He Walked by Night (1948) and Follow Me Quietly (1949); and of Westerns including Bend of the River (1952), The Naked Spur (1953) and The Far Country (1954). In the 1960s he would further distinguish himself as director of such massive historical epics as El Cid (1961) and The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964).
Even so, Mann brings some assurance to the lightweight Sing Your Way Home, just as he did with two other early musicals, Moonlight in Havana (1942) and The Bamboo Blonde (1946). He would later prove his skill with musical projects by directing The Glenn Miller Story (1953), a musical bio of the swing-era bandleader; and Serenade (1956), a vehicle for opera singer Mario Lanza.
Producer: Bert Granet, Sid Rogell (Exeuctive Producer)
Director: Anthony Mann
Screenplay: William Bowers, from story by Edmund Joseph and Bart Lytton
Cinematography: Frank Redman
Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino
Original Music: Roy Webb, Allie Wrubel
Editing: Harry Marker
Costume Design: Renie
Cast: Jack Haley (Stevel Kimball), Anne Jeffreys (Kay Lawrence), Marcy McGuire (Bridget Forrester), Glen Vernon (Jimmy McCue), Donna Lee (Terry), Patti Brill (Dottie).
by Roger Fristoe
Sing Your Way Home
TCM Remembers - Lawrence Tierney
A SCREEN TOUGH GUY WHO WAS MEANER THAN A JUNKYARD DOG
Lawrence Tierney, one of the screen's toughest tough guys, died February 26th at the age of 82. He first startled audiences with his impassioned work in the 1940s but Tierney's rowdy off-screen life eventually pushed him out of the limelight. Though he kept working in small parts, Tierney found a new generation of fans with a few memorable roles in the 80s and 90s.
Tierney was born March 15, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in New York and was a track star in school before becoming interested in acting. (His two brothers also became actors though they changed their names to Scott Brady and Ed Tracy.) He went through the usual period of stage appearances before getting bit parts in little-remembered films. His first credited role was in Sing Your Worries Away (1942) but Tierney quickly made his mark playing the title role in Dillinger (1945). A string of memorable roles followed in films like San Quentin (1946), The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947), Born to Kill (1947) and the Oscar-winning circus drama from director Cecil B. DeMille, The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) in which Tierney played the villain responsible for the epic train wreck toward the film's conclusion. However, Tierney had a knack for real-life trouble and was arrested several times for disorderly conduct and drunken driving. By the end of the 50s he only found sporadic acting work, sometimes not working for several years between films. During this period his best-known work was in Custer of the West (1967) and Andy Warhol's Bad (1977).
Slowly in the 1980s, Tierney landed small but frequently noticable parts in Hollywood films such as Prizzi's Honor (1985) and The Naked Gun (1988). He appeared on TV shows like Hill Street Blues, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Seinfeld (as Elaine's father). In 1992 that changed when Quentin Tarrantino cast Tierney as the crime boss in Reservoir Dogs, an unforgettable part that gave him new fans. While the subsequent roles or films didn't get any bigger, Tierney was finally a recognized name. One of his oddest roles was the half-hour Red (1993) based on the infamous mid-70s Tube Bar tapes where a real-life bar owner responds with startlingly over-the-top remarks to prank phone calls. (If that sounds familiar it's because The Simpsons based Moe's responses to prank calls on these tapes. Tierney provided a voice in the 1995 Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud.") Tierney's last film appearance was in Armageddon (1998)!
By Lang Thompson
CHUCK JONES, 1912 - 2002
Animator Chuck Jones died February 22nd at the age of 89. Jones may not have boasted quite the name recognition of Howard Hawks or John Ford but he was unquestionably one of the greatest American directors. His goals might have been primarily to entertain, which he did so wonderfully that his 50 and 60 year old cartoons seem fresher than most anything produced in the 21st century. But Jones displayed a sense of movement, timing and character barely equalled elsewhere. Literary critics have a saying that while there are no perfect novels there are certainly flawless short stories. Several of Jones' cartoons reach a perfection that Hawks and Ford could only have dreamed about.
Jones was born September 21, 1912 in Spokane, Washington but grew up in Hollywood. As a child he would watch films by Charlie Chaplin and others being made in the streets, absorbing the process and supposedly even appearing as an extra in Mack Sennett shorts. After graduating from L.A.'s Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts), Jones started selling pencil drawings on street corners. He soon landed a job in 1932 with ground-breaking animator Ub Iwerks as a cel washer (somebody who removes ink from the expensive celluloid frames so they could be reused). The following year Jones began to work for Leon Schlesinger Productions which was sold to Warner Brothers. There he directed his first film, The Night Watchman in 1938.
Jones would stay at Warners for almost 25 years until it closed the animation division. Here is where Jones did some of his most-beloved work, putting Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner, Marvin Martian and numerous others through many of their most memorable exploits. Who can forget Bugs and Daffy's hilariously convoluted arguments about hunting season in Rabbit Seasoning (1952) and Duck Rabbit Duck (1953)? Or the Coyote's tantalized, endless pursuit of the Road Runner? What's Opera Doc? (1957) sending Elmer and Bugs to Bayreuth? A cheerfully singing and dancing frog that, alas, only performs for one frustrated man? Daffy tormented by the very elements of the cartoon medium in Duck Amuck (1953)? That's only a fraction of what Jones created while at the Warners animation studio, affectionately known as Termite Terrace. This building on the Warners lot boasted an array of individualist talents that Jones, like Duke Ellington, could pull into a whole. There was voice artist Mel Blanc's impeccable timing, writer Michael Maltese's absurdist love affair with language, music director Carl Stalling's collaged scores and perhaps best of all a studio that knew enough to just leave the gang alone so long as the cartoons kept coming.
After Warners shuttered its animation division in 1962, Jones moved to MGM where he worked on several Tom & Jerry cartoons, his inimitable lines always immediately apparent. In 1966 he directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas from Dr. Seuss' book, one of the finest literary adaptations. A feature version of Norman Juster's classic The Phantom Tollbooth followed in 1969. Along with his daughter Linda, Jones was one of the first to see the value of original animation art and in the late 70s began a thriving business. (For more info see http://www.chuckjones.com.) Jones made cameo appearances in Joe Dante's Gremlins (1984) and Innerspace (1987). In 1989, he wrote a touching and funny memoir, Chuck Amuck, that's pretty much essential reading.
Jones won an Best Short Subject Cartoons Oscar for The Dot and the Line (1965), having earlier been nominated twice in 1962. His Pepe LePew film For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) and public-health cartoon So Much for So Little also won Oscars though not for Jones himself. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary Oscar "for the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters whose animated lives have brought joy to our real ones for more than a half century."
By Lang Thompson
GEORGE NADER, 1921 - 2002
Actor George Nader, best known for the B-movie anti-classic Robot Monster, died February 4th at the age of 80. One-time co-star Tony Curtis said, "He was one of the kindest and most generous men I've ever known. I will miss him." Nader was born in Pasadena, California on October 19, 1921 and like many other actors started performing while in school. His first film appearance was the B-Western Rustlers on Horseback (1950) and he made other appearances, often uncredited, before the immortal Robot Monster in 1953. This dust-cheap, charmingly inept film (originally in 3-D!) features Nader as the father of Earth's last surviving family, everybody else having been wiped out by a gorilla in a diving helmet. Shortly after, Nader landed major roles in RKO's Carnival Story (1954) and with Curtis in Universal's Six Bridges to Cross (1955), bringing a beefy charm that earned him numerous fans. As a result, in 1955 Nader shared a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer. He then appeared in numerous lower profile studio films before closing out the decade playing Ellery Queen in a short-lived TV series. He relocated to Europe in the sixties where he found steady work. As secret agent Jerry Cotton, he made a series of spy thrillers which earned him a cult reputation in Europe, starting with Schusse aud dem Geigenkasten (aka Operation Hurricane: Friday Noon) (1965). The eighth and final entry in the series was Dynamit in gruner Seide (aka Dynamite in Green Silk) (1968). His film career ended in the mid-70s when a car wreck damaged his eyes so that he could no longer endure a film set's bright lights. Nader began writing novels, most notably the recently reprinted Chrome (1978), an acclaimed science fiction novel with openly gay characters.
By Lang Thompson
TCM REMEMBERS HAROLD RUSSELL, 1914 - 2002
Oscar-winning actor Harold Russell died January 29th of a heart attack at age 88. As a disabled veteran whose hands had been amputated in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Russell won Best Supporting Actor but also an honorary award "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." This made Russell the only person to receive two Oscars for the same role. Russell was born in Nova Scotia on January 14, 1914 but grew up in Cambridge Massachusetts. He joined the US Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor and while training paratroopers lost both hands in an accidental explosion. He then made a training film where director William Wyler saw Russell. Wyler was so impressed that he changed the character in The Best Years of Our Lives from a man with neurological damage to an amputee so that Russell could play the part. After winning the Oscar, Russell followed Wyler's advice and went to college, eventually running a public relations company and writing his autobiography. He made two more film appearances, Inside Moves (1980) and Dogtown (1997), and appeared in a few TV episodes of China Beach and Trapper John MD. Russell made waves in 1992 when he decided to sell his acting Oscar to help cover expenses of his large family. The Motion Picture Academy offered to buy the statue for $20,000 but it sold to an anonymous bidder for $60,000. About the other statute, Russell said, "I'd never sell the special one. The war was over, and this was the industry's way of saying thank you to the veterans."
By Lang Thompson
TCM Remembers - Lawrence Tierney
You take a bunch of boys and a bunch of girls... together... fooling around, and the first thing you know you've got... well, uh, you've got... complications.- Steve Kimball
If you were any judge of character, Miss Lawrence, you would see in me all the elements of a very nice person.- Steve Kimball
Well, why don't you let him out for a little air once in a while?- Kay Lawrence
The working title of this film was Follow Your Heart. The song "I'll Buy That Dream" was nominated for an Academy Award.