Step Lively

Overview

Previously filmed as a so-so Marx Brothers vehicle in 1938, the John Murray-Alan Boretz Broadway hit Room Service was effectively musicalized in 1944 as Step Lively. The plot remains intact: Fly-by-night theatrical producer Gordon Miller Groucho Marx in the 1938 film, George Murphy in the remake struggles to keep his production and cast together, despite severe deficiencies in the money department. Hotel-chain supervisor Wagner Adolphe Menjou threatens to throw Miller and his actors off the premises, an ...
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Anne Jeffreys, Grant Mitchell, Alan Carney, Wally Brown, Eugene Pallette, Walter Slezak, Gloria DeHaven, Adolphe Menjou,... 05/13/2008 DVD 1944 Run time: 88. BRAND NEW Amazing ... low price. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Previously filmed as a so-so Marx Brothers vehicle in 1938, the John Murray-Alan Boretz Broadway hit Room Service was effectively musicalized in 1944 as Step Lively. The plot remains intact: Fly-by-night theatrical producer Gordon Miller Groucho Marx in the 1938 film, George Murphy in the remake struggles to keep his production and cast together, despite severe deficiencies in the money department. Hotel-chain supervisor Wagner Adolphe Menjou threatens to throw Miller and his actors off the premises, an eventuality Miller hopes to forestall until he can obtain $50,000 from a wealthy backer. Meanwhile, Glen Davis Frank Sinatra, the author of Miller's play, shows up to see how things are going. Before long, Glen is swept up in a desperate plot hatched by Miller and his underlings Binion Wally Brown and Harry Alan Carney to stay in the hotel despite Wagner's efforts to oust them. Caught in the middle are hapless hotel manager Gribble Walter Slezak, potential backer Jenkins Eugene Pallette, Glen's sweetheart Miss Abboli Anne Jeffreys and Miller's leading lady Christine Gloria DeHaven. This being a musical, the outcome hinges on Glen's hitherto untapped singing ability, which might save the day if he overcomes a bout of psychosomatic laryngitis.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although it's not a great film, Step Lively is an entertaining enough little musical, especially if all one really wants from such a picture is the chance to hear a very young Frank Sinatra warble a few pleasant tunes. Lively is based upon the solid stage farce Room Service, which suffered somewhat as a non-musical film when the very unique talents of the Marx Brothers didn't mesh perfectly with its strict structure. A similar problem occurs here, for the role Sinatra plays is beefed up and changed to accommodate his rising star status, which knocks the structure a bit off center -- as does the addition of songs and several other changes. There's still enough of the original source left to keep the plot going, but it's a much sketchier affair than it was originally. It also doesn't help that George Murphy, in the crucial role of Glen Russell, is adequate but nothing more. Fortunately, Sinatra is on hand, with his voice in youthful form and his acting, if more hesitant and undeveloped than it would later become, more than passable. He gets fine support from a stunning Gloria de Haven and Anne Jeffreys is in especially fine voice. Throw in nice moments from Eugene Pallette and Walter Slezak, and a handful of diverting if not especially memorable Jule Styne melodies, and you've got an agreeable way to pass an hour and a half.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/13/2008
  • UPC: 883929010295
  • Original Release: 1944
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:28:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Frank Sinatra Glen Russell
George Murphy Gordon Miller
Adolphe Menjou Wagner
Gloria de Haven Christine Marlowe
Eugene Pallette Jenkins
Walter Slezak Joe Gribble
Wally Brown Binion
Alan Carney Harry
Grant Mitchell Dr. Glass
Anne Jeffreys Miss Abbott
Frances King Mother
Harry Noble Father
George Chandler Country Yokel
Shirley O'Hara Krims Louise
Rosemary La Planche Louella
Dorothy Malone Telephone operator
Frank Mayo Doorman
Lee Murray Bellboy
Elaine Riley Lois
Technical Credits
Tim Whelan Sr. Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Claude E. Carpenter Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Carroll Clark Art Director
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Robert de Grasse Cinematographer
Warren B. Duff Screenwriter
Robert M. Fellows Producer
Ernst Matray Choreography
Gene Milford Editor
Peter Milne Screenwriter
Darrell Silvera Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jule Styne Score Composer
Vernon Walker Special Effects
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Step Lively
   Play Movie
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles
         English (For the Hearing Impaired)
         Fran├žais
         Subtitles: Off
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