Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tonight's Movie: Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

I just discovered this little gem of a film for the first time a couple of years ago, and our family enjoyed it again this evening.

The plot, which centers around a big band's engagement at the title resort, is paper thin, but who cares when you've got Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, Dorothy Dandridge singing, the Nicholas Brothers dancing, Sonja Henie ice skating, and Milton Berle cracking jokes? John Payne is the film's leading man.

The movie has a show-stopping "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" number which begins with Miller's band playing the instrumental version...Tex Beneke and the Modernaires then pick up the vocals...then the number comes to a climax with Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers singing and dancing. This "Wow!" number will doubtless be revisited by our family many times when the movie makes it to DVD and we have the convenience of chapter stops. :) "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" received an Oscar nomination as Best Song.

The score also includes "In the Mood" and the delightful "It Happened in Sun Valley." In addition to the nomination for Best Song, SUN VALLEY SERENADE received nominations for Best Scoring of a Musical and Best Black and White Cinematography. Like many Fox films of its era, the movie is on the short side, clocking in at 86 minutes.

SUN VALLEY SERENADE is available on video.

December 2012 Update: I've now posted a more detailed review elaborating on the points in this post, illustrated with several stills and posters.

2018 Update: This film can be streamed on Amazon.


Blogger Cathy said...

You know I love that one too!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I thought of your recent posting on Sonia Henie when I watched this! Laura

5:40 PM  

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