Louisiana Purchase


1h 38m 1941

Brief Synopsis

A bumbling young politician gets caught between grifters and a senator investigating corruption.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Dec 25, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the musical Louisiana Purchase , score by Irving Berlin, book and lyrics by Morrie Ryskind (New York, 28 May 1940), which was based on a story by B. G. DeSylva.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,829ft (11 reels)

Synopsis

Film studio lawyer Sam Horowitz reads the book for the Broadway musical comedy Louisiana Purchase and advises the studio that they cannot produce the show unless they make all the characters fictional. As a result, the lyrics sung by the performers on stage introduce the film noting that everything is fictional except the name of the state: Louisiana state representative Jim Taylor is framed by his four business partners, Colonel Davis, Sr., Davis, Jr., Captain Whitfield and Dean Manning, to take the rap for a graft investigation that Senator Oliver P. Loganberry, New England Republican, is launching against their Louisiana Purchasing Company. Although Jim is president of the company, he is a mere figurehead appointed by the four guilty partners and is innocent of graft. Jim unsuccessfully tries to distract the prudish and befuddled Loganberry from his investigation. He then enlists the help of Madame Bordelaise, a notorious New Orleans restaurateur, who hires Marina Von Minden, a beautiful young emigrant from Austria who boards with her, to ruin Loganberry's reputation. Marina, who is desperate to earn enough money to bring her mother to the U.S., goes along with the ploy in a private room at the restaurant. Disguised as a waiter, Jim tricks the teetotaler Loganberry into getting drunk, and then the four partners photograph him in compromising positions with Marina. When the evidence is presented to Loganberry, Marina defends him by claiming that they are engaged, as he has promised to use his influence to get her mother into the country. Jim, who has fallen in love with Marina, feels betrayed by her and convinces Madame Bordelaise to use her own vast experience to get Loganberry to drop the investigation. Her ruse only results in her marrying Loganberry, and Jim's partners desert him. To save himself, Jim, inspired by the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington , creates a filibuster in the House of Representatives by reading Gone With the Wind and other enormous novels. When he collapses, Loganberry receives a telegram revealing that Jim is innocent and that the corrupt business partners have been arrested. The House members applaud and Jim and Marina kiss.

Cast

Bob Hope

Jim Taylor

Vera Zorina

Marina Von Minden

Victor Moore

Senator Oliver P. Loganberry

Irene Bordoni

Madame Bordelaise

Dona Drake

Beatrice

Raymond Walburn

Colonel Davis, Sr.

Maxie Rosenbloom

The Shadow

Phyllis Ruth

Emmy Lou

Frank Albertson

Davis, Jr.

Donald Macbride

Captain Whitfield

Andrew Tombes

Dean Manning

Robert Warwick

Speaker of the House

Charles Latorre

Gaston

Charles Laskey

Danseur

Emory Parnell

Lawyer

Iris Meredith

Lawyer's secretary

Catherine Craig

Saleslady

Sam Mcdaniel

Sam

Kay Aldridge

Louisiana belle

Katharine Booth

Louisiana belle

Alaine Brandes

Louisiana belle

Barbara Britton

Louisiana belle

Brooke Evans

Louisiana belle

Blanche Grady

Louisiana belle

Lynda Grey

Louisiana belle

Margaret Hayes

Louisiana belle

Louise Laplanche

Louisiana belle

Barbara Slater

Louisiana belle

Eleanor Stewart

Louisiana belle

Jean Wallace

Louisiana belle

Edgar Dearing

House detective

William Wright

Ambulance driver

Floyd Shackelford

Doorman at club

Tom Patricola

Cabby

Aileen Haley

Lady in waiting

Jack Chefe

French chef

Albert Pollet

French chef

André Cheron

French chef

Albert Godderis

French chef

George Mardelli

French chef

Constant Franke

French chef

Dave Willock

Bellhop

Jetsy Parker

Drum majorette

Maxine Ardell

Drum majorette

Jack Norton

Jester

Donald Kerr

Jester

Joy Barlowe

Jester

Patsy Mace

Jester

Patricia Carey

Sailorette

Ruth Swanson

Sailorette

Douglas Dean

Fuschia man

Arlyne Varden

Lady in green

Jean Phillips

Lady in green

Lillian West

Special lady

Harold De Garro

Man on stilts

John Hiestand

Radio commentator

Joseph Siegel

Man at Mardi Gras

Richard Kipling

Club member

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Dec 25, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the musical Louisiana Purchase , score by Irving Berlin, book and lyrics by Morrie Ryskind (New York, 28 May 1940), which was based on a story by B. G. DeSylva.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 38m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,829ft (11 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1941

Best Cinematography

1941

Quotes

Boy, if she were black, she'd be beautiful!
- Sam
You're a pretty smart fella, Mr. Taylor. I kinda wish you were a Republican.
- Senator Oliver P. Loganberry

Trivia

Irene Bordoni and Vera Zorina both repeated their roles from the original Broadway stage version.

Notes

Actors Vera Zorina, Irene Bordoni, Victor Moore, Charles Laskey and Lynda Grey appeared in the original stage production of the play, which had been produced by Paramount production head B. G. DeSylva. According to a New York Times news item, Paramount purchased the rights to the hit play for $150,000. Variety notes that except for a new finish, the film was "an almost literal translation from the stage." Hollywood Reporter news items indicate the following: Ethel Merman was initially considered for a leading role in the film; New York fashion model Laurie Douglas was cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed; the airport scene was filmed on location at Lockheed Aircraft in Los Angeles, CA. This film marked the motion picture debut of actress Jean Wallace. Louisiana Purchase was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Cinematography (Color), Harry Hallenberger and Ray Rennahan; and Art Direction/Interior Decoration (Color), Raoul Pène du Bois/Stephen Seymour.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1941

Released in United States on Video May 19, 1993

Released in United States 1941

Released in United States on Video May 19, 1993