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Centennial Summer (1946)

Approved | | History, Music, Romance | August 1946 (USA)
In 1876 Philadelphia, two sisters vie for the affections of a Frenchman who's come to town to prepare the French pavilion for the Centennial exposition.


Otto Preminger


Michael Kanin (screenplay), Albert E. Idell (based on novel by)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Jeanne Crain ... Julia Rogers
Cornel Wilde ... Philippe Lascalles
Linda Darnell ... Edith Rogers
William Eythe ... Ben Phelps
Walter Brennan ... Jesse Rogers
Constance Bennett ... Zenia Lascalles
Dorothy Gish ... Mrs. Rogers
Barbara Whiting ... Susanna Rogers
Larry Stevens Larry Stevens ... Richard Lewis Esq
Kathleen Howard ... Deborah
Buddy Swan Buddy Swan ... Dudley Rogers
Charles Dingle ... J.P. Snodgrass
Avon Long ... Specialty


Philadelphia in the summer of 1876 and lots of celebration to mark America's first hundred years. The Rogers family are visited by their aunt Zenia (Constance Bennerr), who brings with her a young Frenchman, Philippe Lascalles (Cornel Wilde), who is in charge of the French pavillon. Rogers family daughters, Julia (Jeanne Crain) and Edith (Linda Darnell), fall in love with Philippe, while their father, Jesse Rogers (Walter Brennan), tries to promote his inventions and hang onto his railroad job. With Zenia's help, he does both, while Julia wins the love of Philippe and Edith finally says yes to her devoted suitor Dr. Ben Phelps (William Eythe). Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


History | Music | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tia de Paris See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the song "The Right Romance," Jerome Kern borrowed liberally from himself. The song's bridge is nearly identical to the "Telll me that it's true, tell me you agree" coda of "Dearly Beloved" from You Were Never Lovelier (1942). See more »


Referenced in Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991) See more »


The Right Romance
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Sung by Jeanne Crain (dubbed by Louanne Hogan)
See more »

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User Reviews

Meet Me in Philadelphia Louie
1 February 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although Centennial Summer did not approach the success that MGM's Meet Me In St. Louis either artistically or financially, the film still has a lot to recommend it. It may be the only musical in history done with mostly non-musical performers with leads Linda Darnell and Jeanne Crain dubbed by other singers.

Darnell and Crain are sisters and daughters of Walter Brennan and Dorothy Gish who are just like the family in Meet Me In St. Louis with the problems that your average middle class families in the Centennial year of 1876 had. They're all looking forward to the Centennial World's Fair of that year.

Some complications get thrown into the mix when prim and proper Dorothy Gish gets a visit from Constance Bennett who is quite the jet setter in those days before jets and flying were accomplished facts. She's in from Paris and she's bringing with her a nephew by marriage played by Cornel Wilde. Wilde uses the same French accent he did in The Greatest Show On Earth and Sword Of Lancelot and he gets both the sisters romantic motors running. In the meantime earnest young William Eythe going into a new medical field of obstetrics is hanging around hoping to pick someone up on the rebound, but he's hoping it's Crain.

Centennial Summer is known for the fact that it was Jerome Kern's last musical project and it was released the year after Kern died. He used three different lyricists for the various songs, Oscar Hammerstein, II, E.Y. Harburg, and Leo Robin. All Through The Day with lyrics by Hammerstein got an Oscar nomination for best song as did Alfred Newman's overall musical scoring. The song which obviously the studio thought would be the big hit was entrusted to a real singer Larry Stevens and introduced in a musical hall sequence.

I'm not sure what Darryl F. Zanuck was thinking in not casting the already proved Dolly Sister team of Betty Grable and June Haver in the leads. The film might have been better if he had.

Still for those like myself who love the music of Jerome Kern, Centennial Summer is a must see film.

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