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I Dream of Jeanie (1952)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Music | 15 June 1952 (USA)
The life and career of famed American composer Stephen Foster.

Director:

Allan Dwan

Writer:

Alan Le May (screenplay) (as Alan LeMay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Middleton ... Edwin P. Christy
Bill Shirley ... Stephen Foster
Muriel Lawrence Muriel Lawrence ... Inez McDowell
Eileen Christy ... Jeanie McDowell
Rex Allen ... Mr. Tambo
Lynn Bari ... Mrs. McDowell
Dick Simmons ... Dunning Foster (as Richard Simmons)
Scott Elliott ... Milford Wilson (as Robert Neil)
Andrew Tombes ... R.E. Howard
James Dobson James Dobson ... Spike
Percy Helton ... Mr. Horker
Glen Turnbull Glen Turnbull ... Glenn Turnbull / Speciality Dancer (as Glenn Turnbull)
Louise Beavers ... Mammy
James Kirkwood ... Doctor
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Freddie (as Carl Dean Switzer)
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Storyline

The life and career of famed American composer Stephen Foster.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ROMANCE - MUSIC - COMEDY of SHOWBOAT DAYS!(original poster -mostly caps)t

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 June 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Canzone del Mississipi See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$515,134 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film shows an extremely rare historical accuracy in films for costumes. Mrs. McDowell wears black dresses through the entire film; which is what a widow of the time would have done. See more »

Goofs

Early on in the film, one of Foster's young friends is critically injured when a buggy runs over him. Foster then gives all his money to the doctor to help pay the hospital bill and other costs. After this scene, we hear nothing about whether the boy has recovered or not... See more »

Quotes

[Stephen shows the sheet music from his first song to two of his friends]
First Co-Worker: Let's see where it says you wrote it!
Stephen Foster: Well, I guess it doesn't say.
Second Co-Worker: Did you get much for it?
Stephen Foster: Oh, he didn't pay me anything.
First Co-Worker: Did you even get any royalties?
Stephen Foster: Listen, he's doing me a big favor just to print it - didn't charge me a cent.
Second Co-Worker: Boy, how 'bout that minstrel man, Christy? Didn't he pay ya?
Stephen Foster: Certainly not. I'm proud to have him sing it.
First Co-Worker: Gee, it looks like you oughta get a little something just for thinkin' it up!
See more »

Connections

Remake of Swanee River (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Lo, Hear the Gentle Lark
Music by H.R. Bishop (as Sir H.R. Bishop) (1819)
Words by William Shakespeare from "Venus and Adonis" (1593)
Performed by Muriel Lawrence
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User Reviews

 
Pervse Delight
27 April 2005 | by play78rpmsSee all my reviews

No, this ain't "The Stephen Foster Story." That's in Bardstown, Ky, a place that Stephen Foster never saw in his short and tragic life. Foster's real life was tragic and depressing and might make an interesting "All That Jazz" style film. But this ain't it. This is a razzle dazzle musical comedy with the music of Foster as an added plus.

This is the kind of musical film that used to be common but are now long gone. It's an attempt by Republic Picures producer Herbert J. Yates to cash in on the success of MGM's 1951 hit "Showboat" but with the lowest budget possible. In view of that the film manages to look much more lush than it really is. Of course the use of the Foster song catalog didn't cost Repbulic anything. Surprisingly the color quality of the print the DVD I viewed was mastered from held up surprisingly well considering the obvious neglect it was subject to.

The production has the feel of the composer bio pics MGM used to churn out during this era. You could easily recast the film in your imagination with Metro contract players from that time.

Director Alan Dwan obviously had the expertise to make a cheap programmer like this look better than its budget should have allowed. The pic is almost set bound with few exteriors and limited interiors. But Dwan keeps the pace moving at a brisk clip with the musical numbers occurring so rapidly you have little time to think about the silliness of the plot.The songs have been given arrangements more suited to the 1950s and are not the reverential treatments that might be expected. They are instead bright Hollywood musical comedy numbers. These numbers were staged by associates trained by Nick Castle (I guess Republic couldn't afford Mr. Castle himself) and are brisk and lively. There has obviously been an attempt to integrate some of the songs into the action but if some of the cues and other proceedings seem laughable, well go ahead and laugh. It's all in fun, so enjoy it for what it is.

The cast perform competently and seem to be enjoying themselves which helps to make the film more enjoyable to the viewer. Of course Ray Middleton, the original Broadway Frank Butler opposite Ethel Merman in "Annie Get Your Gun" almost steals the proceedings with his bombastic performance.

The film was of course made in a more politically incorrect era. But it is not much more incorrect than ...say.."Holiday Inn'.

The film is a perversely delightful relic of a by gone era and well worth the dollar the DVD sells for in many areas.


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