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::1944 - Follow the Boys



USA 1944
Charles K. Feldman Group for Universal
black & white

Synopsis:
After the final performance of the last show at the Palace Theatre in New York, old-time performer Nick West attempts to give a farewell speech, but becomes choked with emotion, so his son and fellow performer Tony finishes it for him, proclaiming that vaudeville will never die. Vaudeville houses continue to close, however, and the Three Wests--Nick, Tony and his sister Kitty--find it difficult to get bookings. Despite his father's objections, Tony breaks up the act and heads for California to try his luck in motion pictures. He soon finds work in the chorus at Universal Pictures, where he catches the eye of musical star Gloria Vance. The two quickly become screen partners, then man and wife. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Tony tries give up his newly found Hollywood stardom and enlist in the U.S. Army, but is rejected because of an old knee injury. He asks, however, that no one, including Gloria, be told of his rejection. Meanwhile, Private "Chick" Doyle, an old vaudeville friend of the Wests, is put in charge of organizing entertainment for the soldiers at his camp, and he gets Nick and Louie Fairweather, an animal trainer, to promise to help. In turn, Nick asks for his son's help, and Tony soon finds himself organizing the Hollywood Victory Committee (H.V.C.), a consortium of motion picture, theatrical and radio personalities dedicated to help the war effort, including the creation of war bond drives and U.S.O. Shows. While returning home from one such show, Tony gets into an argument with Gloria after refusing to listen to her when she tries to tell him that she is pregnant. The misunderstanding leads to the couple's separation. After many months organizing the H.V.C., Tony goes overseas to Brisbane, Australia with a U.S.O. troupe. Breaking her word to Gloria, Kitty tells Tony that he is about to become a father and he makes plans to call his wife upon their arrival onshore. Their cargo ship is attacked by a Japanese submarine, however, and Tony is killed. With her late husband proclaimed a hero on the cover of Life magazine, Gloria takes Tony's place entertaining the troops, along with hundreds of other stars.

Cast:
George Raft (Tony West)
Vera Zorina (Gloria Vance)
Jeanette MacDonald (Herself - Guest Star)
Orson Welles' Mercury Wonder Show (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Marlene Dietrich (Herself - Guest Star)
Dinah Shore (Herself - Guest Star)
Donald O'Connor (Himself - Guest Star)
Peggy Ryan (Herself - Guest Star)
W.C. Fields (Himself - Guest Star)
The Andrews Sisters (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Artur Rubinstein (Himself - Guest Star)
Carmen Amaya and Her Company (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Sophie Tucker (Herself - Guest Star)
Delta Rhythm Boys (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Leonard Gautier's Bricklayers (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Ted Lewis and His Orchestra (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Freddie Slack and His Orchestra (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Louis Jordan and his Orchestra (Themselves - Guest Stars)
Charley Grapewin (Nick West)
Grace McDonald (Kitty West)
Charles Butterworth (Louie Fairweather)
George Macready (Walter Bruce)
Elizabeth Patterson (Annie)
Theodore von Eltz (William Barrett)
Regis Toomey (Dr. Henderson)
Ramsay Ames (Laura)
Martha O'Driscoll (Martha O'Driscoll)
Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom (Maxie Rosenbloom)
Spooks the Dog (Junior)
Carmen Amaya (Herself - Leader of Her Company)
Laverne Andrews (Herself - One of The Andrews Sisters)
Maxene Andrews (Herself - One of The Andrews Sisters)
Patty Andrews (Herself - One of The Andrews Sisters)
Louis Jordan (Himself - Leader of His Orchestra)
Ted Lewis (Himself - Leader of His Band)
Freddie Slack (Himself - Leader of His Orchestra)
Orson Welles (Himself - Leader of His Wonder Show)
Walter Abel (Himself)
Louise Allbritton (Herself)
Joel Allen (Soldier)
Stanley Andrews (Australian Officer)
Evelyn Ankers (Herself)
Martin Ashe (Man in Office)
Bob Ashley (Jitterbug Dancer)
Bobby Barber (Soldier in the W.C. Fields Routine)
Rosemary Battle (Magic Maid)
Louise Beavers (Herself)
Noah Beery Jr. (Himself)
Genevieve Bell (Mother in Montage)
Hal Bell (Sailor)
William 'Billy' Benedict (Joe - Soldier)
Lee Bennett (Acrobat)
Turhan Bey (Himself)
Carlyle Blackwell Jr. (Soldier)
Doris Bren (Magic Maid)
Linda Brent (Magic Maid)
Nancy Brinckman (Telephone Operator)
Steve Brodie (Australian Pilot)
Charles D. Brown (Colonel Starret)
Ed Brown (Soldier)
Nigel Bruce (Himself)
Jimmy Carpenter (Soldier)
John L. Cason (Soldier Listening to Radio)
Agustín Castellón Sabicas (Agustin Castellón Sabicas)
Lane Chandler (Ship's Officer)
Lon Chaney Jr. (Himself)
George Chirello (Assistant to Orson Welles)
Wallis Clark (HVC Committee Man)
Peter Coe (Himself)
Lois Collier (Herself)
Alan Cook (Soldier)
Clyde Cook (Stooge)
Eleanor Counts (Magic Maid)
Richard Crane (Marine Officer)
Alan Curtis (Himself)
Roy Darmour (Eddie - Assistant Director)
Leslie Denison (Reporter)
Andy Devine (Himself)
John Duane (Soldier)
Ralph Dunn (Loomis)
Bill Dyer (Messenger Boy)
George Eldredge (Submarine Officer)
John Estes (Hospital Patient)
Majorie Fectean (Magic Maid)
William Forrest (Colonel Edward Dobbs)
Susanna Foster (Herself)
Clair Freeman (Dancer)
Ralph Gardner (Patient in Leg Cast)
Leonard Gautier (Himself)
Janice Gay (Magic Maid)
Thomas Gomez (Himself)
Mack Gray (Lieutenant Reynolds)
Thurston Hall (Man)
Tom Hanlon (Announcer)
Kay Harding (Woman in Montage)
Carey Harrison (Colonel)
Bill Healy (Ship's Officer)
Howard C. Hickman (Dr. Wood)
Samuel S. Hinds (Himself)
Leyland Hodgson (Australian Reporter)
Charles Anthony Hughes (Man)
Gloria Jean (Herself)
Frank Jenks (Chick Doyle)
Charles King (Soldier)
Michael Kirk (Man)
Elyse Knox (Herself)
Eddie Kover (Soldier)
Don Kramer (Soldier)
Molly Lamont (Miss Hartford - Secretary)
Frank LaRue (Postman)
Perc Launders (Studio Cop)
Odessa Lauren (Telephone Operator)
Nelson Leigh (Bull Fiddler)
Lolita Leighter (Magic Maid)
Doris Lloyd (Nurse)
Anthony Marsh (Military Officer)
Philo McCullough (Himself)
Don McGill (Man)
Bill Meader (Soldier)
John Meredith (Blind Soldier in MacDonald Act)
Maria Montez (Herself)
Dennis Moore (HVC Officer)
Edmund Mortimer (Theatregoer)
Clarence Muse (Himself)
Dick Nelson (Sergeant)
Nickolai (Dancer)
Marie Osborne (Nurse)
Robert Paige (Himself)
Franklin Parker (Man in Office)
Grandon Rhodes (George Grayson - Guild Member)
Addison Richards (MacDermott - Life Magazine Staffer)
George Riley (Jimmy)
Cyril Ring (Laughton - Life Magazine Photographer)
Alex Romero (Dancer)
Mary Rowland (Magic Maid)
Randolph Scott (Himself)
Janet Shaw (Telephone Operator)
Mel Shubert (Soldier)
Jane Smith (Magic Maid)
Lennie Smith (Jitterbug Dancer)
Gale Sondergaard (Herself)
Charlie Spivak (Himself)
Edwin Stanley (Taylor - Film Director)
Nick Stewart (Lieutenant Reynolds - U.S.A.F.)
Walter Tetley (Soldier)
Bernard Thomas (Soldier)
Luis Torres (Soldier)
Carl Vernell (Terry Dennis - Dance Director)
Emmett Vogan (Harkness - Life Magazine Reporter)
Anthony Warde (Captain)
Billy Wayne (Terry Fife - Columnist)
Steve Wayne (Soldier)
Jack Wegman (Mayor)
Jack Whitley (Man)
John Whitney (Soldier)
Frank Wilcox (Captain Williams - Army Doctor)
Jan Wiley (Telephone Operator)
Bill Wolfe (Zoot Suit Man)
Duke York (Military Policeman)

Crew:
A. Edward Sutherland (director)
John Rawlins (director)
Lou Breslow (original screenplay)
Gertrude Purcell (original screenplay)
Joe Schoenfeld (epilogue "Soldiers in Greasepaint")
Marjorie Bowles (contributing writer)
Dorothy B. Hughes (script (Delta Rhythm Boys sequence))
Charles K. Feldman (producer)
Al Rockett (associate producer)
Leigh Harline (original music)
Frank Skinner (original music)
Oliver Wallace (original music)
David Abel (director of photography)
Fred R. Feitshans Jr. (film editor)
John B. Goodman (art direction)
Harold H. MacArthur (art direction)
Russell A. Gausman (set decoration)
Ira Webb (set decoration)
Vera West (gowns)
Bert Duke (makeup artist: additional scenes)
Emmy Eckhardt (hairdresser: additional scenes)
Howard Christie (assistant director)
Lou Breslow (director: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
Fred Frank (assistant director: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
William Holland (assistant director)
M. Inger (assistant director: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
John Rawlins (director: additional scenes)
Eddie Regan (assistant director: additional scenes)
Will Sheldon (assistant director)
S. Bricker (props: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
Dan Fish (props)
Bernard B. Brown (director of sound)
Robert Pritchard (sound technician)
A. Anderson (sound technician: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
Frank Artman (boom operator)
Charles Carroll (sound technician: additional scenes)
James Masterson (recording operator: additional scenes)
R. Parrish (boom operator: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
John W. Rixey (recording operator: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
William Schwartz (recording operator)
Carl Lee (special effects)
John P. Fulton (special photography)
Fred Buckley (grip: additional scenes)
Wallace Chewning (camera operator)
Charles Cowie (grip)
E. Esterbrook (still photographer)
Arthur Gerstle (assistant camera: additional scenes)
Maury Gertsman (camera operator: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
Frank Heisler (assistant camera: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
Hal Mohr (director of photography: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
M. Nathan (assistant camera)
Ross Savon (gaffer)
Harold Smith (camera operator: additional scenes)
Charles Van Enger (director of photography: additional photography)
Walter Woodworth (grip: Delta Rhythm Boys sequence)
Howard Greer (gowns: Miss Zorina's)
Bert Heinsickson (wardrobe: additional scenes)
Leigh Harline (musical director)
George Hale (musical numbers devised and staged by)
George Balanchine (dance director)
Lackritz (jewelry: Miss Zorina)
Henry C. Rogers (publicist)

Music:
»Swing Low, Sweet Chariot«, trad., arranged by HENRY THACKER BURLEIGH
»I Feel a Song Coming On« by JIMMY MCHUGH, DOROTHY FIELDS, GEORGE OPPENHEIM
»Furlough Fling« by CHARLES WEINTRAUB und FRANK DAVENPORT
»Besame Mucho« by CONSUELO VELAZQUEZ
»Liebestraum« by FRANZ LISZT
»Sweet Georgia Brown« by BEN BERNIE und MACEO PINKWARD
»Merriment« by AUGUSTIN CASTELLON SABICAS

Songs:
»Good Night« by LEO WOOD, CON CONRAD and IRVING BIBO
»Tonight« by WALTER DONALDSON (Music) und KERMIT GOELL (Lyrics)
»The Bigger the Army and Navy« JACK YELLEN
»Kittens with Their Mittens Laced« by INEZ JAMES and SIDNEY MILLER
»Beyond the Blue Horizon« by RICHARD A. WHITING, W. FRANKE HARLING and LEO RUBIN
»I'll Walk Alone«, »A Better Day is Comin'« by JULE STYNE (Music) and SAMMY CAHN (Lyrics)
»I'll Get By« by FRED E. AHLERT (Music) and ROY TURK (Lyrics)
»Is You Is, or Is You Ain't My Baby« by LEWIS JORDAN and BILLY AUSTIN
»I'll See you in My Dreams« by GUS KAHN and ISHAM JONES
»The House I Live In« by EARL ROBINSON (Music) and LEWIS ALLAN (Lyrics)
»Shoo Shoo, Baby« by PHIL MOORE
»Mad About Him Blues« by LARRY MARKS and DICK CHARLES
»Some of These Days« by SHELTON BROOKS

Length:
122 Minutes

Production:
1943

Premiere:
New York opening: 25 Apr 1944

Acadamy Award Nominations:
Best Song (1944): AA-Best Song - Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn