In the Good Old Summertime


1h 43m 1949
In the Good Old Summertime

Brief Synopsis

In this musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner, feuding co-workers in a small music shop do not realize they are secret romantic pen pals.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
The Good Old Summertime, The One I Love
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Musical
Period
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jul 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Illatszertar (also known as Perfumerie ) by Nikolaus László (copyrighted 10 Nov 1936) and the film The Shop Around the Corner written by Samson Raphaelson (M-G-M, 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,234ft (12 reels)

Synopsis

On a spring day in Chicago, at the turn of the twentieth century, Andrew Delby Larkin, a salesman at Otto Oberkugen's music shop, eagerly rushes to the post office in the hope of finding a letter from his secret pen pal, whom he knows only as "Box Number 237." To Andrew's delight, a letter awaits him, and he proudly reads it to his friend and co-worker, Rudy Hansen. By a strange coincidence, Veronica Fisher, who is Box Number 237, enters Oberkugen's shop that day looking for work, unaware that Andrew is her pen pal. Veronica is met with Andrew's condescending disinterest, as he, too, is unaware that his secret pen pal is in his presence. Mr. Oberkugen at first refuses to hire Veronica, but he eventually offers her a sales position when she cleverly persuades a customer to buy one of his pet instruments, an expensive Amboy harp. Veronica's early success at salesmanship proves to a fluke, however, and sales at the store begin to slide. So, too, does her professional relationship with Andrew, who has become increasingly hostile towards her. On the day that Veronica and Andrew are to meet their respective pen pals, the two arrive at work in high spirits, but their mood quickly changes as they become embroiled in a petty dispute. Furthermore, Oberkugen, who is upset at having been spurned by his sweetheart, employee Nellie Burke, angers both Veronica and Andrew when he orders the entire staff to remain after hours to take a store inventory. Oberkugen eventually has a change of heart, though, and lets his employees out just in time for Andrew and Veronica to rush to their pen pals. When Andrew peers into the restaurant where he is to meet his secret pen pal, he is shocked to discover that his pen pal is Veronica. Bewildered and embarrassed, Andrew runs away before Veronica sees him, and instead goes to a recital by Louise Parkson, one of the residents at the boardinghouse where he lives. Although Andrew eventually changes his mind and returns to the restaurant, he does not reveal to Veronica that he is the person she has been waiting to meet. Instead, he makes a clumsy attempt to win Veronica's affection by flirting with her. This leads to an argument and ends with Veronica leaving the restaurant thinking that her secret pen pal decided not to approach her after having seen her. Devastated by the apparent rejection, Veronica becomes reclusive and refuses to leave her home. Guilt-ridden about what has happened, Andrew asks Veronica to accompany him to Otto and Nellie's engagement party, and she accepts. Later, when Otto learns that Andrew has loaned his prized Stradivarius violin to Louise for her big recital, he fires him. The decision is eventually reversed, though, when Otto realizes that Andrew acted out of kindness, and he is offered his job back with a raise. Having finally secured the pay raise he felt he needed to marry his sweetheart, on Christmas Eve, Andrew reveals to Veronica that he is her secret pen pal. They kiss, and she consents to marry him.

Photo Collections

In the Good Old Summertime - Publicity Stills
Here are some Publicity Stills from MGM's In the Good Old Summertime (1949), starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
In the Good Old Summertime - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from MGM's In the Good Old Summertime (1949), starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
The Good Old Summertime, The One I Love
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Musical
Period
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jul 1949
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Illatszertar (also known as Perfumerie ) by Nikolaus László (copyrighted 10 Nov 1936) and the film The Shop Around the Corner written by Samson Raphaelson (M-G-M, 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,234ft (12 reels)

Articles

In the Good Old Summertime


The original title of MGM's musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner (1940) was The Girl From Chicago, with June Allyson and Frank Sinatra announced as its stars. By the time it went into production as In the Good Old Summertime, however, Allyson had become pregnant and was replaced by Judy Garland, with Van Johnson stepping in as leading man. Reset from a leather-goods shop in Budapest to a music store in turn-of-the-century Chicago, the story once again tells of pen pals who fall in love without realizing they are coworkers with a disagreeable on-the-job relationship. As in the original, the climax comes during the Yuletide season, providing Garland with the opportunity to sing a lovely song called "Merry Christmas."

Garland's other songs in the film include "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland," "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey," "Mr. Law Plays the Barbershop" (performed with a male quartet) and an especially spirited rendition of the Eva Tanguay signature song "I Don't Care." Garland's reputation at MGM by this time was that of a troubled genius who often caused delays and skyrocketing budgets. But, according to John Fricke in his 1992 book "Judy Garland: World's Greatest Entertainer, "Garland completed four of her six songs for the film in one session, never requiring more than three takes. She also managed to breeze through the filming."

When studio head Louis B. Mayer asked Johnson what had allowed Garland to get through the production so easily, her costar replied, "We made her feel wanted and needed. We joked with her and kept her happy." Producer Joe Pasternak elaborated: "A great artist is entitled to a lot more latitude. The quality that makes her great makes her feel more deeply. All of us felt - and you don't often feel this way in Hollywood - we would accommodate ourselves gladly to work with Judy... We knew her magical genius and respected it."

In the Good Old Summertime marked a beginning and an end. Two-and-a-half-year-old Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, made her (un-credited) film debut in the final scene as the child of the now-married Garland and Johnson characters. And Buster Keaton, in a supporting role, made his final appearance at MGM, where his silent-comedy triumphs had included The Cameraman (1928) and Spite Marriage (1929).

Director: Robert Z. Leonard, Buster Keaton (uncredited)
Producer: Joe Pasternak
Screenplay: Miklos Laszlo (play 'Parfumerie'), Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich,
Ivan Tors, Buster Keaton (uncredited)
Cinematography: Harry Stradling
Editor: Adrienne Fazan
Art Direction: Randall Duell, Cedric Gibbons
Music: George E. Stoll (uncredited)
Cast: Judy Garland (Veronica Fisher), Van Johnson (Andrew Derby Larkin), S.Z. 'Cuddles' Sakall (Otto Oberkugen), Spring Byington (Nellie Burke), Clinton Sundberg (Rudy Hansen)
C-103m. Close captioning. Descriptive Video.

by Roger Fristoe
In The Good Old Summertime

In the Good Old Summertime

The original title of MGM's musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner (1940) was The Girl From Chicago, with June Allyson and Frank Sinatra announced as its stars. By the time it went into production as In the Good Old Summertime, however, Allyson had become pregnant and was replaced by Judy Garland, with Van Johnson stepping in as leading man. Reset from a leather-goods shop in Budapest to a music store in turn-of-the-century Chicago, the story once again tells of pen pals who fall in love without realizing they are coworkers with a disagreeable on-the-job relationship. As in the original, the climax comes during the Yuletide season, providing Garland with the opportunity to sing a lovely song called "Merry Christmas." Garland's other songs in the film include "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland," "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey," "Mr. Law Plays the Barbershop" (performed with a male quartet) and an especially spirited rendition of the Eva Tanguay signature song "I Don't Care." Garland's reputation at MGM by this time was that of a troubled genius who often caused delays and skyrocketing budgets. But, according to John Fricke in his 1992 book "Judy Garland: World's Greatest Entertainer, "Garland completed four of her six songs for the film in one session, never requiring more than three takes. She also managed to breeze through the filming." When studio head Louis B. Mayer asked Johnson what had allowed Garland to get through the production so easily, her costar replied, "We made her feel wanted and needed. We joked with her and kept her happy." Producer Joe Pasternak elaborated: "A great artist is entitled to a lot more latitude. The quality that makes her great makes her feel more deeply. All of us felt - and you don't often feel this way in Hollywood - we would accommodate ourselves gladly to work with Judy... We knew her magical genius and respected it." In the Good Old Summertime marked a beginning and an end. Two-and-a-half-year-old Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, made her (un-credited) film debut in the final scene as the child of the now-married Garland and Johnson characters. And Buster Keaton, in a supporting role, made his final appearance at MGM, where his silent-comedy triumphs had included The Cameraman (1928) and Spite Marriage (1929). Director: Robert Z. Leonard, Buster Keaton (uncredited) Producer: Joe Pasternak Screenplay: Miklos Laszlo (play 'Parfumerie'), Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Ivan Tors, Buster Keaton (uncredited) Cinematography: Harry Stradling Editor: Adrienne Fazan Art Direction: Randall Duell, Cedric Gibbons Music: George E. Stoll (uncredited) Cast: Judy Garland (Veronica Fisher), Van Johnson (Andrew Derby Larkin), S.Z. 'Cuddles' Sakall (Otto Oberkugen), Spring Byington (Nellie Burke), Clinton Sundberg (Rudy Hansen) C-103m. Close captioning. Descriptive Video. by Roger Fristoe

In the Good Old Summertime on DVD


The original title of MGM's musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner (1940) was The Girl From Chicago, with June Allyson and Frank Sinatra announced as its stars. By the time it went into production as In the Good Old Summertime, however, Allyson had become pregnant and was replaced by Judy Garland, with Van Johnson stepping in as leading man. Reset from a leather-goods shop in Budapest to a music store in turn-of-the-century Chicago, the film (now on DVD from Warner Video) once again tells of pen pals who fall in love without realizing they are coworkers with a disagreeable on-the-job relationship. As in the original, the climax comes during the Yuletide season, providing Garland with the opportunity to sing a lovely song called "Merry Christmas."

Garland's other songs in the film include "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland," "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey," "Mr. Law Plays the Barbershop" (performed with a male quartet) and an especially spirited rendition of the Eva Tanguay signature song "I Don't Care." Garland's reputation at MGM by this time was that of a troubled genius who often caused delays and skyrocketing budgets. But, according to John Fricke in his 1992 book Judy Garland: World's Greatest Entertainer, "Garland completed four of her six songs for the film in one session, never requiring more than three takes. She also managed to breeze through the filming."

When studio head Louis B. Mayer asked Johnson what had allowed Garland to get through the production so easily, her costar replied, "We made her feel wanted and needed. We joked with her and kept her happy." Producer Joe Pasternak elaborated: "A great artist is entitled to a lot more latitude. The quality that makes her great makes her feel more deeply. All of us felt ­ and you don't often feel this way in Hollywood ­ we would accommodate ourselves gladly to work with Judy... We knew her magical genius and respected it."

In the Good Old Summertime marked a beginning and an end. Two-and-a-half-year-old Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, made her (un-credited) film debut in the final scene as the child of the now-married Garland and Johnson characters. And Buster Keaton, in a supporting role, made his final appearance at MGM, where his silent-comedy triumphs had included The Cameraman (1928) and Spite Marriage (1929).

The Warner Video DVD of In the Good Old Summertime is a good but not outstanding transfer of this MGM musical. For one thing, the color balance is uneven and leans slightly toward a pronounced shade of green in several sequences. Audio hiss and noise is also noticeable during the dialogue scenes though somewhat better during the musical numbers. Overall though, the detail is good, especially for a film of this vintage. As for the extras, they include trailers for the original film, the 1998 remake You've Got Mail, and the film that inspired both - The Shop Around the Corner plus three featurettes - one providing background on the film and the other two Fitzpatrick Travel Talks on the city of Chicago circa 1948.

For more information about In the Good Old Summertime, visit Warner Video. To order In the Good Old Summertime, go to TCM Shopping.

by Roger Fristoe

In the Good Old Summertime on DVD

The original title of MGM's musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner (1940) was The Girl From Chicago, with June Allyson and Frank Sinatra announced as its stars. By the time it went into production as In the Good Old Summertime, however, Allyson had become pregnant and was replaced by Judy Garland, with Van Johnson stepping in as leading man. Reset from a leather-goods shop in Budapest to a music store in turn-of-the-century Chicago, the film (now on DVD from Warner Video) once again tells of pen pals who fall in love without realizing they are coworkers with a disagreeable on-the-job relationship. As in the original, the climax comes during the Yuletide season, providing Garland with the opportunity to sing a lovely song called "Merry Christmas." Garland's other songs in the film include "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland," "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey," "Mr. Law Plays the Barbershop" (performed with a male quartet) and an especially spirited rendition of the Eva Tanguay signature song "I Don't Care." Garland's reputation at MGM by this time was that of a troubled genius who often caused delays and skyrocketing budgets. But, according to John Fricke in his 1992 book Judy Garland: World's Greatest Entertainer, "Garland completed four of her six songs for the film in one session, never requiring more than three takes. She also managed to breeze through the filming." When studio head Louis B. Mayer asked Johnson what had allowed Garland to get through the production so easily, her costar replied, "We made her feel wanted and needed. We joked with her and kept her happy." Producer Joe Pasternak elaborated: "A great artist is entitled to a lot more latitude. The quality that makes her great makes her feel more deeply. All of us felt ­ and you don't often feel this way in Hollywood ­ we would accommodate ourselves gladly to work with Judy... We knew her magical genius and respected it." In the Good Old Summertime marked a beginning and an end. Two-and-a-half-year-old Liza Minnelli, the daughter of Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, made her (un-credited) film debut in the final scene as the child of the now-married Garland and Johnson characters. And Buster Keaton, in a supporting role, made his final appearance at MGM, where his silent-comedy triumphs had included The Cameraman (1928) and Spite Marriage (1929). The Warner Video DVD of In the Good Old Summertime is a good but not outstanding transfer of this MGM musical. For one thing, the color balance is uneven and leans slightly toward a pronounced shade of green in several sequences. Audio hiss and noise is also noticeable during the dialogue scenes though somewhat better during the musical numbers. Overall though, the detail is good, especially for a film of this vintage. As for the extras, they include trailers for the original film, the 1998 remake You've Got Mail, and the film that inspired both - The Shop Around the Corner plus three featurettes - one providing background on the film and the other two Fitzpatrick Travel Talks on the city of Chicago circa 1948. For more information about In the Good Old Summertime, visit Warner Video. To order In the Good Old Summertime, go to TCM Shopping. by Roger Fristoe

Quotes

Trivia

Liza Minelli appears in the final scene. She's the little girl with 'Johnson, Van' and mom 'Garland, Judy' .

Notes

Working titles for this film were I Don't Care and The Good Old Summertime. Various contemporary news items in Hollywood Reporter indicate that the film was originally assigned to producer Arthur Freed, and that production on the film, which was initially scheduled to begin in June 1944, was postponed many times over the course of four years. Pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter indicate that the film was originally intended as a Mickey Rooney vehicle, and that Frank Sinatra was later set to star opposite Gloria De Haven. A December 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item listed Gene Kelly as Judy Garland's co-star. A May 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Keenan Wynn was set for a top role, but he did not appear in the final film. An October 1948 Los Angeles Times news item noted that Peter Lawford and June Allyson were being considered for the starring roles. Although early Hollywood Reporter production charts list actress Mary Astor in the cast, she did not appear in the released film.
       The film marked the screen debut of Liza Minelli, who, at age two, appears in the picture's brief epilogue. Actor S. Z. Sakall was borrowed from Warner Bros. A song entitled "Last Night When We Were Young," which was sung by Judy Garland, was cut from the film just prior to its release. The film marked Buster Keaton's last picture for M-G-M.
       An earlier film based on László's play was M-G-M's 1940 Shop Around the Corner (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1931-40; F3.4036). The Shop Around the Corner, which is not a musical and is set in Budapest, Hungary, was directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starred Margaret Sullivan and James Stewart. A musical stage version of the play, entitled She Loves Me, opened in New York on April 23, 1963. She Loves Me was later produced as a teleplay by BBC, and aired on the PBS network on December 19, 1979. In 1998, Warner Bros. released You've Got Mail, an updated version of László's play, directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.