Thousands Cheer

Overview

Insouciant PFC Eddy Marsh (Gene Kelly) wants to put on a Big Show for his fellow serviceman. Along the way, Eddy falls in love with Kathryn Jones (Kathryn Grayson), the daughter of Colonel William Jones (John Boles). The principal selling angle of Thousands Cheer is the presence in the cast of virtually every musical talent on the MGM payroll: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Red Skelton, Eleanor Powell, Jose Iturbi, the Kay Kyser Orchestra, Bob Crosby and his Bobcats, the Benny Carter band, Ann Sothern, Lucille ...
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Overview

Insouciant PFC Eddy Marsh (Gene Kelly) wants to put on a Big Show for his fellow serviceman. Along the way, Eddy falls in love with Kathryn Jones (Kathryn Grayson), the daughter of Colonel William Jones (John Boles). The principal selling angle of Thousands Cheer is the presence in the cast of virtually every musical talent on the MGM payroll: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Red Skelton, Eleanor Powell, Jose Iturbi, the Kay Kyser Orchestra, Bob Crosby and his Bobcats, the Benny Carter band, Ann Sothern, Lucille Ball, June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven?..the list goes on and on and on. Since Thousands Cheer was designed as a patriotic wartime morale-booster, it is indeed ironic that the film was written by Paul Jarrico and Richard Collins, both of whom would be blacklisted during the Red-baiting 1950s.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
One of the better of Hollywood's all-star war revues, Thousands Cheer at least has a somewhat more interesting plot than many similar efforts. Gene Kelly is back in For Me and My Gal territory, as a performer (aerialist, this time) who is resentful of being forced into war duty, and if MGM had really explored this conflict, Thousands might have been a special film. Unfortunately, they used it merely as a framing device for the big show, and -- worse -- as a way of expounding an overly simplistic "teamwork is everything" moral, undercutting the potential drama. What's left, therefore, is a handful of enjoyable plot numbers and the "big show" that takes up the entire second half of the film. The score is another one of those patchwork jobs, gathered from here, there, and everywhere; for some mysterious reason, the powers-that-be decided to push the initially innocuous but increasingly annoying "I Dug a Ditch," presenting this ditty four times throughout the film (to its best advantage when used merely as underscoring for Kelly's marvelous mop dance). Kelly is in great form throughout; his paramour, Kathryn Grayson, on the other hand is merely adequate when acting, somewhat better when singing. Mickey Rooney is insufferable as the emcee (ditto Ben Blue as a supposedly "comic" private), but there are some marvelous contributions from the likes of Judy Garland, Lena Horne, and Eleanor Powell. Add in the usual expert MGM production, and the result is an empty but entertaining film, the highs of which compensate for the occasional lows.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2009
  • UPC: 883316127407
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Time: 2:06:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 16,531

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kathryn Grayson Kathryn Jones
Mickey Rooney Guest Star
Judy Garland Guest
Gene Kelly Eddie Marsh
Mary Astor Hyllary Jones
Red Skelton Himself
John Boles Col. Jones
Eleanor Powell Herself
José Iturbi Himself
Ann Sothern Guest
Frances Rafferty Marie
Virginia O'Brien Herself
Frank Morgan Himself
Lena Horne Herself
Marsha Hunt Herself
Marilyn Maxwell Herself
Donna Reed Guest
Margaret O'Brien Guest
June Allyson Guest
Gloria de Haven Herself
John Conte Himself
Sara Haden Herself
Don Loper Himself
Ben Blue Chuck
Mary Elliott Helen
Frank Jenks Sgt. Koslack
Frank Sully Alan
Dick Simmons Capt. Avery
Ben Lessy Silent Monk
Sig Arno Uncle Algy
Lionel Barrymore Announcer
Monte Blue
Bob Crosby and His Orchestra
Daisy Bufford Maid
Wally Cassell Jack
Eileen Coghlan
Cliff Danielson
Natalie Draper Girls at Station
Connie Gilchrist Taxicab Driver
Aileen Haley
Myron Healey Soldier
Betty Jaynes Girl at Station
Will Kaufman Papa Corbino
Kay Kyser
Linda Landi Polish Girl at Station
Marta Linden Skit Nurse
James Millican Sgt. Carrington Major
Ed Mortimer Guest
Odette Myrtil Mama Corbino
Bea Nigro Woman
Peggy Remington
Carl Saxe Sergeant Major
Paul Speer Specialty Dancer
Harry Strang Capt. Haines
William Tannen Prison Sergeant
Don Taylor Soldier
Ray Teal Ringmaster
Florence Turner Mother at Station
James Warren
Bryant Washburn Lt. Col. Brand
Pierre Watkin Alex
Eve Whitney
Technical Credits
George Sidney Director
George Boemler Editor
Daniel B. Cathcart Art Director
Richard Collins Original Story, Screenwriter
Jack Dawn Makeup
George Folsey Cinematographer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Jarrico Original Story, Screenwriter
Jacques Mesereau Set Decoration/Design
Joe Pasternak Producer
Douglas Shearer Sound/Sound Designer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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