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The Merry Monahans

The Merry Monahans(1944)

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According to Hollywood Reporter, this film had the largest budget to date of any picture starring actor Donald O'Connor. In September 1943, Hollywood Reporter announced Frank Ryan as the director of the film, with principal photography scheduled to begin on October 11, 1943. Ryan, however, was replaced by Charles Lamont, and shooting did not commence until December 6, 1943. During one production number in the film, actress Peggy Ryan does an impersonation of singer Sophie Tucker while singing Tucker's trademark song "Some of These Days." Donald O'Connor, in turn, does an impersonation of Al Jolson singing "Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody." According to Universal press materials, O'Connor was originally scheduled to do his Jolson impersonation in blackface to the melody "Mammy," with words and music by Sam M. Lewis, Walter Young and Walter Donaldson. A Hollywood Reporter news item stated that actor Sidney Blackmer was to play a featured role in this film, but he did not appear in the film. Hollywood Reporter production charts included Billy Curtis in the cast, but his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to Hollywood Reporter, the radio program Double or Nothing dedicated its September 15, 1944 broadcast to this film. Hans J. Salter was nominated for an Academy Award for his music score, but lost to Carmen Dragon and Morris Stoloff's Cover Girl score (see entry above).