Let's Be Happy


1h 33m 1957
Let's Be Happy

Brief Synopsis

An heiress on the loose in Scotland is pursued by fortune hunters.

Film Details

Also Known As
Jeannie
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
May 26, 1957
Premiere Information
London opening: 9 May 1957
Production Company
Marcel Hellman Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain; Elstree, England, Great Britain; Loch Lomond, Scotland, Great Britain; St. Andrews, Scotland, Great Britain; Scotland, Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Jeannie by Aimée Stuart (London, 6 Feb 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
8,383ft

Synopsis

Twenty-eight-year-old Jeannie MacLean is a resident of the small Vermont town of Heatherdale. Since her thrifty grandfather's death, Jeannie has been forced to take in neighbors' washing in order to support herself. However, after the Reverend MacDonald delivers a letter her grandfather left for her, Jeannie discovers his will leaving her almost five thousand dollars. Jeannie immediately decides to spend the money on a visit to Scotland to see the Edinburgh Festival, but the only reservation she can get at the last moment is on an Air France flight to Paris. On board the plane, she is seated next to Stanley Smith, a washing machine inventor from Boise, Idaho, who is hoping to sell the European rights to his invention to a businessman in Paris. When they arrive in Paris, they go their separate ways, but after Stanley learns that Mr. Fielding, the man he needs to see, is on his honeymoon in Edinburgh, they meet again on the train to Edinburgh. After a mix-up with Jeannie's boardinghouse reservation leaves her without a room, she goes to the posh hotel where Stanley is staying to see if he can help her. While Stanley tries to arrange a room for her, Jeannie is approached by impoverished Lord James MacNairn, who is under the impression that she is an American millionairess. Jimmy is reduced to living in two rooms of his family's castle and needs a wealthy wife to restore the castle and his family's fortunes. After Stanley secures the hotel's bridal suite for Jeannie, they arrange to go out that evening. However, Stanley, who admits to a fondness for glamorous, red-haired women, meets Helene, a French fashion model, and breaks his date with Jeannie as Helene is available only that evening. The next day, while Stanley pursues Mr. and Mrs. Fielding to St. Andrews, Jimmy shows Jeannie around Edinburgh and invites her to a ballet. Jeannie then buys an elegant evening gown for the event, unaware that Stanley has arranged tickets for them to attend a different event. When they meet by chance in the lobby, Stanley thinks she is going out with him, but she tells him that she has a date with a gentleman and accuses him of lying to her. Stanley and Helene follow Jeannie and Jimmy to the ballet and later dine separately in the same restaurant. Jeannie is enchanted by Jimmy and over the next few days, while Stanley and Fielding negotiate, Jimmy shows Jeannie more of Scotland's scenic beauty, including Loch Lomond and his nearby castle. Later, when Stanley learns from the hotel's page boy that Jeannie is finally alone, he becomes distracted while signing the documents on the deal with Fielding, and leaves to find her. However, Stanley encounters Jimmy instead and tells him to abandon the chase. At dinner that evening, when Jeannie tells Jimmy that she is leaving the next day, he asks her to marry him. Stanley interrupts them to announce that he has sold the European rights to his washing machine and Jeannie informs him that she and Jimmy are engaged. After Stanley leaves, Jeannie tells Jimmy that they will have to wait to get married until he has some money, as all of hers is gone. Jimmy explains that he thought that she was a millionairess and that he is totally broke. However, he adds that although he originally wanted to marry Jeannie for her money, he now wants to marry her for herself. Jeannie tells Jimmy that she likes him, but not enough to marry him. After Jeannie sails back to the United States, she sells the house in Heatherdale and prepares to move to New York. As she is packing, Stanley shows up and shows her a newspaper story about Jimmy's engagement to a toothpaste heiress. Stanley tells her that he loves her and, when he asks her to marry him, she agrees.

Film Details

Also Known As
Jeannie
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
May 26, 1957
Premiere Information
London opening: 9 May 1957
Production Company
Marcel Hellman Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain; Elstree, England, Great Britain; Loch Lomond, Scotland, Great Britain; St. Andrews, Scotland, Great Britain; Scotland, Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Jeannie by Aimée Stuart (London, 6 Feb 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
8,383ft

Articles

Let's Be Happy


When washerwoman Jeannie MacLean (Vera-Ellen) suddenly comes into some money, she immediately declares "you're only young once" and leaves her Vermont hometown for a fabulous trip to Scotland, where, unbeknownst to her, a continental romance -- and all its ensuing complications -- awaits. In this, her final movie shot on location in Scotland, Vera-Ellen gets to show off the intuitive dance intelligence she brought to musicals like On the Town (1949) with Gene Kelly and Three Little Words (1950) with Fred Astaire. Whether she's celebrating her new adventure with a raucous game of make believe while surrounded by children, or skipping giddily around a luxurious hotel room in her pajamas, the former Rockette's alert and lithe presence proves how she was one of the underrated dance stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals. While her post-retirement years were full of private pain (anorexia, arthritis, and withdrawal from the public after the premature death of her infant daughter), in Let's Be Happy the skill and precision of her dancing lets us believe she's happy -- and it's impossible not to share in her joy.

By Violet LeVoit
Let's Be Happy

Let's Be Happy

When washerwoman Jeannie MacLean (Vera-Ellen) suddenly comes into some money, she immediately declares "you're only young once" and leaves her Vermont hometown for a fabulous trip to Scotland, where, unbeknownst to her, a continental romance -- and all its ensuing complications -- awaits. In this, her final movie shot on location in Scotland, Vera-Ellen gets to show off the intuitive dance intelligence she brought to musicals like On the Town (1949) with Gene Kelly and Three Little Words (1950) with Fred Astaire. Whether she's celebrating her new adventure with a raucous game of make believe while surrounded by children, or skipping giddily around a luxurious hotel room in her pajamas, the former Rockette's alert and lithe presence proves how she was one of the underrated dance stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals. While her post-retirement years were full of private pain (anorexia, arthritis, and withdrawal from the public after the premature death of her infant daughter), in Let's Be Happy the skill and precision of her dancing lets us believe she's happy -- and it's impossible not to share in her joy. By Violet LeVoit

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film's working title was Jeannie. The print viewed was the U.S. release version, which was approximately fourteen minutes shorter than the version that opened in London. The order of the opening cast credits differs from the order of the end credits. The original prints released in Britain were made by Technicolor. The film was shot in a number of locations in Scotland, including Edinburgh, Loch Lomond and St. Andrews. The Variety review of the London opening included Jean Cadell (Mrs. Cathie) and Gordon Jackson (Dougal MacLean) in the cast, but they were not in the print viewed. Additionally, production material deposited by Allied Artists in the U.S. copyright registration includes Jameson Clark (MacPhail) in the cast, but he was not in the print viewed. Hollywood Reporter news items also include Gay Cameron, A.G. Scott, Joela Hellman, Eira Heath, David Keir, Gilbert France, Walter Horsbugh, Fiona Clyne and Andrew Downie in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States May 26, 1957

Released in United States Summer May 26, 1967

Remake of "Jeannie" (United Kingdom/1941).

CinemaScope

Released in United States May 26, 1957

Released in United States Summer May 26, 1967