Earl Carroll Vanities


1h 31m 1945

Film Details

Also Known As
Moonstruck Melody
Release Date
Apr 5, 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 Mar 1945
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,295ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

Princess Drina of Turania, a tiny European country, arrives in New York City with the Queen Mother, Elena; her fiancé, the drunken Grand Duke Paul; her charge d'affaires, Baron Dashek; and her butler, Vonce. The princess is seeking a loan for her financially unstable country, and Thayer and Weems, the American bankers in charge of arranging the loan, are awed by their contact with royalty. Drina, who was educated in the United States, becomes friends with fiesty nightclub owner Tex Donnelly, in whom she confides her desire to throw off the restrictions of royalty to become an entertainer. One night, Drina goes to Tex's club, where her friend Woody Herman is appearing with his orchestra, and finds Tex nervously waiting for the arrival of her star singer, Claire Elliott. Tex explains that Broadway musical impressario Earl Carroll, who is in attendance that evening, may hire Claire for his "Vanities" musical revue if he likes her performance in the new floor show, which was written by Tex's collaborator, Danny Baldwin. Unfortunately, Claire sprains her ankle badly while en route to the club, and Tex persuades Drina to fill in. Carroll is so impressed by Drina's performance that he offers to hire her, Herman's band, the other performers and buy Danny's songs. Danny tries to convince Carroll that Claire is the real star, but he insists that only Drina will do. Danny, who is unaware of Drina's identity and assumes that she is merely a low-class friend of Tex, yells at her for trying to steal Claire's job, and the princess stalks off. Back at her hotel, Drina is also reprimanded by her mother, who warns her that she will need to exhibit more decorum if Turania is to obtain the loan. The next morning, Danny, realizing that he has no choice, grudingly asks Drina to fill in for Claire at rehearsals for two weeks while she recuperates. Wanting to annoy the condescending Danny, Drina refuses, stating that she must be the star for the entire production, but Tex persuades her to cooperate. As rehearsals progress, Carroll is even more impressed by Drina's abundant talents, and Danny begins to soften toward her, much to the chagrin of Claire, with whom he is romantically linked. Paul, whose engagement to Drina is arranged, fully supports her ambitions and helps her escape from some socially important but boring functions in order to attend rehearsals. Danny, who is falling in love with Drina, admits to her that his relationship with Claire is just a habit, but the wily Claire attempts to break them up by informing Danny of Drina's true identity. Drina assures Danny that she reciprocates his love and wants a career in show business, but Claire again interferes by telling Elena and Dashek about Drina's activities. Elena sternly tells Drina that, for the good of her country, she must immediately and without any explanation sever all ties with Danny and the theater. Drina acquiesces, and Danny assumes that she has abandoned their plans because she does not want to give up her royal lifestyle. Claire resumes her role in the show, but to help Drina, Tex's master of ceremonies, Pinky Price, and one of her waiters impersonate bankers and convince Elena that not only has the loan been approved, but the bank is sponsoring Carroll's show because of Drina's talent. On opening night, Elena, Dashek and Paul are in attendance as Pinky sneaks Drina onstage for two big numbers. Drina is a hit, and the thrilled Danny embraces his princess.

Film Details

Also Known As
Moonstruck Melody
Release Date
Apr 5, 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 Mar 1945
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,295ft (10 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Song

1946

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Many contemporary sources refer to this film as Earl Carroll's Vanities. Although a July 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Belle Baker had been signed to play a "featured" role in the picture, she is not in the released film. Charles Judels was included in the cast by Hollywood Reporter production charts, but he also does not appear in the completed picture. Earl Carroll was a successful composer, playwright, producer and nightclub owner who lived in both New York and Hollywood during his varied career. Murder at the Vanities, a 1934 Paramount film also based on Carroll's successful "Vanities" and "Sketchbook" stage productions, was directed by Mitchell Leisen and starred Carl Brisson and Victor McLaglen. In 1940, Carroll produced A Night at Earl Carroll's, a Paramount production filmed at his popular Hollywood nightclub. The 1940 film was directed by Kurt Neumann and starred Ken Murray and Rose Hobart (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.2986 and F3.3119). Carroll produced several other films in the 1930s, all unrelated to his theatrical efforts. Walter Kent and Bob Russell's song "Endlessly" received an Academy Award nomination.
       In addition to Earl Carroll Vanities, Republic also released Earl Carroll Sketchbook in 1946. A November 1944 New York Times article noted that Republic intended to produce four more pictures based on Carroll's properties if Earl Carroll Vanities was successful, and that Carroll held a "profit-participation contract" with the studio. The picture featured sets reproduced from Carroll's Hollywood nightclub, even though it is set in New York, according to New York Times. A February 1945 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Republic had acquired the film rights to all of Carroll's theatrical properties, in addition to the producer's "exclusive services as technical advisor" for five years. Carroll was killed in a 1948 airplane crash, however, and Earl Carroll Sketchbook was the last "Earl Carroll" film produced by Republic. In 1953, Republic re-edited and re-released Earl Carroll Vanities as Moonstruck Melody.