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Stand Up and Cheer!

Stand Up and Cheer!(1934)

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The working titles of this film were Fox Movietone Follies for 1933, Fox Movietone Follies for 1934, Fox Movietone Follies and Fox Follies. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, in 1970, Lincoln Perry, known professionally as Stepin Fetchit, filed a three-million dollar suit charging that Twentieth Century-Fox conspired with CBS to invade his privacy and defame his character when CBS aired clips of the films Stand Up and Cheer! (see below) and In Old Kentucky (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3. 2119) on a documentary entitled "Black History: Lost, Stolen or Forgotten." Perry claimed that he was depicted "as a tool of the white man who betrayed the members of his race and [who] earned two million dollars portraying Negroes as inferior human beings." Information pertaining to the disposition of the suit has not been located.
       Although Shirley Temple is listed third in the film's opening onscreen cast credits, she is listed seventh in the ending credits. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Edward Sutherland was originally scheduled to direct the picture, and Lilian Harvey and Winnie Shaw were set for the cast. Sutherland May have been replaced because of illness, while the reasons behind Harvey and Shaw's withdrawals from the film have not been determined. Hollywood Reporter also noted that Dorothy Stone had been tested for a role in the picture. Although a Film Daily news item reported that Florence Desmond had been signed for the film, her participation in the completed picture has not been confirmed. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, also at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, actors considered for inclusion in the film were: Will Rogers, Lew Ayres, Spencer Tracy, Sid Silvers, Sally Eilers, Clara Bow, director David Butler, Victor Jory and Janet Gaynor, for whom a special number entitled "My Favorite Doll" was written by Lew Brown, Sammy Lee and Hans Kraly. The Variety review noted that Brown provided the voice of the Jimmy Durante penguin. Stand Up and Cheer! marked the feature film debuts of singer Nick Foran, who later changed his name to Dick Foran, and comedians Frank Mitchell and Jack Durant. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox legal records, the studio rented a Kellett auto-gyro from R. V. H. Mather, and the sequence in which the device was used was filmed on location at Busch Gardens in Pasadena, CA. The legal records note that in 1935, a lawsuit was filed against Fox by Paul Blanton for infringement on a patent for "the art of producing mannikin actors" by painting faces on the legs of dancers. The case was settled out of court for $1,500.
       According to a modern interview with Jane Withers, she was asked by Fox to read for a part in this picture, but after her audition, "in walked the most beautiful child I had ever seen-Shirley Temple. My heart sank to my toes. I knew she'd get the part, and I was right." Another modern source asserts that after seeing Temple in a "Frolics of Youth" short entitled Pardon My Pups, songwriter Jay Gorney requested that she audition for Stand Up and Cheer!. In her autobiography, Temple notes that producer Winfield Sheehan gave her a contract with Fox on the second day of filming her "Baby Take a Bow" number. Contemporary reviewers praised Temple's performance, and the Variety reviewer referred to her as a "sure-fire potential kidlet star" and "the unofficial star" of the picture.