I Love this movie and it is one I have watched over and over. And I think Danny Thomas was a perfect choice to team up with Doris to play Gus Kahn.
The film is a biography of lyricist Gus Kahn, and includes a number of songs written by Kahn, including the title song. The story is told from the point of view of Kahn' wife Grace, who was still alive when the film was made (Kahn died some ten years earlier). I'll See You in My Dreams was a big hit, Warner Brothers' second-highest grossing film of 1952.
Danny Thomas made one of his last public appearances on his son-in-laws' TV talk show to promote his autobiography, "Make Room for Danny" in 1991, he became rather pensive when "I'll See You in My Dreams" was mentioned. Thomas said, "The best thing I've ever done. And with Doris Day!" Phil Donahue just smiled as Danny struggled to hold back his tears.Even though the film was the biography of Gus Kahn, the prolific songwriter of countless songs, which are now considered standards in American musical history, Doris Day was top-billed over Danny Thomas,
This is a sweet film, which begins in Chicago on Wabash Avenue, home of the William Rossiter & Sons Music Publishing Company, which sells sheet music of popular tunes. Gus Kahn has written songs, poems, two musical comedies and an operetta and wants an "opinion". He meets a seemingly arrogant music screener, Grace LeBoy, who tells Gus that he should write about things he knows best. "Thirty two bars of music that says 'I love you'" is what sells. Taking her advice, reluctantly, Gus writes his first love song, "I Wish I Had a Girl",
Grace adds music to Gus' lyrics and the song develops into a publishable song. She also has a strange attraction for Kahn, which she doesn't understand. The song is published, not by Rossiter & Sons, but by Fred Thompson (James Gleason) whose publishing business is in trouble, but he is persuaded by Grace to publish the song for practically no royalties. After Grace and Gus quit their respective jobs, they set out to promote the song. Soon, it's being played everywhere and more songs hit the charts like "Sunshine and Roses" and "The Month of June is a Song of Love". Thompson, who has been publishing the Kahn/LeBoy creations, feels that with Kahn's talent, he should be teamed with more accomplished composers, and arranges, with Grace's approval, for Gus to write "Memories" with Egbert Van Alstyne. It becomes a major success. Afterwards, Gus marries Grace after years of treating her like a buddy and business partner.
I love all the songs from this movie. Especially the cute song "Making whoopee", This was so cute when they sang this on the train to each other in their little sleeping quarters.
What follows are collaborations with Richard Whiting ("Ain't We Got Fun"), Isham Jones ("The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else" "It Had to Be You" "I'll See You in My Dreams") and most notably, Walter Donaldson ("My Buddy" ""Makin' Whoopee!" and "Love Me or Leave Me"). Kahn, Tony Jackson and Van Alstyne wrote "Pretty Baby", a great song, after Grace announces that she is pregnant.
It was Grace who took his songs out to potential producers of shows to promote Gus' works. She became the stronger of the two knowing that it was necessary for her to remain strong while Gus had his personal doubts. She single-handed sold "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else". Together, they turned "Toot, Toot Tootsie" (performing in black face, no doubt), "Nobody's Sweetheart" and "My Buddy" into genuine hits during World War 1.
Disaster hits the country with the 1929 stock market crash, which affected practically every American, including Hollywood and the music business. The Kahns went through hard times. Musical styles had changed and Gus' confidence fell to an incredibly low ebb. His house is up for sale, but despite this, the devoted, but sarcastic maid, Anna (Mary Wickes) decides to stay with the family, sans salary. Depressed, he vows to give up. Grace will hear none of that and via a desperate phone call, persuades Fred Thompson, now a very successful producer in Hollywood, to offer Gus a job, but not to reveal that she initiated the action. Plagued by the fact that for years it has been rumored that Grace wore the pants in the family, Kahn explodes when he finds out that it was Grace, and vows to leave her. She tries to reason with him by saying, "What do you want me to do? Stand on the sidelines and watch your talent dry up? I'm your wife, Gus, I have a right to help you!" He leaves the family ending up in Hollywood.
Ralph McKnight, New York, June 2000
This is a must see heartwarming movie,and if it is one you haven't seen, make sure you add this one to your list. You will watch it more than once, it is a keeper.
Gus is offered an opportunity to write a Broadway musical, "Whoopi", with Donaldson, and in no time, Kahn is off to New York. He gets caught up in the big city pazazz and is rumored to be having an affair with the show's star, Gloria Knight (Patrice Wymore). Grace, moderately jealous, arrives in Manhattan and confronts Gloria who admits that she has "fallen for Gus", but was unsuccessful in luring him away from his wife.( And Grace puts her in her place in a hurry but in a nice way..)
Love that trailer Barbara! One big lesson in this film (there are a few:) Doris tells young Gus Kahn that the reason for "love songs" is to put to words what others are not able to say. . . BINGO!!!!
I love the song "I'll See You In My Dreams." I thought Doris "just sparkled" (literally) in the scene where she visits Danny Thomas in the hospital (out West) after he split the scene. Me can't find no picture? She would of healed me too!!!
Mary Wickes as the maid. . . again!
Patrice Wymore again (Tea For Two) who really is very talented - the other woman . . . bad girl type. Do you think Doris would really scratch her eyes out next time? I'd like to see her in a starring role? We see a foreshadow of "Love Me or Leave Me" in her performance. I notice a lot foreshadowing/destiny in DD movies - happens all the time.
Danny and Doris in a family way. Reminds me of the beginning bathtub scene in "The Thrill of It All."
Conclusion: A lovely movie, a wonderful story and tribute to Gus and Gracie Kahn, including the prettiest and best singer to do it, and such a sweet ending - every man's dream! "I'll See You In My Dreams" - go figure?
Thanks Nick, I always enjoy your input on all of the movies. And Mike, you and Nick and Janice are with Doris in the month of April celebrating Birthdays. My daughter's Birthday is April 23, lot of important people celebrating birthdays in April.. Nick, I don't remember Patrice Wymore playing in Love Me Or Leave Me. I will have to go back and check that out. Just wish there were more video's of this movie because of all the wonderful songs.
Love the scene where Gus sings "Pretty Baby" to her, and picks her up and carries her out of the club singing that song to her because she has fallen asleep.
First picture working on the lyrics of "Pretty Baby"
Barbara, Patrice Wymore sings the song"Love Me or Leave Me" in the movie"I'll See You In My Dreams" - there's a snippet of it in the Movie Trailer you posted. Hope that makes more sense now. It's a foreshadow of the film which came later.
I thought Danny Thomas played a somewhat self-absorbed, crotchety "old goat" in this movie with just a few small signs of hope in him. Gracie was the saving grace. I guess that was just the script.
Dorine, sometime you can go on line and find these older movies and watch them free, maybe Nick or Janice or Christie might run across it and post it for you. Also Nick that was Gus personality in real life, and I guess if you watch the movie you know how Grace had to be the go getter and push him, for him to be the success that he was. I think she did most of all the pushing and leg work to make sure his songs were heard.What got on my nerves was him constantly smoking those cigars and blowing the smoke right in her face.
This movie firmly stands out in my mind. I used to subscribe to the weekly VARIETY magazine so I could follow the progress of Doris' movies (and it was not cheap). Anyway, I do remember the headlines on this one because it broke all kinds of box office records when it ran at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
My favorite song from the movie? Oddly sung by Doris, "I Wish I Had A Girl".
Glad you posted her version Mike, because I haven't heard it, it was neat at the end when she came on stage and began to sing it with him, I still like them doing that cute song "Making Whoopee" when they were on the train together. So cute..
This picture is the picture at the ending of the movie, after they sang the song, "I Wish That I Had A Girl", And start dancing'
Nice song Mike. Doris did such beautiful ballads. I don't think I've heard this version before. Learn something new everyday!
Doris sings a few bars of the song "My Buddy" in this movie (while they are panning through the war years,) which is one of my favorites, right before the "Toot, Toot, Tootsie Goodbye" number; that is, if my memory serves me correctly - it's in there somewhere . . . definitely!
Also, her version of "It Had To Be You" is the best, but not in the movie. The song fit the Gus role better.
Barbara, I love Doris's version of "I'll See You In My Dreams" a lot too. It lingers in your head for days after watching the movie.
I can't find the full-movie on YouTube. Maybe we can record it off of TCM and send Dorine a copy. I think it will play overseas if formatted to a DVD recording using a compatibility setting? I'll keep my eyes open for it. Dorine, you got to see this one, Doris is such a sweetheart in this one - you don't see that everyday! They look like a nice couple in the pictures posted. But Gus is always giving his wife grief, and cigar smoke in the face, however, his cantankerous personality warms up at the end . . . finally!!! - which makes it worth the wait!
I like this recording of Makin Whoopee too! Especially, her big band swagger that blows you out of your seat! Like Sinatra would do occasionally. Add it to her Las Vegas act!!!
Yes Dorine, you defentely need to see this movie, Nick it seem like Gus was a little slow at everything,
It took him forever to propose to Grace, she was about to walk out on him and there business adventure, before he got the nerve to ask her to marry him.
Dorine, just a little tip on posting pictures. If you will check in the box where it says (center - Med) check those two before you post a picture, it will post the large pictures where you can see all of it better. Just a little something I had to learn..
Hey Barbara, I see Calamity under that "Toot Toot Tootsie" outfit in the video! Can you see her in there?
Fuffy, I mean Dorine (I love that name) just click the picture size to "Medium" before posting it - and it will adjust it to fit. Sometimes it needs a little time before it adjusts. Sometimes you have to go away and come back later and then it fits. Presto magic!