Somebody Loves Me


1h 37m 1952

Film Details

Genre
Musical
Biography
Release Date
Oct 1952
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Sep 1952; Los Angeles opening: 15 Oct 1952
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Film Length
11 reels

Synopsis

In 1906, in a San Francisco cabaret, young, enthusiastic performer Blossom Seeley struggles to impress her drunken audience, and is advised by an older patron to sing more softly. Blossom instead belts out her next number, but is interrupted by the shaking of a powerful earthquake. During the rumbling, the old man gives Blossom his calling card, and she is stunned to discover he is famous theatrical producer "Pop" Grauman. Later, after the city begins to recover, Blossom prepares for her appearance in one of Pop's vaudeville shows. Just before the opening, however, the show's haughty star, Nola Beech, demands she be given Blossom's best number. Blossom protests Nola's selfishness to no avail, but as Nola is singing the number, Blossom's friend, former stripper Essie, coaxes the show's chimpanzee to eat a banana on the train of Nola's dress. The audience roars with laughter, and after Nola storms off, humiliated, Blossom takes her place. Performing with her characteristic liveliness, Blossom is a hit, and her career takes off. After World War I, the now-wealthy Blossom tells her agent, Sam Doyle, that she wants to incorporate other performers in her act so she can change costumes between numbers. Sam is reluctant to alter Blossom's successful act, but accompanies her to Hoboken, New Jersey, to hear the trio Forrest, Lake and Fields. Blossom is immediately attracted to the trio's young singer, Benny Fields, and offers to hire the three for her new Broadway revue. Neil Forrest and Harry Lake jump at the chance, but Benny, aware of Blossom's infatuation with him, acts nonchalant. Blossom's revamped show is a hit, but Forrest and Lake infuriate the singer when they insist on performing their own encore. After Blossom upbraids them for overstepping their bounds, Forrest and Lake quit in protest. Benny then becomes Blossom's accompanist, using her affections for him to his own advantage. One night, after Benny tricks her into singing "Jealous" for her encore, Blossom finally explodes in frustration. Just as Blossom is about to fire him, however, Benny proposes marriage. Blossom accepts, and the husband-and-wife team play many concert dates. Eventually, Blossom's voice gives out, and she realizes she must stop singing and take a vacation. While Blossom is recuperating at a resort, Benny overhears some men in his New York barbershop discussing gigolos. Recognizing himself in their comments, Benny bolts from the shop and announces to Sam that he is going to see Blossom. Blossom is delighted by Benny's unexpected visit, until he informs her that he is leaving her. Benny explains that while he did not love her when they married, he has since fallen in love and wants to prove himself as a man. Though heartbroken, Blossom accepts Benny's promise that he will return to her once he has made a name for himself. Benny's solo career does not take off, however, and Blossom, mourning his absence, quits her latest Broadway show. One day, while Benny is appearing in a dreary San Francisco vaudeville house, playing a stooge, Sam, who is deeply concerned about Blossom's mental and financial state, visits and lectures him about being a good husband. Taking Sam's words to heart, Benny returns to Blossom and declares that he is quitting show business. Blossom convinces him to find a good style instead and offers to coach him, agreeing that she will not use her influence to get him a job once he is ready to perform. Blossom then shows Benny how to spice up his singing with some dance steps and a hat and cane. Despite Blossom's rigorous training, Benny searches fruitlessly for a job until an old friend of Blossom's hires him to sing in his Chicago club. On opening night, Benny's joyous anticipation turns to anger when he learns that Blossom made an agreement with the club's owner to go on if Benny's act was a flop. Benny confronts Blossom and she confesses that she did indeed get him the job. Enraged, Benny vows to be a hit just to spite her, then puts on a dazzling show. When Sam tells Benny that Blossom had been planning all along to quit show business if Benny were a hit, however, Benny forgives her and invites her onstage for his encore. After Blossom announces she is retiring to become "Mrs. Benny Fields," she and Benny sing "Somebody Loves Me" and kiss.

Cast

Betty Hutton

Blossom Seeley

Ralph Meeker

Benny Fields

Robert Keith

Sam Doyle

Adele Jergens

Nola Beech

Billie Bird

Essie

Henry Slate

Neil Forrest

Sid Tomack

Harry Lake

The Chez Paree Adorables

Jack Benny

Himself

Ludwig Stossel

Pop Grauman

Sydney Mason

Mike Fritzol

Irene Martin

Pretty girl

Virginia Hall

Jean

Jill Jackson

Manicurist

Harry Rose

Painter

Robert Carney

Painter

Jeni Le Gon

Maid in "Rose Room" number

Bea Allen

Specialty dancer

Les Clark

Specialty dancer

Jock Casasus

Call boy

Donald Kerr

Piano player

Howard Joslin

Dealer

Jimmie Dundee

Dealer

Ralph Sanford

Frazer

Jack Bruce

Drunk

George Chandler

Stage hand

Henry Tyndall

Chimp trainer

Harris Brown

Conductor

John Sheehan

Ticket taker

John Brown

Auto salesman

Lester Dorr

Waiter

Franklyn Farnum

Waiter

Karl E. Miller

Janitor

June Mccall

Spectator

Tito Vuolo

Harry, barber

Julius Aicardi

Bootblack

Hal K. Dawson

Man in barbershop

Joe Mell

Man's barber

Herbert Vigran

Booker

Fred Sherman

Clerk

Kenneth R. Macdonald

Doctor

Milton Parsons

Doctor

Ralph Montgomery

Stage manager

Jim Hope

Stage manager

Anthony Marsh

Man at party

Carli Elinor

Orchestra leader

Vivian Mason

Anytime

Lillian Porter

Patron

Louise Saraydar

Patron

Norman Leavitt

Bellhop

Gus Taillon

Elevator man

Charles O'curran

French soldier

Jerry James

Musician

Benny Baker

Musician

Dick Ryan

Musician

John Trebach

Musician

Nick Adams

Western Union boy

James Cross

Emcee

Len Hendry

Expressman

James Cornell

Candy butcher

Richard H. Gordon

Man in audience

Charles Quirk

Man in audience

Sue Casey

Jack Richardson

Film Details

Genre
Musical
Biography
Release Date
Oct 1952
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Sep 1952; Los Angeles opening: 15 Oct 1952
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Film Length
11 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

As noted in the onscreen credits, Somebody Loves Me was suggested by the careers of Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields. In an August 1952 Los Angeles Times interview, Seeley and Fields, who served as technical advisors on the picture, claimed that the story was "99 3/4% accurate." Seeley (1891-1974) started in vaudeville at the age of ten, making a name for herself singing and dancing in an animated, sultry style. In 1911, she opened on Broadway with Lew Fields, a vaudevillian with whom she teamed for many years. Her first two husbands, who are not mentioned in the film, were theatrical manager Joseph Kane, whom she divorced in 1913, and Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Marquard. In 1921, Seeley saw Benny Fields [no relation to Lew] (1894-1959) at an inn in Chicago (not New Jersey, as depicted in the film), performing in the trio Fields, Davis & Salisbury. Seeley and Fields began performing together and, in 1922, married.
       As depicted in the film, despite being part of a duo, Seeley was always billed as the star of the act. In 1936, after Fields had established a successful solo career, Seeley dropped out of show business in deference to her husband. Seeley and Fields, who is often described as the original "crooner," appeared together in the 1933 independent film Mr. Broadway (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Mr. Broadway was Seeley's final feature; Fields had roles in two other films, including the starring role in PRC's 1944 release Mr. Minstrel Man (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). According to the Los Angeles Times interview, Seeley and Fields recorded the musical numbers for Somebody Loves Me so that Hutton could study Seeley's style. Modern sources note that Seeley came out of retirement to make these recordings, which were released commercially, and then performed live with Fields at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles. Seeley and Fields also performed on television many times, becoming regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show. "Somebody Loves Me" was one of Seeley's signature songs.
       Somebody Loves Me marked Jack Benny's first feature film appearance since a guest role in the 1946 RKO release Without Reservations (see AFI Catalog of Feature films, 1941-50). Paramount borrowed Ralph Meeker from M-G-M for the role of "Benny." Modern sources state that Hutton wanted Frank Sinatra for the role but was overruled because Sinatra's career was in a decline at the time. Choreographer Charles O'Curran, who also appears in the picture as a French soldier, was Hutton's husband at the time of production. Although The Greatest Show on Earth, which co-starred Hutton , had its national release shortly after Somebody Loves Me, Somebody Loves Me marked Hutton's last major film, although her final screen role was in the 1957 United Artists release Spring Reunion . According to modern sources, Hutton terminated her contract at Paramount in 1952 because the studio refused to give in to her demand that O'Curran be allowed to direct her pictures. A Hollywood Reporter news item adds Eddie Borden to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. On April 27, 1953, Hutton appeared in a Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the story, co-starring Gene Barry.