Atlantic City


1h 26m 1944

Brief Synopsis

In 1915, Atlantic City is a sleepy seaside resort, but Brad Taylor, son of a small hotel and vaudeville house proprietor, has big plans: he thinks it can be "the playground of the world." Brad's wheeling and dealing proves remarkably successful in attracting big enterprises and big shows, but brings him little success in personal relationships. Full of nostalgic songs and acts, some with the original artists.

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 15, 1944
Premiere Information
World premiere in Atlantic City, NJ: 29 Jul 1944; St. Louis, MO opening: 8 Aug 1944; New York opening: 12 Aug 1944
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,816ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

In 1915, would-be entreprenuer Brad Taylor is intent on making a name for himself in his hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Brad's father Jake runs a boardinghouse that caters to vaudevillians, who usually owe Jake back rent, and Brad's girl friend, Marilyn Whitaker, is an aspiring singer. Marilyn's partner, Carter Graham, is in love with Marilyn, but she has eyes only for Brad, despite his constant preoccupation with his work. With the help of Jake's vaudeville friends, Brad stages a successful show featuring Marilyn and Graham at his small theater. With the profits from the show, Brad renovates Jake's boardinghouse and turns it into a fancy hotel, then casually tells Marilyn to go to New York when she is offered a part in a Broadway show. Crushed that Brad does not care if she stays or goes, Marilyn decides to leave, but is thrilled when Brad asks her to stay and appear in his new show. Unknown to Marilyn, Brad only wants her to fill in for the missing star, and Marilyn is devastated when she learns the truth from Brad's comical helper, The Professor. Brad finally proposes to Marilyn, and the first two years of their marriage pass quickly as Brad builds up his businesses in Atlantic City. Although Brad's ruthless methods increase his real estate holdings, Marilyn and Jake caution him that he must make friends along the way. Marilyn also pays for Brad's business dealings when no one shows up at her housewarming party. Jake warns Brad that he is neglecting his wife, but Brad ignores his father and builds more theaters, including the Apollo, where he stages a successful "Harlem on Parade" show. When the United States enters World War I, Brad enlists, and while he fights overseas, Marilyn throws herself into selling bonds. Marilyn becomes a star on Broadway but happily gives up her career when Brad comes home. Jake tries to make Brad see how much Marilyn has sacrificed for him, but the driven Brad continues to neglect his wife while talking a group of investors into holding a yearly beauty pageant, which will feature a contestant from each state. Soon Brad crowns Miss America of 1921, then resigns from the committee in order to focus his attention on his newest enterprise, a huge entertainment complex on the pier. After Jake sadly advises Marilyn to leave Brad and rebuild her own career, Brad's business luck runs out when the pier is destroyed by a fire. Brad's other businesses are repossessed in order to pay for his losses, and he is left with only the Apollo, which is deeply in debt. Brad appeals to his business associates for help, but, still galled by Brad's meteoric rise, they refuse to lend him any money. A chastened Brad admits to Jake that he and Marilyn were right all along about the need to build true friendships, and Jake determines to help his son. With the aid of The Professor, Marilyn and his old vaudeville buddies, Jake stages an enormously successful show to raise money for Brad's remaining theater. As he watches the show, Brad apologizes to Jake's friends, on whom he had once looked down, and his sincere repentance moves Marilyn. After she performs in the spectacular finale, Marilyn embraces her husband.

Cast

Constance Moore

Marilyn Whitaker

Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor

Jerry Colonna

The professor

Paul Whiteman

Louis Armstrong

Robert B. Castaine

Carter Graham

Adele Mara

Adele

Pierre Watkin

Senator

Harry Tyler

Sherman

Stanley Andrews

Rogers

Donald Kerr

Oakes

Charlie Williams

Man on the street

Daisy Mothershed

Maid

Buck And Bubbles

Dorothy Dandridge

Belle Baker

Joe Frisco

Jack Kenny

Gallagher

Al Shean

Shean

Gus Van

Van

Charles Marsh

Schenck

The Lady Killer Quartette

Geraldine Jarman

Float girl

Kerry Vaughn

Court of Beauty

Alma Carroll

Miss America

Olive Jones

Bathing beauty

Ann Adams

Bathing beauty

Elinor Troy

Bathing beauty

Rosemary Nelson

Bathing beauty

Eleanor Parker

Bathing beauty

Alta Mae Stone

Bathing beauty

Frances Morefield

Bathing beauty

Mary Donovan

Bathing beauty

Pat Hogan

Woman at ticket window

Ricki Van Dusen

Woman at racetrack

Rebel Randall

Women on train

Dolores Massey

Women on train

Barbara Slater

Orange queen

Nora Lane

Senator's wife

Leroy Mason

Roberts

Frank Pershing

Businessman

Ben Taggart

Businessman

Del Henderson

Businessman

Harrison Greene

Businessman

Larry Williams

Businessman

Sam Bernard

Businessman

Hal Taliaferro

Businessman

Philo Mccullough

Conventioneer

Ralph Linn

Conventioneer

Paul Power

Conventioneer

Brooks Benedict

Conventioneer

Don Forbes

Conventioneer

Larry Steers

Architect

Lena Torrence

Maid

Bob Alden

Newsboy

Dick Kirby

Newsboy

Nolan Leary

Minister

Bob Thom

Lifeguard

Stubby Kruger

Lifeguard

Howard Mitchell

Bartender

Bill Chaney

Jockey

John Roche

Wilbur Mack

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 15, 1944
Premiere Information
World premiere in Atlantic City, NJ: 29 Jul 1944; St. Louis, MO opening: 8 Aug 1944; New York opening: 12 Aug 1944
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,816ft (10 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The Daily Variety review lists this film's preview running time as 70 minutes, although all other sources list the length as 86 minutes. According to a July 1943 Hollywood Reporter news item, Republic originally intended for the picture's screenplay to place more emphasis on the development of the Miss America Beauty Pageant, although the main character, "Brad Taylor," is not based on the real pageant's founder. The news item also noted that "former 'Miss Americas' are being sought and will be used in the production." In February 1944, Hollywood Reporter noted that producer Albert J. Cohen had written to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor and George Jessel, asking for their permission to "use actors portraying them" in the film. Although Cohen did receive permission from Jessel, who offered to coach the actor playing him, none of the celebrities appear as characters in the finished picture.
       According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Sophie Tucker was to be in the cast, and Wilbur Evans was "considering the lead." Hollywood Reporter also noted that New York actor Stanley Stewart was being tested for a leading singing role, and that former silent picture star Dorothy Brenda was to join the cast. The appearance of Stewart and Brenda in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. In March 1944, 2d unit director Anthony Mann led a technical crew obtaining "atmosphere shots" at Atlantic City, NJ, according to Hollywood Reporter. The film marked the screen debut of dancer Robert B. Castaine.
       Bobby Connolly, who was originally set as the film's dance director, suffered a fatal heart attack in March 1944 and was replaced by Seymour Felix. As noted in the onscreen credits, the film features recreations of two famous vaudeville teams: Gallagher and Shean (for which Jack Kenny replaced the late Ed Gallagher) and Van & Schenck (for which Charles Marsh replaced the late Joe Schenck). Although information in the copyright records credits Gallagher and Shean as the writers of their signature patter song, "Absolutely Mr. Gallagher, Postively Mr. Shean," Gallagher's Variety obituary reported that Bryan Foy had sued them over the song, which he claimed to have written. According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the patter song's lyrics were initially rejected by the Breen office "by reason of extreme sex suggestiveness." The lyrics were revised and later accepted, but the song "Get Out and Get Under," for which Belle Baker wrote special lyrics, was dropped from the film after the lyrics were rejected due to "obvious sex suggestive double meaning."
       According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the film's premiere in Atlantic City was to be attended by many local leaders, including the mayor, sixteen "Miss Atlantic City" pageant winners acting as hostesses, and Tom Endicott, the director of the first "Miss America" pageant. In 1950, the picture was re-edited and re-released as Atlantic City Honeymoon.