Let's Make Music


1h 24m 1941
Let's Make Music

Brief Synopsis

A spinster schoolteacher becomes a national sensation when she writes a big-band hit.

Film Details

Also Known As
Malvina Swings It
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Jan 17, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Malvina Adams, an antiquated school marm, teaches music appreciation to the bored pupils of Newton High, who prefer "swing" to Chopin. When Mr. Stevens, the school principal, suggests that she is out of step with her students, Malvina decides to write a song for the school band. The students reject the song, "Fight on for Newton High," as too corny, however, and Malvina's niece Abby mails it to a music publisher in New York City, where band leader Bob Crosby buys it for his band as a novelty number. Bob likes the song so much that he seeks out its composer to write more choruses. Surprised to discover that the writer is an elderly woman, Bob offers Malvina a job singing her own song. Abby dismisses Bob's idea as improper, but Malvina longs for the excitement of New York and accepts his offer. Malvina's debut is a big success, and she hits the nightclub circuit. Soon the novelty wears thin, however, and her popularity wanes. Meanwhile, Abby's animosity toward Bob has turned to love. After Malvina's contract is canceled, she tries a comeback by penning another tune, inspired by Central Park, but her attempts meet with failure until Bob secretly rewrites the composition. The song becomes another hit and Malvina, content with her success, returns as a celebrity to her music class, while Bob and Abby journey to California for their honeymoon.

Film Details

Also Known As
Malvina Swings It
Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Jan 17, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

Let's Make Music


In the musical comedy Let's Make Music (1941), Elisabeth Risdon plays Malvina Adams, a small town high school music teacher on the brink of turning sixty. Malvina feels the generation gap deepening between her and the young students who are more interested in popular swing music than learning about Chopin. In an effort to connect with them, Malvina composes a peppy new school song called "Fight On for Newton High." When the famous big band leader Bob Crosby (playing himself) hears it and turns the song into an overnight hit, he invites Malvina and her pretty young niece Abby (Jean Rogers) to New York for the adventure of a lifetime.

Let's Make Music was one of several films during the 1940s and 50s that featured Bob Crosby (Bing's younger brother) and his orchestra. The lively musical numbers include "You Forgot About Me," "Central Park" and Crosby's crowd pleasing hit "The Big Noise from Winnetka."

Director Leslie Goodwins, who is little known today, was a prolific B-movie craftsman who spent most of his Hollywood years at RKO studios. In addition to helming several entries in the popular "Mexican Spitfire" comedy series starring Lupe Velez, Goodwins also directed such familiar genre fare as The Mummy's Curse (1944) and Fireman Save My Child (1954) with Spike Jones.

Producer: Howard Benedict
Director: Leslie Goodwins
Screenplay: Nathanael West
Cinematography: Jack Mackenzie
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase
Film Editing: Desmond Marquette
Cast: Bob Crosby (Himself), Jean Rogers (Abby Adams), Elisabeth Risdon (Malvina Adams), Joseph Buloff (Joe Bellah), Joyce Compton (Betty), Bennie Bartlett (Tommy), Louis Jean Heydt (Mr. Stevens), Bill Goodwin (Himself - Crosby's Announcer), Frank Orth (Mr. Botts), Grant Withers (Headwaiter)
BW-84m.

by Andrea Passafiume
Let's Make Music

Let's Make Music

In the musical comedy Let's Make Music (1941), Elisabeth Risdon plays Malvina Adams, a small town high school music teacher on the brink of turning sixty. Malvina feels the generation gap deepening between her and the young students who are more interested in popular swing music than learning about Chopin. In an effort to connect with them, Malvina composes a peppy new school song called "Fight On for Newton High." When the famous big band leader Bob Crosby (playing himself) hears it and turns the song into an overnight hit, he invites Malvina and her pretty young niece Abby (Jean Rogers) to New York for the adventure of a lifetime. Let's Make Music was one of several films during the 1940s and 50s that featured Bob Crosby (Bing's younger brother) and his orchestra. The lively musical numbers include "You Forgot About Me," "Central Park" and Crosby's crowd pleasing hit "The Big Noise from Winnetka." Director Leslie Goodwins, who is little known today, was a prolific B-movie craftsman who spent most of his Hollywood years at RKO studios. In addition to helming several entries in the popular "Mexican Spitfire" comedy series starring Lupe Velez, Goodwins also directed such familiar genre fare as The Mummy's Curse (1944) and Fireman Save My Child (1954) with Spike Jones. Producer: Howard Benedict Director: Leslie Goodwins Screenplay: Nathanael West Cinematography: Jack Mackenzie Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase Film Editing: Desmond Marquette Cast: Bob Crosby (Himself), Jean Rogers (Abby Adams), Elisabeth Risdon (Malvina Adams), Joseph Buloff (Joe Bellah), Joyce Compton (Betty), Bennie Bartlett (Tommy), Louis Jean Heydt (Mr. Stevens), Bill Goodwin (Himself - Crosby's Announcer), Frank Orth (Mr. Botts), Grant Withers (Headwaiter) BW-84m. by Andrea Passafiume

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this picture was Malvina Swings It. It marked the screen debut of popular orchestra leader Bob Crosby, Bing's brother.