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Star Spangled Rhythm

Star Spangled Rhythm(1943)

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The working title of this film was Thumbs Up. Although Eddie Bracken's character is listed as "Jimmy Webster" in the CBCS, he is called "Johnny" in the film. As noted in the Variety review, the picture features comic portrayals of various Paramount studio executives, including Walter Abel as "B. G. DeSoto," who is modeled after executive producer B. G. DeSylva, and Edward Fielding as "Y. Frank Freemont," who is modeled after studio vice-president Y. Frank Freeman. According to information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, Paramount paid Arthur Ross and Fred Saidy for the rights to two sketches written for the musical revue Rally 'Round the Girls, which was produced in Hollywood in March 1942. The Paramount Collection also indicates that William Watson, Frank Tuttle, Lewis Allen and Paul Weatherwax assisted in the direction of this film; however, the scope of their contributions to the completed film has not been determined.
       Hollywood Reporter news items reported the following about the production: Ren Clair was slated to direct the "That Old Black Magic" number, but was unavailable at the time. This film marks the feature film debut of Bing Crosby's son Gary. Some "sketches" in Star Spangled Rhythm were originally written by Arthur Ross and Fred Saidy for an unproduced musical titled Rally Round the Girls. The film's final cost was $1,127,989. News items in 1943 reported that Max Aronson, better known as "Broncho Billy," filed a $900,000 lawsuit against Paramount for using the "Broncho Billy" name. Aronson, who was renowned as one of the first motion picture stars and creator of the Western character "Broncho Billy," protested that Paramount was portraying him as a "washed-up and broken-down actor." The final outcome of this lawsuit has not been determined. Actor Tom Dugan, who briefly portrays "Hitler" in the musical revue in this film, also portrays an actor playing Adolf Hitler in United Artists' film To Be or Not to Be (see below). This film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Song ("That Old Black Magic") and Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.