Sally, Irene and Mary


1h 12m 1938

Brief Synopsis

Manicurists Sally, Irene and Mary hope to be Broadway entertainers. When Mary inherits an old ferry boat, they turn it into a successful supper club.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 4, 1938
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Feb 1938
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the play Sally, Irene and Mary by Edward Dowling and Cyrus Wood (New York, 4 Sep 1922).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,709ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

Sally Day, Irene Keene and Mary Stevens, three friends who want to make it big singing in New York, work as manicurists in a barber shop. When Baron Zorka of Stravonia comes in, he immediately falls for Sally, and the girls sing for the delighted baron, but Gabriel "Gabby" Green, their ex-manager, enters and tells the baron that the girls won't sing anymore unless they are paid. The baron tries to keep his aristocratic cool, but Gabby's continuous baiting drives him into a violent frenzy. The baron smashes up the shop in his efforts to corner Gabby, and he is finally dragged away by the police, as he continues to declare his love for Sally. The three women next get jobs at the Covered Wagon Cafe in Greenwich Village as cigar, cigarette and hat-check girls. Sally meets singer Tommy Reynolds, who is playing his last night at the cafe before giving up show business and leaving for home. Chorus girl Joyce Taylor, who has married and divorced seven millionaires and now is in love with Tommy, will do anything to prevent his leaving New York. Seeing his chance, the wily Gabby cajoles Joyce into financing a Broadway show by offering Tommy the lead. Gabby starts organizing a Broadway musical entitled Soup to Nuts with Sally, Irene, Mary and Tommy in the leading roles. Tommy and Sally fall in love, and Joyce, seeing them kiss, immediately fires Sally. Tommy refuses to continue and walks off, leaving the musical finished before it is started. Baron Zorka reappears and offers Gabby $25,000 to get the show started again if Gabby gets Sally to agree to an engagement. When she learns of this, Sally furiously tears up the baron's check despite Gabby's pleas. All parties concerned have just about had it with show business, when Mary suddenly inherits a steamship line from an uncle she never knew. With high hopes, the three go to claim their riches, only to find that the "steamship line" consists of one decrepit tramp-steamer. However, they manage to salvage their dreams by deciding to turn the ship into a floating nightclub. Irene makes a play for the baron, hoping to get money from him to renovate the ship, but he refuses until Sally shows up and offers to marry him for $25,000. Meanwhile, Tommy approaches Joyce and makes a similar offer, agreeing to trade his bachelorhood for hard cash. The show opens to a huge crowd. As part of the show is a wedding between Tommy and Sally, Irene manages to get a real judge to perform the ceremony, but before it is finished, disaster strikes. Jefferson Twitchell, a street sweeper whom Gabby has made "vice-president" in exchange for $200, is sitting below deck during the show. When Jeff, feeling cold, decides to fire up the ship's boilers, the ship bursts its moorings and races out of control up the river. It is finally stopped, but not before the terrified judge has jumped overboard. The problem is solved when the ship's captain performs the marriage ceremony. Sally and Tommy are happily married, Baron Zorka and Joyce discover they have much in common, Irene and Jeff are enamored with each other, and the show is a huge hit.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 4, 1938
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Feb 1938
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the play Sally, Irene and Mary by Edward Dowling and Cyrus Wood (New York, 4 Sep 1922).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,709ft (10 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The plot summary was based on a screen continuity in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library. The play was an expanded version of co-author and star Eddie Dowling's vaudeville sketch, and the title referred to previous successful musicals Sally and Irene. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, studio head Darryl Zanuck purchased the rights to the play, which was called a musical hit of the 1920s, on July 1, 1936. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also at UCLA, and in the Produced Scripts Collection, a number of writers worked on material for this film before the credited writers came on the project. Wallace Sullivan, Howard Snyder, Hugh Wedlock, Jr. and George Marion, Jr. wrote material based on an original idea by Earl Carroll, which, according to a letter in the legal records, was completely original, using only the title of the Edward Dowling and Cyrus Wood play. (A number of reviewers also noted that only the title of the play was used in the film.) Other early writers who did not receive credit include Louis Zara, Allen Rivkin, Leonard Praskins and M. M. Musselman. It has not been ascertained whether any of these writers' material was used in the final film.
       According to publicity for the film, Alice Faye and Tony Martin were married about a month before production began, and Zanuck gave the couple a wedding present of a trip to Europe to begin after the completion of the film. The publicity also states that the role of "Jefferson Twitchell" was written specifically for Jimmy Durante, that Fred Allen's wife, Portland Hoffa, was originally cast in either the role of "Irene" or "Mary," and that Lige Conley, a comic from the silent film era, died in an automobile accident one hour after finishing a role with Fred Allen in the film. Variety noted that the film contained Jimmy Durante's "Hot Potata" number, which Durante "fashioned." In 1925, M-G-M produced a film based on the same source, which was directed by Edmund Goulding and starred Constance Bennett, Joan Crawford and Sally O'Neil.