Six Hits and a Miss


8m 1945

Brief Synopsis

This short film presents musical performances by such talents as Six Hits and a Miss and Rudolph Friml Jr. and His Band. Vitaphone Release 1062A.

Film Details

Genre
Musical
Short
Music
Release Date
1945
Production Company
Rudolph Friml Jr. and His Band; Six Hits and a Miss; The Dancing Colleens; Warner Bros. Pictures
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures

Technical Specs

Duration
8m

Synopsis

This short film presents musical performances by such talents as Six Hits and a Miss and Rudolph Friml Jr. and His Band. Vitaphone Release 1062A.

Film Details

Genre
Musical
Short
Music
Release Date
1945
Production Company
Rudolph Friml Jr. and His Band; Six Hits and a Miss; The Dancing Colleens; Warner Bros. Pictures
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures

Technical Specs

Duration
8m

Articles

Six Hits and a Miss


Six Hits and a Miss (1942) is a one-reel black-and-white Vitaphone short whose title was inspired by a singing group of that name which enjoyed popularity during the World War II era. The short was one of a series called "Melody Masters" in each of which a particular orchestra of the Swing Era was spotlighted; in this case it was Rudolf Friml Jr. and his band. The nine-minute film is built around the song "You Gotta Know to Dance" by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, from the Warner Bros. film Colleen (1936). Six Hits and a Miss begin and end the number with Friml's orchestra, while much of the middle section is taken up by inserts of Ruby Keeler and Paul Draper tap-dancing to the song in scenes from the movie. The "Miss" of the group, Pauline Byrne, sings the lead under Friml's direction in the short, with backup and harmony provided by the "Six Hits" -- Marvin Bailey, Vince Degen, Lee Gotch, Mark McLean, Tony Paris and Bill Seckler. A female chorus of dancers, the "Dancing Colleens," performs in the background. The group Six Hits and a Miss was originally formed in 1936 and went through several permutations as its number changed, expanding or contracting. They performed on Bob Hope's radio show in the late 1930s and early '40s, and sang backup on recordings by Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante, and had a hit on their own in 1943 with Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Movies in which they appeared included Hit Parade of 1941 (1940), Time Out for Rhythm (1941), The Big Store (1941) and -- perhaps the highlight of their career -- the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland Girl Crazy (1943). The group was downsized to "Four Hits and a Miss" during wartime when members were called away to serve overseas. During this period future singing star Andy Williams was briefly one of the guys. With collaborators that included Frank Sinatra, the group continued to record through the late 1940s. Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler's most frequent leading man, made his final appearance opposite her in Colleen, but Paul Draper (in his movie debut) was her dance partner. Draper, whose style melded tap with classical ballet, appeared on Broadway and in other films including The Time of Your Life (1948). Film historian Tony Thomas called Draper "the only legitimate dancer with whom Keeler appeared on film," and writes of "You Gotta Know How to Dance" that the number (the finale of the movie) "is worthy of more attention than it received." With Draper in white tie and tails and Keeler in a flowing white gown, the pair suggests Astaire and Rogers in their elegant number. The staging is by Oscar-nominated dance director Bobby Connolly, whose intricate patterns of dancers recall the work of frequent Keeler collaborator Busby Berkeley. Six Hits and a Miss was directed by Jean Negulesco, later to become a major Hollywood director of the 1940s and '50s with such films as Johnny Belinda (1948), Titanic (1953) and Three Coins in the Fountain (1954). The smooth camera work is by noted cinematographer Ted D. McCord, later to be Oscar-nominated for Johnny Belinda (1948), Two for the Seesaw (1962) and The Sound of Music (1965).
Six Hits And A Miss

Six Hits and a Miss

Six Hits and a Miss (1942) is a one-reel black-and-white Vitaphone short whose title was inspired by a singing group of that name which enjoyed popularity during the World War II era. The short was one of a series called "Melody Masters" in each of which a particular orchestra of the Swing Era was spotlighted; in this case it was Rudolf Friml Jr. and his band. The nine-minute film is built around the song "You Gotta Know to Dance" by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, from the Warner Bros. film Colleen (1936). Six Hits and a Miss begin and end the number with Friml's orchestra, while much of the middle section is taken up by inserts of Ruby Keeler and Paul Draper tap-dancing to the song in scenes from the movie. The "Miss" of the group, Pauline Byrne, sings the lead under Friml's direction in the short, with backup and harmony provided by the "Six Hits" -- Marvin Bailey, Vince Degen, Lee Gotch, Mark McLean, Tony Paris and Bill Seckler. A female chorus of dancers, the "Dancing Colleens," performs in the background. The group Six Hits and a Miss was originally formed in 1936 and went through several permutations as its number changed, expanding or contracting. They performed on Bob Hope's radio show in the late 1930s and early '40s, and sang backup on recordings by Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante, and had a hit on their own in 1943 with Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." Movies in which they appeared included Hit Parade of 1941 (1940), Time Out for Rhythm (1941), The Big Store (1941) and -- perhaps the highlight of their career -- the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland Girl Crazy (1943). The group was downsized to "Four Hits and a Miss" during wartime when members were called away to serve overseas. During this period future singing star Andy Williams was briefly one of the guys. With collaborators that included Frank Sinatra, the group continued to record through the late 1940s. Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler's most frequent leading man, made his final appearance opposite her in Colleen, but Paul Draper (in his movie debut) was her dance partner. Draper, whose style melded tap with classical ballet, appeared on Broadway and in other films including The Time of Your Life (1948). Film historian Tony Thomas called Draper "the only legitimate dancer with whom Keeler appeared on film," and writes of "You Gotta Know How to Dance" that the number (the finale of the movie) "is worthy of more attention than it received." With Draper in white tie and tails and Keeler in a flowing white gown, the pair suggests Astaire and Rogers in their elegant number. The staging is by Oscar-nominated dance director Bobby Connolly, whose intricate patterns of dancers recall the work of frequent Keeler collaborator Busby Berkeley. Six Hits and a Miss was directed by Jean Negulesco, later to become a major Hollywood director of the 1940s and '50s with such films as Johnny Belinda (1948), Titanic (1953) and Three Coins in the Fountain (1954). The smooth camera work is by noted cinematographer Ted D. McCord, later to be Oscar-nominated for Johnny Belinda (1948), Two for the Seesaw (1962) and The Sound of Music (1965).

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Trivia