Sing Your Worries Away


1h 11m 1942
Sing Your Worries Away

Brief Synopsis

A daffy songwriter inherits a fortune but has to fight off gangsters to get it.

Film Details

Also Known As
I'm Dying to Live, Why Worry?
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Mar 6, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,364ft

Synopsis

Tommy Jones comes to the Boat House Inn, searching for his missing friend, Luke Brown. Convinced by his "cosmic urge" that Brown's disappearance is linked to club owner Smiley Clark, Tommy enters the lounge and meets Bebe, the hat check girl, and Carol Brewster, the cigarette girl. Soon after, Carol's fourth cousin, Chow Brewster, walks in and asks to see Smiley, to whom he wishes to sell some songs. At first Smiley orders Chow thrown out of the club, but when Chesty Martin, Smiley's partner, shows him a newspaper clipping concerning the heirs of millionaire Jonathan Brewster, he realizes that Chow and Carol are Brewster's missing heirs. Chesty and Smiley then formulate a plan to eliminate Chow and marry Carol for her money. Because the Brewsters are a family of worriers, Chesty proposes "worrying Chow to death," after which Smiley will marry Carol. Back in the lounge, Carol introduces Chow to Tommy, who prophesizes fame and fortune for him. Encouraged by Tommy's prediction, Chow invites him to become a partner in his songwriting enterprise. Although the business fails miserably, Tommy and Carol succeed in romance. Smiley, becoming impatient for Chow's demise, arranges a party for him at the club. Insisting that Chow dress in formal attire, Smiley gives him a magician's coat, and when birds and flowers begin to appear from his sleeves, Chow suffers a case of nerves. To relax Chow, Chesty suggests that he and Tommy sample different alcoholic spirits. After they both pass out, Brown appears at the club, demanding his wallet and newspaper clipping. Smiley's thugs abduct Brown and the next morning, Chow and Tommy awaken with a hangover at the apartment of Chow's fiancée, Bebe. Soon after, Smiley phones and invites Chow back to the club and Tommy follows him. Smiley has ordered Brown hypnotized, and when Chow enters, he tells the songwriter that he has murdered the unconscious Brown. When Rocksey Rochelle, Chesty's girl friend, convinces Chow that suicide offers him a path to immortality, Chow decides to jump in the lake. Tommy walks onto the pier just in time to prevent Chow from jumping, but both men fall in the water. Floating under the pier, Chow hears Smiley, Chesty and Rocksey congratulating themselves over his death. When Tommy surfaces, they blame him for Chow's "murder." Soon after, Bebe comes to the pier to bid her fiancé farewell, and Chow calls to her and climbs onto the pier. When Brown, in a trance, walks onto the pier, Chow realizes that he is not a murderer. Tommy then returns to the lake and, upon seeing Chow, realizes that he is not a murderer, either. After slapping Brown back to consciousness, Tommy introduces him to Chow. When Brown informs Chow about the Brewster inheritance, Bebe realizes that Carol is in danger and rushes to the lounge, where Smiley is forcing her to marry him. Chow and Tommy come to Carol's rescue but get trapped in an ice crushing machine. As icicles form on Carol's rescuers, a police boat pulls up and Brown sends them into the lounge, where they arrest Smiley and his gang. To warm up, the two couples decide to spend their honeymoon in California, but as soon as they arrive, it begins to snow.

Film Details

Also Known As
I'm Dying to Live, Why Worry?
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Mar 6, 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,364ft

Articles

Sing Your Worries Away


This RKO Radio Pictures musical was Bert Lahr's first film after playing the Cowardly Lion in MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939)... and signed up to be his costar was Buddy Ebsen, who had been obliged to relinquish the role of the Tin Man in that film to Jack Haley when he suffered an extreme allergic reaction to the silver makeup required for the role. Produced under the alternate working titles Why Worry? and I'm Dying to Live, Sing Your Worries Away (1942) seems on the surface more tailored to the impoverished days of the Great Depression than to the anxious ramp up to World War II (the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor was just three months past) and in fact American moviegoers showed little interest in this breezy laugh-and-sing-a-long, whose failure at the box office sent RKO a quarter of a million dollars into the red. Seventy-odd years later, Sing Your Worries Away is better appreciated as the charming romp it is, casting the gangly Ebsen as a psychic ("I see things! I get cosmic rays!") who follows a missing friend to a gangland nightclub, where he partners with sneezy songwriter Lahr (shamelessly cannibalizing his Cowardly Lion shtick) and acerbic hatcheck girl Patsy Kelly to thwart a criminal gang (led by Sam Levene and Morgan Conway). The King Sisters and bandleader Alvino Rey appear as themselves in production numbers, while director A. Edward Sutherland's supporting cast includes the always welcome presence of Margaret Dumont, Charles Middleton, and June Havoc.

By Richard Harland Smith
Sing Your Worries Away

Sing Your Worries Away

This RKO Radio Pictures musical was Bert Lahr's first film after playing the Cowardly Lion in MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939)... and signed up to be his costar was Buddy Ebsen, who had been obliged to relinquish the role of the Tin Man in that film to Jack Haley when he suffered an extreme allergic reaction to the silver makeup required for the role. Produced under the alternate working titles Why Worry? and I'm Dying to Live, Sing Your Worries Away (1942) seems on the surface more tailored to the impoverished days of the Great Depression than to the anxious ramp up to World War II (the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor was just three months past) and in fact American moviegoers showed little interest in this breezy laugh-and-sing-a-long, whose failure at the box office sent RKO a quarter of a million dollars into the red. Seventy-odd years later, Sing Your Worries Away is better appreciated as the charming romp it is, casting the gangly Ebsen as a psychic ("I see things! I get cosmic rays!") who follows a missing friend to a gangland nightclub, where he partners with sneezy songwriter Lahr (shamelessly cannibalizing his Cowardly Lion shtick) and acerbic hatcheck girl Patsy Kelly to thwart a criminal gang (led by Sam Levene and Morgan Conway). The King Sisters and bandleader Alvino Rey appear as themselves in production numbers, while director A. Edward Sutherland's supporting cast includes the always welcome presence of Margaret Dumont, Charles Middleton, and June Havoc. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Why Worry? and I'm Dying to Live. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Monte Brice was added to the cast, but his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Another news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that A. Edward Sutherland replaced Jack Hively as director when Hively had to leave to direct 10 days of additional scenes for Four Jacks and a Jill (see entry above).