Up in Arms

Overview

It is said that producer Sam Goldwyn had a habit of addressing his new star of the 1940s, Danny Kaye, as "Eddie," confusing Kaye with Eddie Cantor. If true, it may be because Kaye's first starring film for Goldwyn, Up in Arms, was a remake of Cantor's Whoopee--which in turn was a musical version of that old theatrical chestnut The Nervous Wreck. Kaye plays Danny Weems, a hopeless hypochondriac who finds himself drafted into the army. While a passenger on an overseas transport ship, Danny is obliged to hide his ...
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Overview

It is said that producer Sam Goldwyn had a habit of addressing his new star of the 1940s, Danny Kaye, as "Eddie," confusing Kaye with Eddie Cantor. If true, it may be because Kaye's first starring film for Goldwyn, Up in Arms, was a remake of Cantor's Whoopee--which in turn was a musical version of that old theatrical chestnut The Nervous Wreck. Kaye plays Danny Weems, a hopeless hypochondriac who finds himself drafted into the army. While a passenger on an overseas transport ship, Danny is obliged to hide his girl friend Mary Morgan (Constance Dowling), who has stowed away on board, from the authorities. The plot (what there is of it) contrives to have Danny and Mary, together with Virginia (Dinah Shore), who's in love with Danny, and Joe (Dana Andrews), who's in love with Mary, arrive simultaneously on the same South Sea island. After numerous comic and romantic complications, Danny emerges as the hero of the hour by capturing a whole bunch of Japanese soldiers. The film shows signs of post-production tampering-an offscreen narration, an abrupt ending-indicating that, as yet, Sam Goldwyn wasn't quite sure how to package Danny Kaye for the screen. Despite its erratic editing and uneven scenario, Up in Arms contains some priceless moments, including Kaye's rapid-patter songs "The Lobby Number" and "Melody in 4F," both written by Sylvia Fine (Mrs. Kaye) and Max Liebman. There are also a few cute "inside" jokes referring to the illogical nature of the plotline and such esoterica as the out-of-nowhere appearances of the Goldwyn Girls (one of whom was Kaye's future leading lady Virginia Mayo).
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Fans of Danny Kaye will revel in Up in Arms, a showcase for the nervous comedian that started him on his extremely successful movie career. Kaye fanatics will find a lot to like in Arms, as there's a lot of him here. Those who are looking for a coherent story told in a compelling manner, however, will have to look elsewhere. Arms purports to be a remake of The Nervous Wreck and its earlier Eddie Cantor version, Whoopee, but it's really all about giving Kaye a chance to demonstrate his way with a rapid-fire patter song, his unique combination anxiety and ambition, his superb and precise comic timing and his ability to turn on a dime from manic comedy to doe-eyed sincerity. While some will find his persona a bit too over-the-top (though hardly in the same league in that area as the later Jerry Lewis or Jim Carrey), even detractors will have to admire his inspired and unfailing sense of timing, and his handling of "Melody in 4F" and "The Lobby Number" are hard to resist. If one can look past Kaye, there's also a very pleasing Dinah Shore, whose dramatic performance is merely adequate, but whose musical performance is beautiful. Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler provided her with two special numbers, the bluesy "Tess's Torch Song" and the lovely "Now I Know."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/23/1997
  • UPC: 026359125638
  • Original Release: 1944
  • Rating:

  • Source: Hbo Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Danny Kaye Danny Weems
Dinah Shore Virginia Merrill
Dana Andrews Joe Nelson
Constance Dowling Mary Morgan
Louis Calhern Col. Ashley
Elisha Cook Jr. Info Jones
George Mathews Blackie
Ben Baker Butterball
Lyle Talbot Sgt. Gelsey
Walter Catlett Maj. Brock
George Meeker Ashley's Aide
Richard Powers Ashley's Aide
Margaret Dumont Mrs. Willoughby
Donald Dickson Singer at Dock
Charles Arnt Mr. Higginbotham
Charles Halton Dr. Freyheisen
Tom Dugan Master of Ceremonies
Sig Arno Waiter
Harry Hayden Dr. Weavermacher
Charles D. Brown Dr. Campbell
Maurice Cass Dr. Jones
Fred Essler Head Waiter
The Goldwyn Girls
Betty Alexander
Gloria Anderson
Oliver Blake
Jan Bryant
Alma Carroll
Peter Chong
Linda Christian
Virginia Cruzon
Peter Cusanelli
William B. Davidson
Myrna Dell
Edward Earle Sherwood
Maude Eburne
Herbert Evans
Virginia Farmer
Benson Fong
Rudy Friml Bandmaster
Dorothy Gardner
Inna Gest
Renee Godfrey
Ellen Hall
John Hamilton Couple
June Harris
James Harrison
Eloise Hart
William Hunter
Mary Ann Hyde
Eddie Kane Wedding Guest in Dream
Tom Keene Ashley's Aide
Karen Knight
Audrey Korn
June Lang
George Lee
George Magrill
Mickey Malloy
Knox Manning Voice Only
Virginia Mayo Nurse
Matt McHugh
George McKay
Lorraine Miller
Mary Moore
Kay Morley
Diana Mumby
Frank O'Connor
Anne O'Neal
Dorothy Patrick
Shelby Payne
Lillian Randolph
Terrance Ray
Frosty Royce Bakery Man
Hans Schumm
Larry Steers Board Member
Leonard Strong Interrogator
Helen Talbot
Ruth Valmy
Alice Wallace
Eddy Waller
Barbara Williams Dancer
Matt Willis Sentries in Hold
Isabel Withers
Bruce Wong
Audrey Young Goldwyn Girl
Technical Credits
Elliott Nugent Director
Harold Arlen Score Composer
R.O. Binger Special Effects
Allen Boretz Screenwriter
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
McClure Capps Art Director
Stewart Chaney Art Director
Daniel Dare Choreography
Richard Day Consultant/advisor
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Sylvia Fine Score Composer
Louis Forbes Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Louis Germonprez Asst. Director
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
Don Hartman Producer, Screenwriter
Ray Heindorf Score Composer
Max Liebman Score Composer
Dan Mandell Editor
Walter Mayo Production Manager
James Newcom Editor
Robert Pirosh Screenwriter
Ray Rennahan Cinematographer
Clarence Slifer Special Effects
Robert Stephanoff Makeup
Miles White Costumes/Costume Designer
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