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Swing High, Swing Low

Swing High, Swing Low(1937)

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The working title of the film was Morning, Noon and Night. This was Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray's third film together. The Paramount script files at the AMPAS Library provide the following information about the production: In April 1936, Oscar Hammerstein II completed an early treatment based on the play Burlesque called Hot Trumpet, which slated Una Merkel, Lynne Overman and Rita Rio for roles in the film. The Censorship Dialogue Script, dated February 27, 1937, gave a length of 11 reels and 9,472 ft., while the Release Dialogue script, dated March 6, 1937 shows a length of ten reels. The negative cost of the film was $739,620.99. A pressbook notes this is the first film in which Carole Lombard tap dances. She learned to tap dance specifically for this role under the tutelage of Le Roy Prinz. In addition, Lombard received vocal coaching from Al Siegel. Assistant director Edgar Anderson took the technical crew to Panama City for two months to gather information for building the set. According to Variety, Frank Zinziv and William Candreva of Victor Young's orchestra played trumpet for MacMurray. Swing High, Swing Low was a top moneymaker in 1936-37. Paramount's 1929 The Dance of Life was based on the same source and was directed by John Cromwell and Edward Sutherland and starred Hal Skelly and Nancy Carroll (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.1141). Paramount later sold the rights to the play Burlesque to Fox, who made When My Baby Smiles At Me starring Betty Grable, Dan Dailey and Jack Oakie in 1948. Modern sources note that Irene Dunne and Gary Cooper were initially slated to play the leads, but Cooper declined the role. Bing Crosby stepped into the role of Skid as a singer, but was replaced by Fred MacMurray. Dorothy Lamour also notes that Wally Westmore assisted with her make-up on Carole Lombard's bidding, and that during this production, she left the set to do retakes for Jungle Princess.