Lullaby of Broadway

You are invited to rate and comment on the 39 films of Doris Day.

How do you rate "Lullaby of Broadway"?

Poor
0
No votes
Average
3
5%
Good
25
44%
Excellent
29
51%
 
Total votes: 57

User avatar
Doris Martin
Honorary Member
Posts: 832
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 13:40
Spam Prevention: Yes

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Doris Martin »

puck wrote:I do love your blog, especially love the one with Miss Day, "Lullaby of Broadway" is a great movie, Miss Day and Gene Nelson were a great dancing couple, and she can dance fantastic and her songs, still enjoy it, never tired to see it again, and again.
I do never get tired..never...I just think she is UNIQUE

User avatar
Renie
Forum Friend
Posts: 258
Joined: 17 Apr 2014, 12:33
Spam Prevention: Yes
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Renie »

I absoloooooootely believe that Lullaby of Broadway is wonderful!!! The songs are GREAT and the BEST thing about it for me is the dancing by Doris. Every time I watch this movie, I can't help but think about how bleak things looked for her in terms of walking, let alone dancing, after that car/train accident long ago. In this movie, it's not just dancing but it's up and down those stairs and in heels yet. Fantastic. I sit there watching her and I just keep saying "WOW" over and over, along with shedding a few tears of joy for DD.
With regard to the plot, I like to be entertained by a movie and I like to feel happy after watching it. It's
fun to later imagine myself as playing the lead and I like to sing the songs. The plot is secondary to me, especially in a musical of that time period.

Renie

User avatar
Doris Martin
Honorary Member
Posts: 832
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 13:40
Spam Prevention: Yes

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Doris Martin »

DEAR RENIE,,YOU are absolutely wright.....my thoughts absolutely MM

User avatar
Renie
Forum Friend
Posts: 258
Joined: 17 Apr 2014, 12:33
Spam Prevention: Yes
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Renie »

I had ordered a DVD of Lullaby of Broadway and it arrived in the mail yesterday. I laughed and laughed when I read what was on the package. It described the set with the steps on which DD was to dance up and down in a flowing gold dress. As she stood at the foot of the steps,she is quoted as having said, "You've got to be out of your minds. I can't even WALK up and down those stairs." This just tickled my funny bone because all of her dancing in this movie was excellent.

Renie

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2908
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Johnny »

Yesterday i saw Lullaby of Broadway on TCM and was captivated by the singing, dancing, humour and outstanding talent that shone like brilliant diamonds all throughout the film. Doris was the centerpiece of the story surrounded by charming, hilarous, and talented Billy de Wolf, S.Z. Sakall, Gladys Geprge, Gene Nelson, Florence Bates and Anna Triola. They made the story so enjoyable.

With the exception of a Woody Allen film, we do not see in today's films such a wide range of creative talents that there are in Lullaby of Broadway. Most comedies seem to be star driven by the leads. There are many lessons for today's film producers and directors from the classic films of the past. Let's hope we can see the S.Z. Sakalls, Florence Bates and Billy de Wolfs of today in our films. They will help the films shine.

Doris and Gene Nelson are wonderful dancers.

Lullaby of Broadway is a great feel-good film.
Johnny

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1391
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Musiclover »

I watched it, too, Johnny. To me, Gene Nelson was a really underrated dancer. I'm glad he and Doris had a chance to shine in this picture -- especially in the finale. Her dancing always reminds me of a quote from a critic about herself that Ginger Rogers cited in her autobiography. I'm paraphrasing, but the gist is "Rogers does everything Astaire does, but she does it backwards and in high heels."

User avatar
Jas1
Honorary Member
Posts: 3728
Joined: 31 Mar 2005, 05:23
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Jas1 »

I often wonder if Doris and Gene Nelson had a good catch up at the 1989 Golden Globes [he presented an award that night, think the one Terry was up for but did not win]. Hope they did.

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2908
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Johnny »

The initial cast for Lullaby of Broadway that was announced was with June Haver and Dan Dailey. Gene Nelson was announced a week later for the male lead replacing Dailey. The original title of the film was Just Off Broadway.

Doris was reluctant to do Lullaby of Broadway and Martin Melcher tried very hard to prevent it from happening. The dance routines were extremely strenuous.

In 1935 the Lullaby of Broadway song in Gold Diggers of 1935 won an Oscar. It's competition was Cheek To Cheek and Lovely To Look At.
Johnny

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2908
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Johnny »

This is the description on the front and back jacket cover of the Lullaby Of Broadway dvd.
Front:
Warner Bros:
Bright Lights Musical That's Gay As The Gay White Way!
A Resplendent Day Hits Broadway!

Back:

The steps of the studio set towered before her like a pyramid. All Doris had to do was dance up and down those steps wearing a flowing gold lame dress. "You've got to be out of your minds". exclaimed in a voice heard across the sound stage, I can't even walk up and down those steps"

She danced divinely - and sang in this musical delight about a singer newly arrived in New York - and destined for Great White Way fame in the capable company of co-stars Gene Nelson, S.Z. Sakall, Billy De Wolfe, Gladys George, and Florence Bates. Savor the Oscar "winning" (1935) title song tune Cole Porter's "Just One Of Those Things", Somebody Loves Me and six more swell songs. C'mon along and listen to (and watch) this Lullaby Of Broadway".

Included on the dvd:

Special Features
Doris Day Trailer
Photo Gallery

subtitles -English, Francois, and Espanol

Just watching Doris dance on those stairs is a miracle and a testament to her great talent.
Johnny

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2908
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Johnny »

Rehearsals for Lullaby of Broadway began on August 21-1950.
In David Kaufman's book it states that Martin Melcher was involved in serious conflicts with Warner Brothers studio. He had serious reservations about the strenuous dance numbers Doris was expected to do in Lullaby of Broadway. He also was involved in disputes about having to have approval from the studio for Doris to give interviews on radio. Melcher objected to the amount of control the studio exerted over its' stars. Melcher is reported as having told Cohn that he would like to", have Doris out of her contract with Warner Bros. because he could sell her for $100,000 elsewhere."
Miriam Nelson reported that Director David Butler was very experienced at doing musicals and said he was very easygoing.
Whatever reservations Doris may have had at first about doing Lullaby of Broadway she gave it her all once work started. "She was very professional, and she felt her position as time went on". Butler would recall, " I knew her from the time she was very scared to death until the time she got to know everything... She always knew her lines. She always looked well. She always took care of herself. And I can't say enough nice things about Doris Day."

There are countless stories from co-stars, directors, and film crews about how Doris was so easy to work with on set. The people that come to mind that spoke glowingly are Polly Bergen, Rock Hudson, James Garner, Eve Arden, Rod Taylor and James Cagney.
Lullaby of Broadway - Released March 1951
Lullaby of Broadway - Released March 1951
Johnny

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1391
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Musiclover »

And all the regular supporting players on DD's television show have also commented about how easy it was to work with her.

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2908
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Johnny »

In Tom Santopietro's book Considering Doris Day, it describes Doris Day and Gene Nelson's work on Lullaby of Broadway:
"With a story this stale even in 1951, it's once again left to the musical numbers to carry the day, and they do, barely...thanks to Doris Day, and to Gene Nelson's self-choreographed numbers. When Doris makes her entrance in this film, decked out in top hat and tails, singing, "Just One Of Those Things",the viewer may think, "Ah yes---just like the girl next door," but she's a girl next door who performs like a real Broadway star. Doris still grins a bit too much, endlessly flashing a great many white teeth, especially in the up-tempo numbers, but put her within reach of a ballad--here it's "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me", she hits nothing but home runs. That silky,seductive voice, so intimate and full of feeling, can make even a mediocre song work, and given a great song such as this one, Doris triumphs.
Johnny

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2908
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Johnny »

In The Doris Day Scrapbook, Alan Gelb writes the following about Doris Day's film Lullaby of Broadway.
"In Lullaby of Broadway, Doris plays a chorus girl in search of her derelict mother-- an old packhorse of a plot from which the movie never quite recovers.

Gordon MacRae must of skipped everyone's mind
because he is not around, but Gene Nelson is on hand to prove the only difference between him and the bland Gordon is that he dances and Gordon sings.. Nelson was never going to be a star, a fact :cry: that was apparent to everyone, but Warners still did not feel it necessary to balance Doris' potential incandescence with someone who could bring out the best in her and hold his own to boot. And so, to round things out, they assigned the usual supporting players in their usual supporting roles: Cuddles Sakall again and Billy De Wolf (who had become by now, one of Doris' great friends and who teamed her Clara Bixby, which many of her friends call her to this day because it expresses her simple. homespun charms). In the role of Doris' mother old boozer of a was the gifted Gladys George, who had provided memorable moments in similar roles in Valiant Is The Word for Carrie and Madame X. Miss George, whose real life persona was not so very remote from her film roles and who was to die in the sixties unnoticed and destitute, plays the role for all its worth and even sings a charming version of "In Old Shanty Town".

Lullaby of Broadway was a success for Doris and get warbling of the title song became a big hit for her while her rendition in the film of such standards as, "Somebody Loves Me", and "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone", were unmitigated delights."

I think Gelb's unfair characterization of Gene Nelson's star power was unnecessary. Also the unkind remarks about Gladys George personal life were not relevant. Describing Gordon as bland was unkind and unfair.

There are no observations made about Doris and Gene's spectacular and challenging dance routines in Lullaby of Broadway.

The audience loved this film and in the end this is who the film was made for, not a critic.
Johnny

User avatar
jmichael
Honorary Member
Posts: 1916
Joined: 23 Apr 2005, 06:00
Location: Overland Park, KS USA

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by jmichael »

I agree with Johnny. It feels as if Santopietro and Gelb were being a bit hard on Doris and the film. You have to remember this was one of her earlier musicals and she may not have had enough experience to know when she was pushing the sunny persona too hard. There is an art to great screen acting, a technique that is vastly different from what is required of a stage performer. Less is always more, especially in close-ups. At the time, Doris may not have fully honed her technique and you can certainly see a marked improvement by the time she did Calamity Jane and Pajama Game. That being said, I think Doris puts the song and dance number over quite well.

Also agree that Gelb was being a sourpuss in his derogatory comments about Gene Nelson and Gordon MacCrae. MacCrae was a lively musical comedy performer and he had wonderful chemistry with Doris. His Curly in Oklahoma! remains one of the most dashing performances ever by a leading man in a big screen musical. Nelson was a pro through and through. He may not have been as classically handsome as MacRae but he lit up the screen whenever he danced and he became a fine director too. Nelson deserves better treatment than this IMO.

Michael
Michael H

"There's nothing in my bedroom that bothers me."

User avatar
Johnny
Honorary Member
Posts: 2908
Joined: 10 Oct 2007, 16:02
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Johnny »

In David Kaufman's book on Doris, there is a description of the Lullaby of Broadway difficult dance routine given by Gene Nelson's wife Miriam that is interesting.

"More than a half century later, Miriam Nelson would explain why the title number in Lullaby was considerably more arduous than anything they attempted in Tea For Two. "Gene was so fearless " recalls Nelson. "He was going down the stairs backwards -- which means, you can't see where you are going. You have to put your foot down behind you, and then turn. And I was afraid to do it. So I would do it very slow. I never did it up to temporarily. So when Clara (Doris) came in to learn the routine I would say now you can put your tight foot down here. And I never did it fast myself. But she learned it and did it fast. And it wasn't until the picture was finished that I told her, "Well you did something I couldn't do".

The production began filming on August 31st. and ended on November 17- two days behind schedule.


One other passage on Gene Nelson says a great deal about his commitment to dance.
Gene Nelson said, " Someone gave me a red T-shirt with the inscription, "I didn't know it was impossible when I did it". " I think that sums of my whole creative philosophy in dance choreography. If it isn't a challenge, it not worth doing".
Johnny

User avatar
Musiclover
Special Contributer
Posts: 1391
Joined: 05 Jan 2014, 16:42
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by Musiclover »

Writers, some of whom I think are often envious of the talent they criticize, can disparage "Lullaby" all they want, but the public liked it -- and, of course, ticket sales are the goal of any studio. (The album from the film was hugely popular as well; it charted at #1.) Warner Bros. was well aware of Doris's appeal then, and they acknowledged it even decades later during their 85th anniversary celebration in 2008 by identifying her as their most important female star of the 1950s. As to Gene Nelson, in my view he was not given the credit he deserved as a dancer. To me, his style was much more appealing than Gene Kelly's.

User avatar
webmaster
Posts: 6679
Joined: 04 Mar 2005, 18:55
Spam Prevention: Yes
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by webmaster »

“The film that made Doris Day a household name”
– Ralph McKnight

Image
Doris Day’s voice was part of her tremendous appeal, and her ability to be both sexy and a regular gal appealed to both men and women. Doris Day was different from most screen actresses: she was independent and portrayed women who were ambitious, employed, and self-sufficient.
By the time of this film’s release in 1951, moviegoers were assured that a Doris Day film would be good family fare. In Lullaby of Broadway, she plays Melinda Howard, an aspiring singer-dancer who arrives in New York after a long absence to pay a surprise visit to her mother. Having received deceptive letters over the years, Melinda doesn’t know that her mother, once a top Broadway star, is now an alcoholic has-been singing in a Greenwich Village dive. Gladys George brilliantly portrays the mother, Jessica Howard, who has tried to protect her daughter from her own misfortune.

Melinda is befriended by Lefty Mack (Billy DeWolfe) and Gloria Davis (Anne Triola), and by their employer, Adolph Hubbell (S Z ‘Cuddles’ Sakall), who also conspire to protect her from learning the truth about her mother. Although Hubbell is the real owner of a huge home, Melinda is led to believe that he is merely renting it while her mother is on tour. He takes an instant liking to Melinda and, unbeknownst to his wife, allows her to stay in the servant’s quarters.



At one of Hubbell’s parties, Melinda and dancer Tom Farnham (Gene Nelson) entertain the guests and she subsequently falls in love with him. The two begin rehearsals for a show, Lullaby of Broadway, which Hubbell is producing. Hubbell’s wife, gruffly portrayed by Florence Bates, is unaware that Melinda is staying in the house, but becomes suspicious that her husband is seeing another woman. Rumors of an affair between Hubbell and Melinda become public and lead to misunderstandings that are finally sorted out by the film’s end.

This is a musical comedy in which Doris Day is a delight, but she gets the chance to do some dramatic acting as well. The reunion scene with her mother is very touching. Doris Day looks spectacular in Technicolor and has big close-ups in this tender scene. Gladys George breaks your heart when she tearfully tells Day’s character, “It’s tough being a mother after all these years. I guess I need a couple more rehearsals.”

Image
Doris Day, in top hat and tails, opens the picture with the wonderful Cole Porter song Just One of Those Things. What a great number! The number she and Nelson perform at the party to the Harry Warren/Al Dubin song, You’re Getting to be a Habit with Me, is charming and showcases the dancing talents of both Day and Nelson.
At rehearsals for the Broadway show, they sing and dance to Somebody Loves Me (music by George Gershwin) and to I Love the Way You Say Goodnight. The latter routine is partially shot in slow motion, an interesting touch rarely seen in musicals, and is beautifully edited. It allows one to see how flexible and acrobatic Nelson and Day are. Nelson does a high-stepping, high-kicking routine of Zing Went the Strings of My Heart, which shows why he was the Gene Kelly of Warner Brothers. The best is saved for last. The great title tune is sung and danced on a steep flight of stairs by Nelson in tails and Day in a gold lame gown and mink stole. It’s one of the best musical numbers in Warner history.
Although the later Calamity Jane is the picture credited with making Doris Day a film superstar, Lullaby of Broadway must be credited for helping to make her a household name.
Around the period of the film’s release, she was constantly on the record charts with big hits like A Guy is a Guy, When I Fall in Love, and Shanghai. When she wasn’t in front of the movie cameras, she was in the recording studio or posing for fan magazine photos. Immediately after the release of this film, she married her agent, Marty Melcher, and he became her manager.

Ralph McKnight, New York
https://www.dorisday.net/lullaby-of-broadway/
Follow Remembering Doris Day: https://twitter.com/DayRemembering

User avatar
sihmonSELV
Posts: 36
Joined: 17 Nov 2019, 15:52
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by sihmonSELV »

Is it known if "Fine and Dandy", a song featured on the Columbia album referring to this film, was also recorded for inclusion in the film? If so, is it known what happened to that performance, as I can't seem to find it when watching the film?

User avatar
webmaster
Posts: 6679
Joined: 04 Mar 2005, 18:55
Spam Prevention: Yes
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by webmaster »

Image

It's on the album but not in the film;

Track listing
"Lullaby of Broadway" (Harry Warren, Al Dubin) (with the Norman Luboff Choir and the Buddy Cole Quartet) (recorded December 8, 1950) - 2:29
"Fine and Dandy" (Kay Swift, Paul James†) (with the Norman Luboff Choir and the Buddy Cole Quartet) (recorded December 8, 1950) - 2:49
"In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town" (Ira Schuster, Jack Little/Joe Young) (with the Norman Luboff Choir and the Buddy Cole Quartet) (recorded December 8, 1950) - 2:55
"Somebody Loves Me" (George Gershwin, Buddy DeSylva, Ballard MacDonald) (with the Frank Comstock Orchestra) (recorded December 4, 1950) - 2:49
"Just One of Those Things" (Cole Porter) (with the Frank Comstock Orchestra) (recorded December 4, 1950)
"You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me" (Warren, Dubin) (with the Frank Comstock Orchestra) (recorded December 4, 1950)
"I Love the Way You Say Goodnight" (Edward Pola, George Wyle) (with the Norman Luboff Choir and the Buddy Cole Quartet) (recorded December 8, 1950)
"Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" (Sam H. Stept, Sidney Clare) (with the Frank Comstock Orchestra) (recorded December 4, 1950)
†Paul James was the pseudonym of Swift's husband James Warburg.
This album, combined with Tea for Two, was reissued in compact disc form in 2001. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lullaby_o ... ay_(album)

AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann [-]
Despite its familiar title, Warner Bros.' Lullaby of Broadway was an original movie musical, albeit one in which nearly all the songs were vintage titles owned by the film company. And nearly all of them were performed by Doris Day. Warner did not have a record company, so there could be no soundtrack album, but Day had a contract with Columbia Records, and she had enjoyed considerable success the previous year by recording tie-in albums from her films Young Man With a Horn and Tea for Two. This Lullaby of Broadway LP soon joined its predecessors in the Top Five. In the film, Day had been paired with Gene Nelson, who had been promoted from the second male lead in Tea for Two. Since Nelson had appeared with Day on the Tea for Two LP, you might have expected him to turn up here, too, but he didn't. I

It was just Day, accompanied by the Norman Luboff Choir and the Buddy Cole Quartet on the title song, "Fine and Dandy" (which was not in the film), and the newly written "I Love the Way You Say Goodnight," and by an orchestra conducted by Frank Comstock on the rest. (Nelson's feature, "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," was absent, of course.) Since the songs are just a bunch of standards from old films and musicals, the connection to the movie simply provides an excuse for Day to try out vintage material written by the likes of George Gershwin and Cole Porter, and she does well by it.
https://www.allmusic.com/album/lullaby- ... 0000848912

Google Search:
https://tinyurl.com/fine-and-dandy
Follow Remembering Doris Day: https://twitter.com/DayRemembering

User avatar
sihmonSELV
Posts: 36
Joined: 17 Nov 2019, 15:52
Spam Prevention: Yes
Contact:

Re: Lullaby of Broadway

Unread post by sihmonSELV »

Thanks, Bryan, for the reply!

Well, like I said, I never saw "Fine and Dandy" performed in the film, but sometimes there are deleted scenes, that later show up on DVDs and such. But, of course, nothing can show up, if it was never recorded in the first place. 8)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests