Cruisin' Down the River


1h 21m 1953

Brief Synopsis

Beaurefard Clemment (Dick Haymes), a New York night club crooner, inherits a broken-down Georgia showboat. He decides to turn it into a nightclub. He falls in love with Sally Jane (Audrey Totter), the granddaughter of Thadeus Jackson (Cecil Kellaway), arch enemy of Beau's late grandfather. Many, many songs (see Soundtrack) and a parody of "Ten Nights in a Barroom" (a Blake Edwards touch), with music featuring the Bell Sisters.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

First mate of the showboat Chattahoochie Queen , Humphrey Hepburn, recalls how in the 1880s on Alabama's Chattahoochie River, Captain Thadeus Jackson recklessly took on renowned gambler Beauregard Clemment and lost his entire fortune, including the Queen . Thadeus left the Queen outraged, as Beau had also won the heart of the Queen 's star attraction, singer and dancer Melissa Curry. The aged Humphrey reflects that Melissa and Beauregard had a son and later grandson, also named Beauregard, who currently sings with a small trio in a New York City nightclub. After bringing Beau the news that his grandfather has just passed away and left him the Chattahoochie Queen , Humphrey fills Beau in on his past and reveals that Thadeus is still alive and hankering after the Queen . Beau takes a brief leave from the nightclub to examine the riverboat in Riverdale, Alabama, but when Humphrey admits that a steep mortgage on the Queen exists, Beau seriously considers selling out to Thadeus. At the Jackson home, Beau meets Thadeus' granddaughter, college teacher Sally Jane, but flees for his life when Thadeus fires a shotgun at him. Embarrassed, Sally Jane goes after Beau to apologize, and he takes her aboard the dilapidated Queen . There Humphrey tells them both about how Melissa and Beauregard happily spent their marriage entertaining on board the Queen , until Melissa became pregnant and was confined to bed, only to die in childbirth. Moved by the story, Beau wonders about trying to keep the old boat in the family by converting it into a floating nightclub. When Beau worries about the expense of such an endeavor, Sally Jane encourages him, then, upon returning home, asks Thadeus' butler, William, if she might accompany him to his barbeque with the neighbors that night. Sally Jane brings Beau to the picnic, which is populated by a number of local singers. Along with William, they entertain the crowd, and Sally Jane convinces Beau that William and his friends would be ideal entertainment acts for the Queen . Beau decides to go ahead with renovating the Queen , but the following day, reports to Sally Jane that no one in town will sell him the materials he needs. Realizing that Thadeus is responsible, Sally Jane chastens her grandfather, who insists he was robbed years ago by Beau's grandfather and the Queen rightfully belongs to him. When Sally Jane admits she is attracted to Beau, Thadeus feigns a heart attack, hoping to force Sally Jane into promising she will never marry Beau. The next day, Sally Jane asks her students who are remaining in Riverdale for spring break to help restore the Queen . With William's help, Sally Jane charges all the materials needed to her grandfather, dismaying Beau. Beau proposes to Sally, but she asks him to wait until after the show opens. William and his friends entertain the students as they work throughout the next few days, and once the boat has been overhauled, Beau and William begin auditioning students to perform in their show. As opening night approaches, Thadeus grows increasingly suspicious of Sally Jane's long absences and on opening night, contacts a neighbor, who explains that the whole town is attending the opening of the Queen's nightclub, for which Thadeus has paid. Furious, Thadeus summons the sheriff and demands the show be halted on the grounds that his money was used without his knowledge or approval. Just before the show, Sally Jane rushes to Beau with the news that Thadeus has a legal right to intervene and make a partial claim on the entire property. Hoping to escape the sheriff, Beau hastily pulls anchor and struggles to get the long-moored boat moving before going on with the show. Thadeus and the sheriff follow in a motor boat, but when they reach the Queen , they realize they have crossed over into Georgia, which prevents the boat from being seized. Beau's agent, Dave Singer, enthusiastically offers to buy the Queen and her act, but Thadeus protests until the two agree on a fifty-fifty ownership. When Sally Jane happily agrees to marry Beau, they realize the boat has remained in the family after all.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 21m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1953

Released in United States 1953