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Somebody Loves Me

Somebody Loves Me(1952)

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As noted in the onscreen credits, Somebody Loves Me was suggested by the careers of Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields. In an August 1952 Los Angeles Times interview, Seeley and Fields, who served as technical advisors on the picture, claimed that the story was "99 3/4% accurate." Seeley (1891-1974) started in vaudeville at the age of ten, making a name for herself singing and dancing in an animated, sultry style. In 1911, she opened on Broadway with Lew Fields, a vaudevillian with whom she teamed for many years. Her first two husbands, who are not mentioned in the film, were theatrical manager Joseph Kane, whom she divorced in 1913, and Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Marquard. In 1921, Seeley saw Benny Fields [no relation to Lew] (1894-1959) at an inn in Chicago (not New Jersey, as depicted in the film), performing in the trio Fields, Davis & Salisbury. Seeley and Fields began performing together and, in 1922, married.
       As depicted in the film, despite being part of a duo, Seeley was always billed as the star of the act. In 1936, after Fields had established a successful solo career, Seeley dropped out of show business in deference to her husband. Seeley and Fields, who is often described as the original "crooner," appeared together in the 1933 independent film Mr. Broadway (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Mr. Broadway was Seeley's final feature; Fields had roles in two other films, including the starring role in PRC's 1944 release Mr. Minstrel Man (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). According to the Los Angeles Times interview, Seeley and Fields recorded the musical numbers for Somebody Loves Me so that Hutton could study Seeley's style. Modern sources note that Seeley came out of retirement to make these recordings, which were released commercially, and then performed live with Fields at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles. Seeley and Fields also performed on television many times, becoming regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show. "Somebody Loves Me" was one of Seeley's signature songs.
       Somebody Loves Me marked Jack Benny's first feature film appearance since a guest role in the 1946 RKO release Without Reservations (see AFI Catalog of Feature films, 1941-50). Paramount borrowed Ralph Meeker from M-G-M for the role of "Benny." Modern sources state that Hutton wanted Frank Sinatra for the role but was overruled because Sinatra's career was in a decline at the time. Choreographer Charles O'Curran, who also appears in the picture as a French soldier, was Hutton's husband at the time of production. Although The Greatest Show on Earth, which co-starred Hutton , had its national release shortly after Somebody Loves Me, Somebody Loves Me marked Hutton's last major film, although her final screen role was in the 1957 United Artists release Spring Reunion . According to modern sources, Hutton terminated her contract at Paramount in 1952 because the studio refused to give in to her demand that O'Curran be allowed to direct her pictures. A Hollywood Reporter news item adds Eddie Borden to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. On April 27, 1953, Hutton appeared in a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the story, co-starring Gene Barry.