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Sally
     

Sally

Director: John Francis Dillon

Cast: Marilyn Miller, Alexander Gray, Joe E. Brown

 
Recreating her famous Broadway role from 1920, former Ziegfeld star Marilyn Miller took to the Warner Bros. soundstages with the energy that had made her a household name. Miller is Sally Bowling Green, an orphan named after a telephone exchange. Slaving away in a New York coffee shop, she dreams of becoming a famous dancer, a dream that keeps interrupting business.

Overview

Recreating her famous Broadway role from 1920, former Ziegfeld star Marilyn Miller took to the Warner Bros. soundstages with the energy that had made her a household name. Miller is Sally Bowling Green, an orphan named after a telephone exchange. Slaving away in a New York coffee shop, she dreams of becoming a famous dancer, a dream that keeps interrupting business. After accidentally dumping a plate of food on booking agent Otis Hooper (T. Roy Barnes), Sally finds herself once more in the employment line. She obtains yet another waitress job at the Balkan beer garden owned by amiable "Pops" Schendorff (Ford Sterling) where Connie (Joe E. Brown), the down-on-his-luck former Grand Duke of Czekoslovonia, also works. She also makes the acquaintance of socialite Blair Farquar (Alexander Gray), who has long loved her from afar. With Farquar's help, Sally proves her nimbleness on the dance floor and is hired by Hooper to impersonate Madame Noskorova, a famous Russian dancer who has eloped despite pressing engagements. Arriving at a party given by influential Mrs. Ten Brock (Maude Turner Gordon, Sally keeps up the masquerade until the hostess announces the engagement of her daughter Marcia (Nora Lane) to Blair. Hurt by the latter's duplicity, she leaves with Connie and Hooper, with Hooper arranging for her to star in the Ziegfeld Follies. On her opening night, a hugely successful Sally is reunited with Blair, who has refused to marry Marcia.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Live theater being the most ephemeral of arts, one can be thankful that Warner Bros preserved perhaps the most successful musical comedy of the 1920s and retained its original lead, the legendary Marilyn Miller. Miller, who perhaps wisely had refused all screen offers while the medium was still mute, signed with the studio for a whopping (and widely advertised) $149,000 to recreate her famous stage turn, which was released in two-strip Technicolor to what one modern writer has termed "modified rapture." By 1929, the thirty-something Miller was no longer at her incandescent peak and it is frankly difficult for a modern audience to truly comprehend what all the fuss was about The much-vaunted Technicolor, alas, has not survived except for a brief production number in which Miller cavorts with a line of chorus boys. But in this fleeting moment one may detect a bit of what kept Broadway crowds on their feet for more than two years running. By today's standards Miller's dancing can probably best be termed "eccentric" and her singing is nothing to write home about, but that breathtaking smile and million-dollar personality is right there on the screen. Then it is gone and a gray and white Sally is once again a creaky museum piece kept lingering, but barely, by the comedic talents of Joe E. Brown, Ford Sterling, Jack Duffy, and dumb brunette Pert Kelton. Alexander Gray, who had appeared with Miller in the touring version, makes an adequate leading man and the closing Ziegfeld number, complete with a chorus line choreographed by Albertina Rasch) and towering showgirls in bizarre getups, is tuneful enough. As Hollywood would again and again in the future, Warner Bros. threw out most of Jerome Kern's original score to save a buck or two, but not even West Coast Philistines like the brothers Warner could touch Kern's and Buddy G. De Sylva's "Look for the Silver Lining," which remained Miller's signature song. She would only do two additional films before dying tragically young in 1936 but her memory was kept alive through such musicals as Till the Clouds Roll By (47), with Judy Garland supplying Marilyn with the kind of voice she always wished she had and, of course, the musical biography Look for the Silver Lining (1949) starring June Haver.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/01/2009
UPC:
0883316224793
Original Release:
1929
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:41:00
Sales rank:
36,822

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marilyn Miller Sally
Alexander Gray Blair Farquar
Joe E. Brown Connie
T. Roy Barnes Otis Hooper
Pert Kelton Rosie
Ford Sterling "Pops" Shendorff
Maude Turner Gordon Mrs. Ten Brock
E.J. Ratcliffe John Farquar, Blair's father
Jack Duffy The Old Roue
Nora Lane Marcia
Noah Beery Actor

Technical Credits
John Francis Dillon Director
Larry Ceballos Choreography
Alexis Dubin Score Composer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Devereaux Jennings Cinematographer
Jerome Kern Score Composer
Jack Okey Production Designer
Charles E. Schoenbaum Cinematographer
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
LeRoy Stone Editor
Jack Stone Art Director
Harry Warren Score Composer
Waldemar Young Screenwriter

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