Cast & Crew
After her show at the Cameo Club in New York, singer Joan Edwards meets her friends, out-of-work musicians Eddie Paige and Kip Walker. Joan's friend and fellow singer Ellen Baker soon joins them and announces that she has just been fired. The four decide to band together and form a singing and dancing group known as the Tune Toppers. The group enjoys some success performing at local nightclubs, and Kip persuades them to try some more "sophisticated" material. He teaches the group his new song, "Schizophrenia on Park Avenue," whose lyrics include words like "psycho-pathology." Afterward, Kip takes Ellen to a diner, where she orders a hamburger with a slice of raw onion on it. When Ellen notices sheet music for a love song entitled, "I Guess I'll Have That Dream Right Now," Kip confesses that he wrote it for her. When he begins singing the romantic lyrics to her, Ellen casually slips the onion from her burger. Kip interprets this as a sign that she is also interested, and before long, the two become sweethearts. Soon, the group is invited to perform with Woody Herman and his orchestra. On their opening night, however, the group sings one of Kip's new songs, whose sophisticated lyrics consist of insulting remarks directed at members of the audience. After the offended patrons march out of the club, the manager cancels their act. Later, Woody goes to Ellen's dressing room to introduce her to Rodney Huntley, a producer working for Hyperion Pictures. Rod tells Ellen that he would like to turn her into a movie star, but is not interested in the rest of the group. She begs Rod to find jobs for all of them, and swayed by Ellen's charms, Rod agrees, and the entire group travels to Hollywood. At Hyperion Pictures, the group is privileged to meet Roy Rogers on the set of his current western. To keep Eddie and Joan occupied, Rod casts them as extras, while Kip busies himself composing songs. Many weeks later, when Eddie, Joan and Kip realize that Rod was only interested in hiring Ellen, they return home dejectedly. After several weeks searching for someone to replace Ellen, the group decides to disband. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Rod tells Ellen that he would like to "sign her permanently," or marry her, but she asks for some time to think it over. Later, Kip is asked to perform his love song on the radio. Aware that Ellen often thinks about Kip, Joan phones her and tells her to tune in. Before playing the song on the air, Kip reads a scripted "story" of how he came to write the song, but abandons it in order to tell the real story of his first date with Ellen. As she listens to Kip recalling how she had removed the onion, Ellen realizes that she loves him and decides to relinquish her career so that she can return home to be with him.
E. L. Davenport
Robert P. Wayne
Earl Crain Sr.
John Mccarthy Jr.
Eddie Albert (1906-2005)
The son of a real estate agent, Albert was born Edward Albert Heimberger in Rock Island, Ill., on April 22, 1906. His family relocated to Minneapolis when he was still an infant. Long entralled by theatre, he studied drama at the University of Minnesota. After years of developing his acting chops in touring companies, summer stock and a stint with a Mexican circus, he signed a contract with Warner Bros. and made his film debut in Brother Rat (1938). Although hardly a stellar early film career, he made some pleasant B-pictures, playing slap happy youths in Brother Rat and a Baby (1940), and The Wagons Roll at Night (1941).
His career was interrupted for military service for World War II, and after his stint (1942-45), he came back and developed a stronger, more mature screen image: Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947); Carrie (1952); his Oscar® nominated turn as the Bohemian photographer friend of Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953); a charming Ali Hakim in Oklahoma (1955); and to many critics, his finest hour as an actor, when he was cast unnervingly against type as a cowardly military officer whose lack of commitment to his troops results in their deaths in Attack! (1956).
As he settled into middle-age, Albert discovered belated fame when he made the move to Hooterville. For six seasons (1965-71), television viewers loved Eddie Albert as Oliver Wendal Douglas, the bemused city slicker who, along with his charming wife Lisa (Eva Gabor), takes a chance on buying a farm in the country and dealing with all the strange characters that come along their way. Of course, I'm talking about Green Acres. If he did nothing else, Alberts proved he could be a stalwart straight man in the most inane situations, and pull it off with grace.
After the run of Green Acres, Albert found two of his best roles in the late stages of his career that once again cast him against his genial, good-natured persona: the fiercly overprotective father of Cybill Shepherd in The Heartbreak Kid (1972), for which he earned his second Oscar® nomination; and the sadistic warden in Robert Aldrich's raucous gridiron comedy The Longest Yard (1974). Soon, Albert was in demand again, and he had another hit series, playing a retired police officer who partners with a retired con artist (Robert Wagner) to form a detective agency in Switch (1975-78).
The good roles slowed down slightly by the dawn of the '80s, both film: The Concorde: Airport '79 (1979), How to Beat the High Co$t of Living (1980), Take This Job and Shove It (1981); and television: Highway to Heaven, Murder, She Wrote, Thirtysomething, offered him little in the way of expansion. Yet, Albert spent his golden years in a most admirable fashion, he became something of activist for world health and pollution issues throughout the latter stages of his life. It is widely acknowledged that International Earth Day (April 22) is honored on his birthday for his tireless work on environemental matters. Albert was married to famed hispanic actress Margo (1945-85) until her death, and is survived by his son, actor Edward Albert, a daughter, and two granddaughters.
by Michael T. Toole
Eddie Albert (1906-2005)
The viewed print bore the title High and Happy, which was the film's television release title. Radio star Joan Edwards made her screen debut in the picture. The Variety review notes that the film includes shots of Republic Studios and its filmmakers at work. For information on other "Hit Parade" films, see the entry for The Hit Parade in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1934.