The Stork Club


1h 38m 1945
The Stork Club

Brief Synopsis

A hat-check girl gets rich quick when she saves a millionaire's life.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Dec 28, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
B. G. DeSylva Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,814ft

Synopsis

Wealthy Irishman J. B. Bates, whose wife of forty years left him six months previously because of his parsimony, stumbles off a pier and is saved by Judy Peabody, a hat check girl at Manhattan's famous Stork Club. Bates's near-drowning causes him to ponder his miserly ways, and he instructs his lawyer, Tom Curtis, to send Judy a letter informing her that accounts have been opened for her at a bank, a hotel, and a department store because she has been "most accommodating" to her benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous. Wearing shabby clothes, Bates arrives at the Stork Club to see Judy receive the letter, and Judy, believing he is a vagabond, gets him a job as a busboy. Bates quits within minutes, and Judy, who calls him "Pop," takes him in. Judy, meanwhile, suspects that her benefactor is her boss, Sherman Billingsley, a "wolf" with ulterior motives. Judy's bandleader boyfriend, Danny Wilton, returns unexpectedly from a stint in the Marines and assumes that Judy is a kept woman. When Judy confronts Billingsley, he merely escorts her out of his office, and Danny, who hoped to get an audition with Billingsley, sees him with his arm around Judy. Determined to help Danny, Judy tells his band to stay with her at her hotel, the Yorke Towers. She then buys them all new clothes in an effort to bankrupt her benefactor for ruining her love affair. To stop Judy from spending any more of his money, Bates confesses that he is the benefactor, but she does not believe him. Judy then calls Curtis, but he refuses to confirm Bates's story. Meanwhile, Judy rehearses with the band and gets them a job with Billingsley by posing as gossip columnist Walter Winchell. When Bates's estranged wife Edith arrives at the Yorke Towers, Judy assures her that she is not "Pop's" mistress and that "Pop" loves his wife. Edith then informs Judy that "Pop" is rich, and Judy, finally realizing he is her benefactor, schemes with Edith to get their men back during the band's debut at the Stork Club that night. When the band plays Edith and Bates's song, they are reconciled. Curtis then assures Danny that "Pop" was Judy's benefactor, and Judy sings with the band. Bates and Edith then give Danny and Judy a million dollars for a wedding present.

Cast

Betty Hutton

Judy Peabody

Barry Fitzgerald

J. B. Bates

Don Defore

Danny Wilton

Robert Benchley

Tom Curtis

Bill Goodwin

Sherman Billingsley

Iris Adrian

Gwen

Mikhail Rasumny

Coretti

Mary Young

Mrs. Edith Bates

Andy Russell

Jim

Charles Coleman

Fiske

Perc Launders

Tom, member of band

Mary Currier

Hazel Billingsley

Noel Neill

Jacqueline Billingsley

Gloria Donovan

Barbara Billingsley

Mae Busch

Vera

Jean Acker

Saleslady

Pierre Watkin

Mr. Gray

John Deauville

Elevator boy

William Halligan

Barney, theatrical agent

Douglas Wood

Dr. Marston

William Meader

Chauffeur

Diane Garrett

Cigarette girl

Jackie Shannon

Cigarette girl

Dorothy Garrett

Cashier

Cosmo Sardo

Rocco, Stork Club waiter

Jack Rice

Stork Club captain

Roger Neury

Stork Club captain

Steve Darrell

Stork Club captain

Frank Chalfant

Messenger

William Haade

G.I. in canteen

Alvina Tomin

Showgirl

Georgia Mccready

Showgirl

Vivian Mason

Showgirl

Joan Morton

Showgirl

Marie Icide

Showgirl

Miriam Vance

Showgirl

Renee Randall

Showgirl

Audrey Korn

Showgirl

Beverly Thompson

Showgirl

Audrey Westphall

Showgirl

Grady Sutton

Peter, salesman

Paul Stanton

Mr. Hanson, Locke's

Jerry James

Master of ceremonies

William Newell

Higgins, chauffeur

Tony Paton

Dishwasher

Audrey Young

Jenny, check girl

Roberta Jonay

Molly, check girl

Edwin Chandler

Deb's escort

Elaine Riley

Deb

Bruce Donovan

Bill, Stork Club starter

Jane Starr

Billingsley's secretary

Anthony Caruso

Joe, fisherman

Darrell Huntley

Chuck, fisherman

Jimmy Dundee

Fred, fisherman

Harry Hays Morgan

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Dec 28, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
B. G. DeSylva Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,814ft

Articles

The Stork Club


A hat-check girl (Betty Hutton) rescues a tramp from drowning. But the tramp (Barry Fitzgerald) is actually a millionaire who now anonymously provides the girl with a luxury pad and a bank account to match. It all seems swell enough, but romantic complications ensue when her boyfriend (Don DeFore) re-enters the picture, none too pleased at her new situation.

This may be a featherweight plotline, but it's all that's needed for The Stork Club (1945), a light musical comedy starring the then-popular, now often-overlooked Betty Hutton. The Stork Club came in the middle of a string of popular Hutton comedies and musicals such as And the Angels Sing (1944), Here Come the Waves (1944), Incendiary Blonde (1945), Cross My Heart (1946), and The Perils of Pauline (1947). Released just after Christmas, 1945, The Stork Club features songs by several top artists of the day - Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans and Hoagy Carmichael, whose song "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" (written with Paul Francis Webster and performed by Hutton) is the movie's musical highlight.

Producer and co-writer B.G. "Buddy" DeSylva was best known as a songwriter himself, having penned songs like "California, Here I Come" and "Look For the Silver Lining" as well as the hit Broadway musical Good News, which was the basis for two motion pictures. In the 1930s he turned to producing theater, then movies, finding success with Shirley Temple vehicles. As a Paramount executive, he guided films from Billy Wilder and Leo McCarey, whose Going My Way (1944) won the studio's first Best Picture Academy Award. When DeSylva stepped down as Paramount production chief, his first independently-produced project was The Stork Club, which Paramount distributed. (DeSylva would go on to co-found Capitol Records.)

The New York Times' Bosley Crowther wrote of this movie, "A bright and beribboned Christmas package was opened at the Paramount yesterday to reveal a purely frivolous donation, but one which is good for lots of laughs." Betty Hutton, he wrote, was positively "tom-boisterous."

Hundreds of photos were taken of the real Stork Club in New York in order to make the sets authentic. Some say that the owner of the Stork Club, Sherman Billingsley, lobbied to get this film made and perhaps partially financed it as a giant advertisement. He's played on screen by Bill Goodwin, who is best-remembered as the announcer on the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio program.

Cinematographer Charles Lang had been nominated for six Oscars® when he started shooting The Stork Club. By the time he retired in 1973, he had amassed 18 nominations over his career, winning for A Farewell to Arms (1932). Humorist/actor Robert Benchley, here playing a lawyer named Tom Curtis, died of a cerebral hemorrhage a month before The Stork Club opened. He would appear in two more films posthumously.

Producer: Harold Wilson, Buddy G. DeSylva
Director: Hal Walker
Screenplay: Buddy G. DeSylva, Jack McGowan
Cinematography: Charles Lang
Film Editing: Gladys Carley
Art Direction: Hans Dreier, A. Earl Hedrick
Music: Robert Emmett Dolan
Cast: Betty Hutton (Judy Peabody), Barry Fitzgerald (Jerry B. Bates), Don DeFore (Sgt. Danny Wilton), Andy Russell (Jimmy Jones), Robert Benchley (Tom P. Curtis), Bill Goodwin (Sherman Billingsley).
BW-98m. Closed captioning.

by Jeremy Arnold
The Stork Club

The Stork Club

A hat-check girl (Betty Hutton) rescues a tramp from drowning. But the tramp (Barry Fitzgerald) is actually a millionaire who now anonymously provides the girl with a luxury pad and a bank account to match. It all seems swell enough, but romantic complications ensue when her boyfriend (Don DeFore) re-enters the picture, none too pleased at her new situation. This may be a featherweight plotline, but it's all that's needed for The Stork Club (1945), a light musical comedy starring the then-popular, now often-overlooked Betty Hutton. The Stork Club came in the middle of a string of popular Hutton comedies and musicals such as And the Angels Sing (1944), Here Come the Waves (1944), Incendiary Blonde (1945), Cross My Heart (1946), and The Perils of Pauline (1947). Released just after Christmas, 1945, The Stork Club features songs by several top artists of the day - Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans and Hoagy Carmichael, whose song "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" (written with Paul Francis Webster and performed by Hutton) is the movie's musical highlight. Producer and co-writer B.G. "Buddy" DeSylva was best known as a songwriter himself, having penned songs like "California, Here I Come" and "Look For the Silver Lining" as well as the hit Broadway musical Good News, which was the basis for two motion pictures. In the 1930s he turned to producing theater, then movies, finding success with Shirley Temple vehicles. As a Paramount executive, he guided films from Billy Wilder and Leo McCarey, whose Going My Way (1944) won the studio's first Best Picture Academy Award. When DeSylva stepped down as Paramount production chief, his first independently-produced project was The Stork Club, which Paramount distributed. (DeSylva would go on to co-found Capitol Records.) The New York Times' Bosley Crowther wrote of this movie, "A bright and beribboned Christmas package was opened at the Paramount yesterday to reveal a purely frivolous donation, but one which is good for lots of laughs." Betty Hutton, he wrote, was positively "tom-boisterous." Hundreds of photos were taken of the real Stork Club in New York in order to make the sets authentic. Some say that the owner of the Stork Club, Sherman Billingsley, lobbied to get this film made and perhaps partially financed it as a giant advertisement. He's played on screen by Bill Goodwin, who is best-remembered as the announcer on the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio program. Cinematographer Charles Lang had been nominated for six Oscars® when he started shooting The Stork Club. By the time he retired in 1973, he had amassed 18 nominations over his career, winning for A Farewell to Arms (1932). Humorist/actor Robert Benchley, here playing a lawyer named Tom Curtis, died of a cerebral hemorrhage a month before The Stork Club opened. He would appear in two more films posthumously. Producer: Harold Wilson, Buddy G. DeSylva Director: Hal Walker Screenplay: Buddy G. DeSylva, Jack McGowan Cinematography: Charles Lang Film Editing: Gladys Carley Art Direction: Hans Dreier, A. Earl Hedrick Music: Robert Emmett Dolan Cast: Betty Hutton (Judy Peabody), Barry Fitzgerald (Jerry B. Bates), Don DeFore (Sgt. Danny Wilton), Andy Russell (Jimmy Jones), Robert Benchley (Tom P. Curtis), Bill Goodwin (Sherman Billingsley). BW-98m. Closed captioning. by Jeremy Arnold

Quotes

Trivia

More than 700 photographs of the Stork Club in New York City were taken to help the set designers of the movie.

Notes

This film was B. G. DeSylva's first independent production following his relinquishing of the post of executive producer in charge of production at Paramount. A Hollywood Reporter news item on the day production began noted that actor Noel Madison was to make his debut as a feature director with this film, but by April 24, 1945, he had withdrawn from the film and was replaced by Hal Walker. Madison later became a producer and director. On July 13, 1945, Hollywood Reporter announced that associate producer Harold Wilson took over the final preparations for the film because B. G. DeSylva was ill. According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, DeSylva purchased the right to use the Stork Club's name from his friend, Sherman Billingsley. More than seven hundred photographs of the Stork Club at 3 East 53rd Street in New York City were taken to guide the set designers for this film. The film marked the debut of singer Andy Russell. Hollywood Reporter also noted that in mid-January 1945, Danny Kaye was considered for Betty Hutton's co-star in the film. Harry Hays Morgan, who had a bit role in the film, was formerly in the diplomatic service in Europe and was a member of the American Olympic bobsled team for two years.