Till the Clouds Roll By

( 2 )


MGM's Till the Clouds Roll By is the musicalized, and highly fictionalized, life story of beloved composer Jerome Kern, who gave his blessing to the production shortly before his death in 1946. As played by a gray-templed Robert Walker, Kern is a likeable but none too exciting sort who expresses his emotions through his music. Constructed in the form of an extended flashback, the story proper begins at the turn of the century, as Kern tries to peddle his ditties to disinterested Broadway producers. His efforts to...
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MGM's Till the Clouds Roll By is the musicalized, and highly fictionalized, life story of beloved composer Jerome Kern, who gave his blessing to the production shortly before his death in 1946. As played by a gray-templed Robert Walker, Kern is a likeable but none too exciting sort who expresses his emotions through his music. Constructed in the form of an extended flashback, the story proper begins at the turn of the century, as Kern tries to peddle his ditties to disinterested Broadway producers. His efforts to interest impresario Charles Frohman Harry Hayden go nowhere because Frohman is convinced that the only good music comes from Europe. Obligingly, Kern moves to London, where he meets and falls in love with his future wife Eva Dorothy Patrick. On the verge of securing work with Frohman, Kern's hopes are dashed when the producer goes down with the Lusitania in 1915. Fortunately, Kern has developed such powerful U.S. contacts as Victor Herbert Paul Maxey and Oscar Hammerstein Paul Langton, enabling him to find success as the composer of several "intimate" musicals for New York's Princess Theater. The film ends where it begins, with Kern's triumph as composer of the Broadway blockbuster Show Boat. Van Heflin weaves in and out of the proceedings as the obligatory best friend/severest critic, a musical arranger named Jim Hessler purportedly based on longtime Kern associate Paul Sadler. No one in 1946 really cared about the dramatic passages of Till the Clouds Roll By; the film's biggest drawing card was its lineup of all-star MGM talent, performing Kern's most famous numbers. Judy Garland as Marilyn Miller sings "Look for the Silver Lining"; Dinah Shore performs "The Last Time I Saw Paris" before a back-projected "Gay Paree"; Kathryn Grayson does a Rita Hayworth imitation with "Long Ago and Far Away"; Virginia O'Brien deadpans "A Fine Romance"; Tony Martin warbles "All the Things You Are"; June Allyson and Ray McDonald team up for the title number; and Frank Sinatra, incongruously dressed in white tuxedo, runs through "Ol' Man River." In addition, other musical contributions are made by Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury, Cyd Charisse, Gower Champion, and Lucille Bremer cast as Van Heflin's daughter. The film's high point comes at the very beginning with a Reader's Digest edition of Show Boat, featuring Lena Horne, as Julie the role she was born to play, but never did again on screen, delivering a powerhouse rendition of "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man." Since lapsing into public domain in 1974, Till the Clouds Roll By has, along with Royal Wedding, become the most readily accessible of all MGM musicals.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; New featurettes - Till the Clouds Roll By: Real to Reel; Vintage Fitzpatrick Traveltalk short Glimpes of California; Classic cartoon Henpecked Hoboes; Outtake songs "D'ye Love Me?" and "Music in the Air"; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Till the Clouds Roll By is useless as biography -- but what else is new where Hollywood and musical biopics are concerned? The problem is that, as with so many other useless musical biographies, it's also of no interest as drama. To fashion the plot of the musical, the creators might as easily have simply written down every clichéd situation they could think of, put them in a fishbowl, and drawn them out to see what order they would put them in. Under the circumstances, it's hard to ask much of the actors; suffice it to say that Robert Walker does the best he can under the circumstances, Lucille Bremer does somewhat less than the best she can, and Van Heflin actually manages to rise above things a bit. Musically, of course, things are much brighter, with some terrific contributions from Judy Garland, Lena Horne, and Dinah Shore (and a much-too-short dance from Cyd Charisse and Gower Champion). Some of the other performers do not fare as well, such as Tony Martin and Kathryn Grayson; while Frank Sinatra certainly sounds good, his interpretation of "Ol' Man River" leaves a lot to be desired. Still, it's hard to beat Jerome Kern's music, even when presented in less-than-perfect circumstances.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/13/2008
  • UPC: 883929007561
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Remastered / Repackaged / Subtitled / Full Frame / Dubbed
  • Time: 2:15:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 23,936

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
June Allyson Guest Performer
Robert Walker Jerome Kern
Judy Garland Marilyn Miller
Lucille Bremer Sally
Gower Champion Dance Specialty
Cyd Charisse Dance Specialty
Joan Wells Sally as a girl
Bruce Cowling Steve
Van Heflin James I. Hessler
Paul Langton Oscar Hammerstein II
Dorothy Patrick Mrs. Jerome Kern
Byron Foulger Frohman's Secretary
William Halligan Capt. Andy
Lena Horne Julie
Johnny Johnston Finale
Van Johnson Band Leader
Maurice Kelly Dance Specialties
Angela Lansbury Guest
Tony Martin Revenal
Paul Maxey Victor Herbert
Ray McDonald Guest Performer
Mary Nash Mrs. Muller
Virginia O'Brien Ellie
Caleb Peterson Joe
William "Bill" Phillips Hennessey
Frank Sinatra Finale
Ray Teal Orchestra Conductor
John Alban
Jean Andren Secretary
Stanley Andrews Doctor
Lee Bennett Stage Door Johnnies
Margaret Bert Maid
Wesley Brent Showgirl
Alma Carroll
Lucille Casey
Ann Codee Miss Laroche
James Darrell
Harry Denny
Elspeth Dudgeon
Ralph Dunn Moving Man
Dick Earle
James Finlayson Candy Vendor
William Forrest Motion Picture Director
Sally Forrest
Mary Jane French
Herschel Graham
Kathryn Grayson Magnolia
Charles Griffin Opening Night Critic
Mary Hatcher Chorus Girl
Herbert Heywood Stagehand
Russell Hicks Motion Picture Producer
Reed Howes
Fred Hueston
Lilyan Irene Barmaid
Larry Williams
Thomas Louden Rural Postman
Mickey Malloy
Louis Manley Swivel Chair Lady
Frank McClure
Beryl McCutcheon
Bob McLean
Tony Merlo
Howard Mitchell Detective
Fr. George Murray
Robert E. O'Connor Clerk
George Peters
Lee Phelps
Lee Smith
Larry Steers
Tom Stevenson Genius
Irene Vernon
Alice Wallace
Don Wayson
Wilde Twins Specialty
Esther Williams Cameo
Rex Evans Cecil Keller
Technical Credits
Richard Whorf Director
Kay Thompson Arranger
Albert Akst Editor
Robert Alton Choreography
Guy Bolton Screenwriter
Daniel B. Cathcart Art Director
Myles Connolly Screenwriter
Jack Dawn Makeup
Roger Edens Score Composer
George Folsey Cinematographer
Arthur Freed Producer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Lennie Hayton Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Jean Holloway Screenwriter
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Richard A. Pefferle Set Decoration/Design
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Conrad Salinger Score Composer
Harry Stradling Cinematographer
Irene Valles Costumes/Costume Designer
George Wells Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Till the Clouds Roll By
1. Credits and Foreword [2:39]
2. Cotton Blossom [3:15]
3. Make Believe [4:20]
4. Life Upon the Wicked Stage [2:22]
5. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man [3:16]
6. Ol' Man River [2:11]
7. Jim and Sally Hessler [5:39]
8. Kahlua [3:00]
9. Think Big [2:45]
10. London Reunion [5:15]
11. How'd You Like to Spoon With Me? [4:03]
12. If I Only Had a Piano [3:45]
13. The Prettiest Girl [3:35]
14. They Didn't Believe Me (1) [4:01]
15. Homeward Bound [4:27]
16. They Didn't Believe Me (2) [2:27]
17. Missing the Boat [3:18]
18. Words From the Dean [1:54]
19. Till the Clouds Roll By [5:08]
20. Happy Couple [3:49]
21. Leave It to Jane... [4:14]
22. Look for the Silver Lining [5:24]
23. Stage-Struck [5:15]
24. Sally's Song [5:37]
25. Sunny [2:19]
26. Who? [2:32]
27. Runaway [3:13]
28. Farewell to a Friend [5:32]
29. Good News, Good Book [3:28]
30. One More Dance [1:32]
31. I Won't Dance [3:48]
32. Bittersweet Reunion [3:10]
33. Just the Beginning [1:51]
34. She Didn't Say Yes... [1:51]
35. The Last Time I Saw Paris [2:59]
36. The Land Where the Good Songs Go... [2:24]
37. Long Ago and Far Away... [3:32]
38. Why Was I Born? [2:00]
39. Ol' Man River [3:12]
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Disc #1 -- Till the Clouds Roll By
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Till the Clouds Roll By: Real to Reel
      Glimpses of California
      Henpecked Hoboes
         Music in the Air
         D'Ya Love Me
      Theatrical Trailer
      Spoken Languages
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Powerful to see the inside of Kerome Kearns

    As a former NY all- state singer, I enjoyed seeing some of the real life of the the scores I sang in Kerome Kearns production songs...Great to see Judy Garland near the apex of her career and to see all the songs he created the scores for .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews