And the Angels Sing


1h 36m 1944

Brief Synopsis

The singing/dancing Angel sisters, Nancy (Dorothy Lamour), Bobby (Betty Hutton), Josie (Diana Lynn) and Patti (Mimi Chandler), aren't interested in performing together, and this plays havoc with the plans of Pop Angel (Raymond Walburn) to buy a soy bean farm. They do accept an offer of ten dollars to sing at a dubious night club on the edge of town where a band led by Happy Marshall (Fred MacMurray) is playing. Bobby takes the ten dollars and runs it up to $190 at the dice table. Happy hits on Nancy but she rebuffs him. He doesn't have the money to pay his band and borrows the gambling winnings from Bobby on the pretext that he will give her a job with his band. Bobby discovers the next day that Happy has hastily departed for New York. The girls follow to a night club where he is working and, after an audition, the manager is willing to give Happy a contract if the girls will sing with his band.

Film Details

Also Known As
Four Angels
Release Date
Jan 1944
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jul 1944
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

Sisters Nancy, Bobby, Josie and Patti Angel live with their father in the small town of Glenby Falls, New York. Although they are all talented singers, Nancy aspires to be a painter, Bobby hopes to be a journalist, Josie prefers to play the piano and Patti dreams of being an actress. Pop Angel wants to buy a farm and raise soybeans, and everyone saves their earnings toward this aim. As the sisters hate to sing, they get angry when Bobby, who is chronically unemployed, accepts a job for them to perform at a seedy roadhouse, for which they will be paid only ten dollars. The quartet is a big hit with the audience, and band leader Happy Marshall makes a pass at Nancy. Although Nancy rebuffs Happy, Bobby immediately falls in love with him. Nancy's boyfriend Oliver, who is a dull but sweet taxicab driver and an aspiring inventor, drives Nancy, Josie and Patti home, leaving Bobby behind at the roadhouse to collect their money. Bobby is unable to resist the urge to gamble with the ten dollars, and wins $190. At the same time, Happy disappoints his band by telling them that they cannot accept an engagement at Schultz's Copacabana in Brooklyn, as he has lost their earnings at the racetrack, and does not have enough money for train fare and the tropical dinner jackets required by the club. Fuzzy Johnson, Happy's best friend and a band member, encourages Happy to seduce Bobby and trick her out of her winnings, and by the end of the evening, gullible Bobby is convinced that Happy is in love with her and has offered her a $350 per week singing job. Oliver then returns to to pick up Bobby, and while Fuzzy and Happy slip away to catch a train, he and Bobby get drunk on the pink champagne Fuzzy ordered as the finishing touch of his ruse. Bobby and Oliver finally stumble out of the club as the band is leaving, and Happy, feeling remorseful, insists on driving them home so they will not crash. After dropping Oliver off, Happy continues to the Angel home, but when Bobby becomes amorous and grabs him, he crashes the car. Nancy blames Happy for the accident, but he leaves before Oliver's boss, Littlefield, arrives with the police and fires both Nancy and Oliver. The Angels rally behind Bobby and are so angered by Happy's trick that they go to Brooklyn to demand their money back. When they are turned away at the stage door of the Copacabana, Nancy dons a Brooklyn accent and is escorted in by Hoiman, a wise-cracking fop. She then confronts Happy backstage and all the patrons overhear their argument because the microphone is on. Schultz sends his bouncer to force Nancy out of the club, but when he gets rough, Happy defends her. Happy then takes Nancy to a café, where he confesses the truth about his situation, and after he promises to return the money, they fall in love. Happy and Nancy spend the night together, and she returns home riotously drunk. The next day, Bobby furiously confronts Happy, who informs her that Schultz will give them the money only if the sisters sing with the band. Nancy, meanwhile, has received roses from Happy, but pretends that they are for Bobby, who has again fallen for Happy. When the quartet proves a big hit at the Copacabana, Schultz tells Happy that he will keep his band only if the sisters sign a contract as well. Josie, Patti and Bobby are content to stay in New York and pursue their various careers, but Nancy is insistent upon returning home. That night, Happy sincerely proposes marriage to Nancy, who is overjoyed, but Fuzzy forces Happy to lead Bobby on as well so they will all sign the contract. Both Nancy and Bobby return home believing they are engaged to Happy, but when they discover the truth, they refuse to sign the contract. Pop insists that they remain in New York and pursue their careers, but the sisters prove incapable of doing anything competently but singing. When Patti and Josie discover that Happy and Fuzzy are working in lederhosen costume at the Café Polonais, the entire family goes to the café. Happy and Fuzzy perform a silly song and are further humiliated when they have to scramble for the coins that customers toss to them. At the end of the evening, the Angels confront the two men, and Happy offers them his $90 in earnings. Happy then criticizes Pop's lenient parenting, and he and Fuzzy give the girls a spanking until they all cry out that they want to sing. Later, the Angel Sisters perform again with Happy's orchestra and are a resounding hit. After the spanking, Fuzzy has discovered that he is in love with Bobby, which leaves Nancy and Happy free to reunite.

Film Details

Also Known As
Four Angels
Release Date
Jan 1944
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jul 1944
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Four Angels. Although Fred MacMurray's character is listed as "Happy Morgan" in the CBCS, he is called "Happy Marshall" in the film. Hollywood Reporter news items reported the following about the production: At one time Paramount negotiated with composer Cole Porter to write songs for the film. Actor Cully Richards was inducted into the Army and had to withdraw from the cast. The production, which was originally slated to begin on April 28, 1943, was delayed while his replacement was being sought. Doodles Weaver was originally cast as "Hoiman," but was replaced by Frank Faylen. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Lillian Castle was cast in the film, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Julie Gibson made her feature film debut in the picture. Although the film's title was taken from a popular song, the song was not heard in the picture. This film is a remake of Paramount's 1938 film Sing You Sinners, which was directed by Wesley Ruggles, and starred Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray and Donald O'Connor (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4084). Instead of four singing sisters and their father, Sing You Sinners features three singing brothers and their mother.