Thank Your Lucky Stars


2h 7m 1943
Thank Your Lucky Stars

Brief Synopsis

An Eddie Cantor look-alike organizes an all-star show to help the war effort.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Sep 25, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 7m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11,440ft

Synopsis

Farnsworth and Dr. Schlenna, two producers who are planning a benefit extravaganza, want Dinah Shore, a singer on Eddie Cantor's radio show, to appear in their benefit, but they must first make a deal with Cantor, who holds her contract. Farnsworth fears that Cantor will want to interfere in the production in exchange for Dinah's participation. Meanwhile, outside the Hollywood studio, aspiring actor Joe Simpson gathers a group of tourists for a tour of stars' homes. Although a talented dramatic actor, Joe is unable to find work because he so closely resembles Cantor that people start to laugh as soon as they see him. While Joe waits for one last customer, songwriter Pat Dixon demands her money back from Barney Jackson, a talent agent who had promised to sell her song. When Jackson makes his escape in a taxi, Pat jumps on Joe's bus, mistaking it for another taxi, and realizes the truth too late to get off. After Joe learns of Pat's problems, he offers her a place to stay in the Gower Gulch studio area where his friends, all aspiring entertainers, have built houses out of old movie sets. Among the group are Spike Jones and his City Slickers, a goofy, energetic band, and Tommy Randolph, a singer. Tommy, an unknowing victim of Jackson's trickery, believes that he has a contract to sing with Cantor. The following day, Tommy arrives at Cantor's home, where Farnsworth and Schlenna are doggedly trying to obtain Dinah's services. After some confusion, Cantor has Tommy thrown out of his house, and the producers agree to make Cantor chairman of the benefit committee in return for Dinah's appearance in the show. Despite his promise not to interfere, Cantor makes changes in all the production numbers until Farnsworth, pretending to be a reporter, calls Cantor on the telephone and encourages him to tell his life's story. When Pat learns about the benefit, she suggests that Tommy crash the performance and sing in front of a professional audience. With Pat's help, Tommy sneaks backstage, but is once again kicked out by Cantor. Pat is not defeated, however, and proposes that Joe impersonate Cantor. A few members of the Gower Gulch gang kidnap Cantor, to the delight of Farnsworth and Schlenna. They are nonplussed when Joe appears, but as his only demand is that Tommy be allowed to sing, they continue with rehearsals before the man they think is Cantor changes his mind. After all the stars who have assembled for the show perform, Tommy sings and is such a hit that movie mogul Jack Warner offers to sign him to a contract. Before the end of the show, Cantor escapes from his captors and returns to the theater, but Joe continues his masquerade and joins the company for the grand finale.

Cast

Humphrey Bogart

Himself

Eddie Cantor

Himself/Joe Simpson

Bette Davis

Herself

Olivia De Havilland

Herself

Errol Flynn

Himself

John Garfield

Himself

Joan Leslie

Pat Dixon

Ida Lupino

Herself

Dennis Morgan

Tommy Randolph

Ann Sheridan

Herself

Dinah Shore

Herself

Alexis Smith

Herself

Jack Carson

Himself

Alan Hale

Himself

George Tobias

Himself

Edward Everett Horton

Farnsworth

S. Z. Sakall

Dr. Schlenna

Hattie Mcdaniel

Gossip in "Ice Cold Katie" number

Ruth Donnelly

Nurse Hamilton

Don Wilson

Announcer

Spike Jones

Richard Lane

Barney Jackson

Henry Armetta

Angelo

Joe Derita

Milquetoast

Don Barclay

Pete

Noble Johnson

Charlie, the Indian

Dick Rich

Fred

Ralph Dunn

Marty

James Burke

Bill

Paul Harvey

Dr. Kirby

Frank Mayo

Dr. Wheaton

Mike Mazurki

Olaf

Frank Faylen

Sailor

Eleanor Counts

Sailor's girl friend

Harry Pilcer

Man in broadcasting station

Angi O. Poulos

Waiter

Duke York

Wooden Indian

Billy Benedict

Bus boy

Helen O'hara

Whow girl

Juanita Stark

Secretary

Bennie Bartlett

Page boy

Jerry Mandy

Chef

Betty Farrington

Assistant chef

Billy Wayne

Chauffeur

William Haade

Butler

Mary Treen

Fan

Lou Marcelle

Commentator

Ed Gargan

Doorman

Bert Gordon

Patient

Jack Mower

Engineer

Creighton Hale

Engineer

Stanley Clements

Boy

James Copedge

Boy

Leah Baird

Passenger

Joan Matthews

Passenger

Phyllis Godfrey

Passenger

Lillian West

Passenger

Morgan Brown

Passenger

George French

Passenger

Charles Soldani

Indian

J. W. Cody

Indian

Marjorie Hoschelle

Maid

Anne O'neal

Maid

Howard Mitchell

Policeman

James Flavin

Policeman

Rita Christiani

Ice Cold Katie

Willie Best

Soldier

Jess Lee Brooks

The Justice

Matthew Jones

Gambler

Ford, Harris And Jones

The Trio

Monte Blue

Publicist character

Art Foster

Publicist character

Fred Kelsey

Publicist character

Elmer Ballard

Publicist character

Buster Wiles

Publicist character

Tudor Williams

Publicist character

Allan Cooke

Publicist character

Frederick Mcevoy

Publicist character

Bobby Hale

Publicist character

Will Stanton

Publicist character

Charles Irwin

Publicist character

David Thursby

Publicist character

Henry Iblings

Publicist character

Earl Hunsaker

Publicist character

Hubert Head

Publicist character

Dudley Kuzzell

Publicist character

Ted Billings

Publicist character

Jack Norton

Drunk

Henri Desoto

Maitre d'hotel

Harry Adams

Doorman

Sam Adams

Bartender

Conrad Wiedell

Jitterbug

Joan Winfield

Cigarette girl

Charles Francis

Bald-headed man

Harry Bailey

Bald-headed man

Sylvia Opert

Hat check girl

Nancy Worth

Hat check girls

Harriett Haddon

Lucky star

Harriett Olsen

Lucky star

Nancy Worth

Lucky star

Joy Barlowe

Lucky star

Janet Barrett

Lucky star

Dorothy Schoemer

Lucky star

Dorothy Dayton

Lucky star

Lucille Lamarr

Lucky star

Sylvia Opert

Lucky star

Mary Landa

Lucky star

Dick Earle

Customer

Dick Elliott

Customer

Matt Mchugh

Fireman

Joyce Reynolds

Girl with book

Georgia Lee Settle

Girl

Virginia Patton

Girl

Igor Denavrotsky

Dancer

Arnold Kent

Dancer

Brandon Hurst

Cab driver

Angelita Mari

Duena

Lynne Baggett

Miss Latin America

Mary Landa

Miss Spain

Boyd Irwin

Lelah Taylor

Mark Hellinger

David Butler

Esperanza Domingues

Iris Flores

Maruca Sacasa

Estella Cheesman

Margarita Sevilla

Inez Torres

Paulita Arviza

Jacqueline Murray

Nadine Murray

Videos

Movie Clip

Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) - Blues In The Night, John Garfield Dinah Shore has just opened with the the title song, as radio host Don Wilson helps her segue to top-billed Eddie Cantor and the first big cameo, John Garfield (who co-founded the armed services pro-bono entertainment club the Hollywood Canteen, to which all the stars donated their salaries), with the Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer tune, in one of the funniest bits in the bulky Warner Bros. wartime propaganda showcase, Thank Your Lucky Stars, 1943.
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) - They're Either Too Young Or Too Old Bette Davis (like all the Warner Bros. stars, donating her salary to the Hollywood Canteen she co-founded), delivers an original by Arthur Schwartz and Frank Loesser which earned an Academy Award nomination and became a widely recorded hit, in the variety propaganda effort Thank Your Lucky Stars, 1943, Conrad Wiedell her dance partner.
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) - That's What You Jolly Well Get The schtick for Errol Flynn (who like the other big names, donated his $50,000 salary to the armed services benefit Hollywood Canteen) for the wartime fundraiser show-within-a-show premise of the Warner Bros. propaganda feature is an original by Arthur Schwartz and Frank Loesser, staged by Leroy Prinz, in Thank Your Lucky Stars, 1943.
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) - You Know Who You're Talking To? S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall is the promoter with Edward Everett Horton of a fictional wartime benefit show, and they’re being driven nuts by (pretending) egomaniac star Eddie Cantor, so he doesn’t recognize Humphrey Bogart, maybe because of the impressive scruffy beard, in the Warner Bros. morale-Musical variety hit Thank Your Lucky Stars, 1943.

Trailer

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Sep 25, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 7m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11,440ft

Award Nominations

Best Song

1943

Articles

Thank Your Lucky Stars


During World War II, Hollywood supported the war effort in a variety of ways. Some stars joined the armed forces; others joined the U.S.O. to entertain the troops around the world. Those who stayed home helped out at the Hollywood Canteen, where lonely servicemen passing through Los Angeles on their way to the war in the Pacific could enjoy top-notch entertainment, dance with a movie star and be served a meal by famous celebrities. Studios made all-star films like MGM's Thousands Cheer (1943) and Warner Bros.' Hollywood Canteen (1944), which were shown first to the troops before being released to the public.

Warner Bros' all-star extravaganza Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) not only served as a morale booster for the troops, it also succeeded as a charity effort, with stars donating their $50,000 salaries to the Hollywood Canteen. The musical numbers in the film hang on a flimsy plot about an unknown songwriter and an unknown singer (played by Joan Leslie and Dennis Morgan) who end up appearing in a wartime benefit show. Eddie Cantor plays a dual role, both as an over-the-top, egomaniacal version of himself, and as a sweet-natured tour bus driver who can't get a job as an actor because he looks too much like Eddie Cantor. The entertainer's self-parodying performance, along with those of beloved character actors S.Z. ("Cuddles") Sakall and Edward Everett Horton, are engaging. But the real fun of Thank Your Lucky Stars is seeing Warner Bros.'s top stars kick up their heels in song-and-dance numbers.

Dramatic divas Ida Lupino and Olivia de Havilland chewed gum through a jazzy vaudeville number. De Havilland claimed the gum was her idea to disguise the fact that she was lip-synching her vocals, which were dubbed by Lynn Martin. Errol Flynn plays a boastful cockney sailor, lampooning his war hero image in the jaunty musical number, "That's What You Jolly Well Get." Hattie McDaniel and Willie Best have fun with a novelty number, Ann Sheridan sings a torch song, and Alexis Smith shows off the dancing skills that would win her acclaim decades later in Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical, Follies (1971).

Appropriately, two of the biggest hits in Thank Your Lucky Stars were performed by the founders of the Hollywood Canteen, John Garfield and Bette Davis. Garfield made fun of his screen image, singing a tough-guy version of "Blues in the Night." And Davis wrapped her distinctive voice around a new song by Frank Loesser and Arthur Schwartz, "They're Either Too Young or Too Old." In the song, Davis complains that her man is off to war, and that the only available men who aren't drafted are geezers or pups. The elegantly dressed Davis enters a club looking for a dance partner, and ends up with young Conrad Wiedell (actually a real dance contest winner), who proceeds to fling her around in a wild jitterbug. Davis recalled in her memoirs that Wiedell was terrified that he'd hurt her. Davis told him, "forget about who I am...let your instincts come to the fore, and just do it!" Wiedell did just that, and the number was a sensation. The song was Loesser's first big hit (he would go on to write the songs for Guys and Dolls) and was nominated for an Academy Award, losing to "You'll Never Know" by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon (from the film, Hello Frisco, Hello). Kitty Kallen and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra had a hit with "They're Either Too Young or Too Old," and the song made it to number one on the radio program, The Lucky Strike Hit Parade. Davis would sing it many times over the years.

The real musicians featured in Thank Your Lucky Stars didn't fare so badly either. This was Dinah Shore's film debut, and the reviews took note of her talents. The Variety critic called her "a standout" in her three musical numbers, and added, "she photographs well, can wear clothes that are keyed strictly to eye-appeal....from here on, this songstress is a natural for films." Although Shore never had a big film career, she was very successful in radio and television. Critics also liked the antics of comic musician Spike Jones, and the singing of Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie. In fact, the New York Times' Bosley Crowther noted, Thank Your Lucky Stars was too much of a good thing: "Too many people sing....It is also too much (two hours) of a show. But in straight omnibus entertainment, that's what you have to expect."

Director: David Butler
Producer: Mark Hellinger, Jack L. Warner
Screenplay: Norman Panama, Melvin Frank, James V. Kern, based on a story by Everett Freeman & Arthur Schwartz
Cinematography: Arthur Edeson
Editor: Irene Morra
Costume Design: Milo Anderson
Art Direction: Anton Grot, Leo K. Kuter
Music: Arthur Schwartz, Frank Loesser
Principal Cast: Eddie Cantor (Joe Simpson/Himself), Joan Leslie (Pat Dixon), Dennis Morgan (Tommy Randolph), S.Z. Sakall (Dr. Schlenna), Edward Everett Horton (Farnsworth), Ruth Donnelly (Nurse Hamilton), Joyce Reynolds (Girl With Book), Richard Lane (Barney Johnson).
BW-128m. Closed captioning.

by Margarita Landazuri
Thank Your Lucky Stars

Thank Your Lucky Stars

During World War II, Hollywood supported the war effort in a variety of ways. Some stars joined the armed forces; others joined the U.S.O. to entertain the troops around the world. Those who stayed home helped out at the Hollywood Canteen, where lonely servicemen passing through Los Angeles on their way to the war in the Pacific could enjoy top-notch entertainment, dance with a movie star and be served a meal by famous celebrities. Studios made all-star films like MGM's Thousands Cheer (1943) and Warner Bros.' Hollywood Canteen (1944), which were shown first to the troops before being released to the public. Warner Bros' all-star extravaganza Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) not only served as a morale booster for the troops, it also succeeded as a charity effort, with stars donating their $50,000 salaries to the Hollywood Canteen. The musical numbers in the film hang on a flimsy plot about an unknown songwriter and an unknown singer (played by Joan Leslie and Dennis Morgan) who end up appearing in a wartime benefit show. Eddie Cantor plays a dual role, both as an over-the-top, egomaniacal version of himself, and as a sweet-natured tour bus driver who can't get a job as an actor because he looks too much like Eddie Cantor. The entertainer's self-parodying performance, along with those of beloved character actors S.Z. ("Cuddles") Sakall and Edward Everett Horton, are engaging. But the real fun of Thank Your Lucky Stars is seeing Warner Bros.'s top stars kick up their heels in song-and-dance numbers. Dramatic divas Ida Lupino and Olivia de Havilland chewed gum through a jazzy vaudeville number. De Havilland claimed the gum was her idea to disguise the fact that she was lip-synching her vocals, which were dubbed by Lynn Martin. Errol Flynn plays a boastful cockney sailor, lampooning his war hero image in the jaunty musical number, "That's What You Jolly Well Get." Hattie McDaniel and Willie Best have fun with a novelty number, Ann Sheridan sings a torch song, and Alexis Smith shows off the dancing skills that would win her acclaim decades later in Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical, Follies (1971). Appropriately, two of the biggest hits in Thank Your Lucky Stars were performed by the founders of the Hollywood Canteen, John Garfield and Bette Davis. Garfield made fun of his screen image, singing a tough-guy version of "Blues in the Night." And Davis wrapped her distinctive voice around a new song by Frank Loesser and Arthur Schwartz, "They're Either Too Young or Too Old." In the song, Davis complains that her man is off to war, and that the only available men who aren't drafted are geezers or pups. The elegantly dressed Davis enters a club looking for a dance partner, and ends up with young Conrad Wiedell (actually a real dance contest winner), who proceeds to fling her around in a wild jitterbug. Davis recalled in her memoirs that Wiedell was terrified that he'd hurt her. Davis told him, "forget about who I am...let your instincts come to the fore, and just do it!" Wiedell did just that, and the number was a sensation. The song was Loesser's first big hit (he would go on to write the songs for Guys and Dolls) and was nominated for an Academy Award, losing to "You'll Never Know" by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon (from the film, Hello Frisco, Hello). Kitty Kallen and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra had a hit with "They're Either Too Young or Too Old," and the song made it to number one on the radio program, The Lucky Strike Hit Parade. Davis would sing it many times over the years. The real musicians featured in Thank Your Lucky Stars didn't fare so badly either. This was Dinah Shore's film debut, and the reviews took note of her talents. The Variety critic called her "a standout" in her three musical numbers, and added, "she photographs well, can wear clothes that are keyed strictly to eye-appeal....from here on, this songstress is a natural for films." Although Shore never had a big film career, she was very successful in radio and television. Critics also liked the antics of comic musician Spike Jones, and the singing of Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie. In fact, the New York Times' Bosley Crowther noted, Thank Your Lucky Stars was too much of a good thing: "Too many people sing....It is also too much (two hours) of a show. But in straight omnibus entertainment, that's what you have to expect." Director: David Butler Producer: Mark Hellinger, Jack L. Warner Screenplay: Norman Panama, Melvin Frank, James V. Kern, based on a story by Everett Freeman & Arthur Schwartz Cinematography: Arthur Edeson Editor: Irene Morra Costume Design: Milo Anderson Art Direction: Anton Grot, Leo K. Kuter Music: Arthur Schwartz, Frank Loesser Principal Cast: Eddie Cantor (Joe Simpson/Himself), Joan Leslie (Pat Dixon), Dennis Morgan (Tommy Randolph), S.Z. Sakall (Dr. Schlenna), Edward Everett Horton (Farnsworth), Ruth Donnelly (Nurse Hamilton), Joyce Reynolds (Girl With Book), Richard Lane (Barney Johnson). BW-128m. Closed captioning. by Margarita Landazuri

Quotes

Dinah, Please tell them that I'm Cantor and I'll double your salary.
- Eddie Cantor
I don't know who you are, but if you'll double my salary, you're certainly not Cantor!
- Dinah Shore

Trivia

Some prints are missing Bette Davis' part.

Reportedly the only film in which Bette Davis actually sings. The Oscar-nominated song "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" introduced here by Davis became a hit for Jimmy Dorsey with vocalist Kitty Kallen.

Notes

Both producer Mark Hellinger and director David Butler make brief appearances as themselves in the film. Hollywood Reporter news items add the following information about the production: The scene in which "Joe" tours stars' homes was filmed on the streets north of Sunset Blvd in Beverly Hills, CA. Herman Mankiewicz was announced as a writer, but his contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. Paul Henreid was replaced by George Tobias when Henreid could not learn a jitterbug routine. The film used the "heaven" sets from the Warner Bros. 1936 film Green Pastures and also the background sets from the Al Jolson number "Going to Heaven on a Missouri Mule" from the 1934 Warner Bros.' film Wonder Bar (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.5199).
       Spike Jones and His City Slickers and Dinah Shore made their motion picture debuts in this film. In the film, Bette Davis sings and dances the jitterbug; Errol Flynn sings a sea chanty, John Garfield satirizes the Warner Bros.' film Blues in the Night (see entry above); Jack Carson and Alan Hale perform a vaudeville routine; Oliva de Havilland, George Tobias and Ida Lupino perform an energetic dance; Ann Sheridan sings "Love Isn't Born, It's Made;" Alexis Smith dances; Willie Best and Hattie McDonald sing and dance; and Humphrey Bogart spoofs his hard-boiled persona. Bert Gordon, also known as "The Mad Russian," who appears in the film as the lobotomy patient, was a regular on Eddie Cantor's radio program from 1935-49. Arthur Schwartz and Frank Loesser's song, "They're Either Too Young or Too Old," was nominated for an Academy Award.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1943

Released in United States 1943