Hooray for Love


1h 10m 1935
Hooray for Love

Brief Synopsis

A playboy student backs a musical show.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Release Date
Jun 14, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Just out of college, aspiring Broadway man Doug Tyler makes the rounds of theatrical producers, but can only find work as a tour guide in a New York radio station. When his favorite singer, Pat Thatcher, performs at the station, the lovestruck Doug disrupts the show and is fired. On his way out, he runs into Commodore Jason Thatcher, Pat's conman father and would-be theatrical backer, who eventually convinces him to invest his limited inheritance in Hooray for Love , a musical revue featuring Pat. Shortly before the show's opening, however, the producers are arrested as swindlers, and with no more money, Doug is forced to stop rehearsals. Chagrined, the commodore convinces "The Duchess," the wealthy Mrs. Magenta P. Schultz, to write him a check for $15,000 in exchange for a marriage ceremony at sea. With the money in hand, the commodore slips away from the ship and returns to New York, where rehearsals continue under Doug's direction. On opening night, the costume and set suppliers, having discovered that an angry Mrs. Schultz stopped payment on the check, demand Doug's arrest, and once again, the show appears doomed. Pat, now in love with Doug, talks the suppliers into taking a chance on the show's success, while her unsuspecting father, desperate with guilt, proceeds with the marriage to The Duchess. The show goes on, and, as Pat sings "I'm Falling in Love All Over Again," Doug proposes from the wings.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Musical
Release Date
Jun 14, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Hooray for Love


When RKO released the show-biz musical Hooray for Love, in 1935, the studio was probably banking on the film as a showcase for rising stars Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond, both of whom are perfectly charming. But Hooray for Love -- featuring songs written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh -- is most notable for a stylish, elaborate musical number featuring three great African-American performers of the day, figures who are influential to this day: Midway through Hooray for Love, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Fats Waller, and a very young, very willowy tap dancer known as Jeni Le Gon, hoof and sing their way through "Living in a Great Big Way," which tells, in a stylized fashion, the story of a woman who's evicted from her apartment by a greedy landlord. The woman, Le Gon, is tossed out onto the street with her belongings. The mayor of Harlem, Robinson, dressed in a natty three-piece suit complete with pocket square, bowler hat, and cane, comes along and reassures her that things aren't nearly as bad as they seem, as long as she "has a snap in her fingers" and "a rhythm in her walk." and Meanwhile, Waller - one of the movers charged with carrying Le Gon's things from her flat, can't resist sitting down at the piano, which has been put out by the curb, to perform a a jaunty call-and-response duet with Robinson.

"Living in a Great Big Way" is just one of the musical numbers in the show-within-a-show structure of Hooray for Love, directed by Walter Lang. Sothern plays a nightclub singer who's unimpressed by the college boy, Raymond, who has a crush on her. His hope is to put on a big Broadway show after he graduates, but nothing goes as he'd hoped. Then he meets a slick operator known as "the Commodore" (Thurston Hall), who hooks him up with a duo of producers who aren't all that they seem. The Commodore also happens to be Sothern's father. Sothern is happy enough to be in the show, but wants little to do with Raymond - until, of course, he wins her over with his peculiar brand of trying-too-hard charm, which actually is surprisingly endearing.

Raymond had been performing for years by the time he was cast in Hooray for Love: He'd attended the Professional Children's School in New York City, and had made his Broadway debut at age 17. In 1931, he made his first Hollywood film, Personal Maid, later earning leading roles in films like Rowland V. Lee's charming Zoo in Budapest (1933). (Raymond was the husband of Jeanette MacDonald; the two were married from 1937 until her death in 1965.) In 1935, Sothern, a saucy blonde with a wry demeanor and a knack for comedy, was still a relative newcomer, having played a number of uncredited roles throughout the early 1930s. She was signed by Columbia pictures in 1933, only to be dropped in 1936, at which time she moved to RKO. (In 1939, she would move to MGM, playing the title role in the comedy Maisie, the first film of what would become a popular series stretching well into the 1940s.)

Raymond and Sothern proved to have a spark of on-screen chemistry and went on to make several other films together, including Walking on Air and Smartest Girl in Town (both 1936) and There Goes My Girl and She's Got Everything (both 1937). In Hooray for Love, their numbers together - particularly the finale, "I'm in Love All Over Again" - are appealing in a low-key way. But nothing else in Hooray for Love quite compares to the casually magnificent "Living in a Great Big Way," which marked the first Hollywood appearance of both the always-wonderful Waller and the lesser-known, but marvelous, Le Gon. (Robinson had appeared earlier that year with Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel.) Le Gon is terrific in "Living in a Great Big Way," a charismatic performer who preferred to perform in pants - in this number, she's dressed in lanky trousers and simple white polo neck. Le Gon had a long career as a dancer, singer, and actress, and taught dance until the end of her life: She died in 2012 at age 96. In Le Gon's New York Times obituary, Bruce Weber lauded her as "the rare female tapper who distinguished herself as a solo performer in the first half of the 20th century" and noted that, partly as a result of her preference for pants over skirts, she "developed an athletic, acrobatic style, employing mule kicks and flying splits, more in the manner of the male dancers of the time." Le Gon herself said, in an interview with The Globe and Mail of Toronto in 2009, "I could do the girls' splits, but I used the boys' splits because you could get up faster." That agility is all on display in "Living in a Great Big Way," one of the treasures of African-American performance in Hollywood, nestled in a movie where you wouldn't think to look for it.

By Stephanie Zacharek

SOURCES:
The New York Times
IMDb
Hooray For Love

Hooray for Love

When RKO released the show-biz musical Hooray for Love, in 1935, the studio was probably banking on the film as a showcase for rising stars Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond, both of whom are perfectly charming. But Hooray for Love -- featuring songs written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh -- is most notable for a stylish, elaborate musical number featuring three great African-American performers of the day, figures who are influential to this day: Midway through Hooray for Love, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Fats Waller, and a very young, very willowy tap dancer known as Jeni Le Gon, hoof and sing their way through "Living in a Great Big Way," which tells, in a stylized fashion, the story of a woman who's evicted from her apartment by a greedy landlord. The woman, Le Gon, is tossed out onto the street with her belongings. The mayor of Harlem, Robinson, dressed in a natty three-piece suit complete with pocket square, bowler hat, and cane, comes along and reassures her that things aren't nearly as bad as they seem, as long as she "has a snap in her fingers" and "a rhythm in her walk." and Meanwhile, Waller - one of the movers charged with carrying Le Gon's things from her flat, can't resist sitting down at the piano, which has been put out by the curb, to perform a a jaunty call-and-response duet with Robinson. "Living in a Great Big Way" is just one of the musical numbers in the show-within-a-show structure of Hooray for Love, directed by Walter Lang. Sothern plays a nightclub singer who's unimpressed by the college boy, Raymond, who has a crush on her. His hope is to put on a big Broadway show after he graduates, but nothing goes as he'd hoped. Then he meets a slick operator known as "the Commodore" (Thurston Hall), who hooks him up with a duo of producers who aren't all that they seem. The Commodore also happens to be Sothern's father. Sothern is happy enough to be in the show, but wants little to do with Raymond - until, of course, he wins her over with his peculiar brand of trying-too-hard charm, which actually is surprisingly endearing. Raymond had been performing for years by the time he was cast in Hooray for Love: He'd attended the Professional Children's School in New York City, and had made his Broadway debut at age 17. In 1931, he made his first Hollywood film, Personal Maid, later earning leading roles in films like Rowland V. Lee's charming Zoo in Budapest (1933). (Raymond was the husband of Jeanette MacDonald; the two were married from 1937 until her death in 1965.) In 1935, Sothern, a saucy blonde with a wry demeanor and a knack for comedy, was still a relative newcomer, having played a number of uncredited roles throughout the early 1930s. She was signed by Columbia pictures in 1933, only to be dropped in 1936, at which time she moved to RKO. (In 1939, she would move to MGM, playing the title role in the comedy Maisie, the first film of what would become a popular series stretching well into the 1940s.) Raymond and Sothern proved to have a spark of on-screen chemistry and went on to make several other films together, including Walking on Air and Smartest Girl in Town (both 1936) and There Goes My Girl and She's Got Everything (both 1937). In Hooray for Love, their numbers together - particularly the finale, "I'm in Love All Over Again" - are appealing in a low-key way. But nothing else in Hooray for Love quite compares to the casually magnificent "Living in a Great Big Way," which marked the first Hollywood appearance of both the always-wonderful Waller and the lesser-known, but marvelous, Le Gon. (Robinson had appeared earlier that year with Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel.) Le Gon is terrific in "Living in a Great Big Way," a charismatic performer who preferred to perform in pants - in this number, she's dressed in lanky trousers and simple white polo neck. Le Gon had a long career as a dancer, singer, and actress, and taught dance until the end of her life: She died in 2012 at age 96. In Le Gon's New York Times obituary, Bruce Weber lauded her as "the rare female tapper who distinguished herself as a solo performer in the first half of the 20th century" and noted that, partly as a result of her preference for pants over skirts, she "developed an athletic, acrobatic style, employing mule kicks and flying splits, more in the manner of the male dancers of the time." Le Gon herself said, in an interview with The Globe and Mail of Toronto in 2009, "I could do the girls' splits, but I used the boys' splits because you could get up faster." That agility is all on display in "Living in a Great Big Way," one of the treasures of African-American performance in Hollywood, nestled in a movie where you wouldn't think to look for it. By Stephanie Zacharek SOURCES: The New York Times IMDb

TCM Remembers - Ann Sothern


Actress Ann Sothern passed away on March 15th at the age of 89. Her film career spanned sixty years and included a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for The Whales of August (1987) and several Emmy nominations for her roles in the TV shows Private Secretary (1953) and The Ann Sothern Show (1958). Sothern was born as Harriette Lake in North Dakota. She made her first film appearance in 1927 in small roles (so small, in fact, that some sources omit any films before 1929) before deciding to work on Broadway instead. Shortly afterwards she signed with Columbia Pictures where studio head Harry Cohn insisted she change her name because there were already too many actors with the last name of Lake. So "Ann" came from her mother's name Annette and "Sothern" from Shakespearean actor E.H. Sothern. For most of the 1930s she appeared in light comedies working with Eddie Cantor, Maurice Chevalier, Mickey Rooney and Fredric March. However, it wasn't until she switched to MGM (after a brief period with RKO) and made the film Maisie (1939) that Sothern hit pay dirt. It proved enormously popular and led to a series of nine more films through 1947 when she moved into dramas and musicals. During the 50s, Sothern made a mark with her TV series but returned to mostly second tier movies in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally she earned an Oscar nomination for her work in 1987's The Whales of August (in which, incidentally, her daughter Tisha Sterling played her at an earlier age). Turner Classic Movies plans to host a retrospective film tribute to her in July. Check back for details in June.

TCM Remembers - Ann Sothern

Actress Ann Sothern passed away on March 15th at the age of 89. Her film career spanned sixty years and included a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for The Whales of August (1987) and several Emmy nominations for her roles in the TV shows Private Secretary (1953) and The Ann Sothern Show (1958). Sothern was born as Harriette Lake in North Dakota. She made her first film appearance in 1927 in small roles (so small, in fact, that some sources omit any films before 1929) before deciding to work on Broadway instead. Shortly afterwards she signed with Columbia Pictures where studio head Harry Cohn insisted she change her name because there were already too many actors with the last name of Lake. So "Ann" came from her mother's name Annette and "Sothern" from Shakespearean actor E.H. Sothern. For most of the 1930s she appeared in light comedies working with Eddie Cantor, Maurice Chevalier, Mickey Rooney and Fredric March. However, it wasn't until she switched to MGM (after a brief period with RKO) and made the film Maisie (1939) that Sothern hit pay dirt. It proved enormously popular and led to a series of nine more films through 1947 when she moved into dramas and musicals. During the 50s, Sothern made a mark with her TV series but returned to mostly second tier movies in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally she earned an Oscar nomination for her work in 1987's The Whales of August (in which, incidentally, her daughter Tisha Sterling played her at an earlier age). Turner Classic Movies plans to host a retrospective film tribute to her in July. Check back for details in June.

Quotes

Oh, I hate the country. I'm afraid of the wildflowers.
- Pat

Trivia

Notes

Marc Lachmann's unpublished story was called "The Show Must Go On." According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Fred Keating dropped out of this production because of a scheduling conflict. Although Motion Picture Herald states that Thurston Hall was a stage and radio veteran who was making his screen debut in this production, his movie acting career actually dates back to the early silent films. Maria Gambarelli was a noted ballerina of the 1930s. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, a nightclub sequence was shot at Prudential Studios because of overcrowding at RKO.