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The Best Things in Life Are Free

The Best Things in Life Are Free(1956)

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NOTES

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The film opens with the following written prologue: "In the 1920s, three men from different parts of the country came together. Despite the difference in their backgrounds, or perhaps because of it, when those men became partners-a great talent was born. For seven years they wrote the song hits of the nation. This is the story of those years and those songs." In real life, Lew Brown (1893-1955) and Ray Henderson (1896-1970) formed a song-writing partnership in 1922, and were joined by Buddy DeSylva (1859-1950) in 1925. Together, the team wrote many hit musical revues and popular songs. DeSylva left the group in 1935 to produce films. From 1941-1944 he served as a producer and then executive producer at Paramount Pictures. In 1945, he started his own independent production company, B. G. DeSylva Productions, and eventually became the chairman of the board of Capitol Records.
       A December 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Frank Tashlin was to direct the picture and that Twentieth Century-Fox was negotiating with M-G-M to borrow Gene Kelly to play DeSylva. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, in November 1955, John Monks, Jr. was hired to polish the script. A February 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Richard Morris was to do a script polish. Their contribution to the final film has not been determined, however. Although a February 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item adds that Murray Ritter was to work on the music, he is not credited onscreen or by contemporary sources. Although Hollywood Reporter news items add Roxanne Arlen, Marjorie Jackson, Lana Baschama, Carol Leigh, Leon Tyler, Bob Fuller, Ivan Anderson and Stephen Papich to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture) category.