Calling All Girls


19m 1942

Brief Synopsis

This short film presents the process that studios use to select girls to be members of the chorus line in movie musicals. Vitaphone Releases 655A, 658A.

Film Details

Also Known As
Calling All Girls (Busby Berkeley Promo)
Genre
Musical
Short
Music
Release Date
1942
Production Company
Vitaphone; Warner Bros. Pictures
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures

Technical Specs

Duration
19m

Synopsis

This short film presents the process that studios use to select girls to be members of the chorus line in movie musicals. Vitaphone Releases 655A, 658A.

Film Details

Also Known As
Calling All Girls (Busby Berkeley Promo)
Genre
Musical
Short
Music
Release Date
1942
Production Company
Vitaphone; Warner Bros. Pictures
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures

Technical Specs

Duration
19m

Articles

Calling All Girls


Calling All Girls (1942) is a 20-minute black-and-white Vitaphone short from Warner Bros. that dramatizes the audition process used by the studio to choose girls for the chorus lines in the studio's musicals. Included is footage of five numbers from WB musicals of the 1930s, all staged in spectacular fashion by Busby Berkeley. The short was directed by an uncredited Jean Negulesco, with a narration voiced by Owen Crump. "Don't Say Goodnight," from Wonder Bar (1934), is sung by Dick Powell and features a set of eight enormous mirrors facing inward, so that reflections of the 100 dancers performing the number seem to swell to the thousands and stretch into infinity. The song was written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. "Lullaby of Broadway," from Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), was Berkeley's personal favorite among his numbers. It has squads of pretty chorines tapping on a huge set of wide stairs, photographed from every possible angle. Berkeley was nominated for an Oscar for Best Dance Direction for this one, and "Lullaby of Broadway" brought the award itself to Warren and Dubin for Best Song. "Shadow Waltz," from Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), is also by Warren and Dubin and is given a surreal staging by Berkeley in which dozens of chorus girls play neon-lighted violins that take on a life of their own and waltz about in geometric patterns photographed from above. "By a Waterfall," written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal for Footlight Parade (1933), anticipates Berkeley's later work at MGM with Esther Williams in its lavishly staged swimming routines and synchronized bathing beauties. Ruby Keeler serenades her lover (Dick Powell) as he nods off beside a waterfall and dreams of lovely, scantily clad swimmers including Ruby who create patterns with their slippery bodies, culminating in a "human waterfall." This number, featuring incredible kaleidoscopic patterns formed by the swimmers, took six days to film and required a special pool that took up an entire sound stage on the Warner Bros. lot. "Shanghai Lil," also from Footlight Parade but written by Warren and Dubin, has Ruby Keeler as a Asian cutie in a Shanghai dive and James Cagney as a sailor who wander in for a good time. It's always a rare treat to watch Cagney dance on film, and here he joins Keeler atop a bar for some very fancy tapping.

By Roger Fristoe
Calling All Girls

Calling All Girls

Calling All Girls (1942) is a 20-minute black-and-white Vitaphone short from Warner Bros. that dramatizes the audition process used by the studio to choose girls for the chorus lines in the studio's musicals. Included is footage of five numbers from WB musicals of the 1930s, all staged in spectacular fashion by Busby Berkeley. The short was directed by an uncredited Jean Negulesco, with a narration voiced by Owen Crump. "Don't Say Goodnight," from Wonder Bar (1934), is sung by Dick Powell and features a set of eight enormous mirrors facing inward, so that reflections of the 100 dancers performing the number seem to swell to the thousands and stretch into infinity. The song was written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. "Lullaby of Broadway," from Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), was Berkeley's personal favorite among his numbers. It has squads of pretty chorines tapping on a huge set of wide stairs, photographed from every possible angle. Berkeley was nominated for an Oscar for Best Dance Direction for this one, and "Lullaby of Broadway" brought the award itself to Warren and Dubin for Best Song. "Shadow Waltz," from Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), is also by Warren and Dubin and is given a surreal staging by Berkeley in which dozens of chorus girls play neon-lighted violins that take on a life of their own and waltz about in geometric patterns photographed from above. "By a Waterfall," written by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal for Footlight Parade (1933), anticipates Berkeley's later work at MGM with Esther Williams in its lavishly staged swimming routines and synchronized bathing beauties. Ruby Keeler serenades her lover (Dick Powell) as he nods off beside a waterfall and dreams of lovely, scantily clad swimmers including Ruby who create patterns with their slippery bodies, culminating in a "human waterfall." This number, featuring incredible kaleidoscopic patterns formed by the swimmers, took six days to film and required a special pool that took up an entire sound stage on the Warner Bros. lot. "Shanghai Lil," also from Footlight Parade but written by Warren and Dubin, has Ruby Keeler as a Asian cutie in a Shanghai dive and James Cagney as a sailor who wander in for a good time. It's always a rare treat to watch Cagney dance on film, and here he joins Keeler atop a bar for some very fancy tapping. By Roger Fristoe

Quotes

Trivia