AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Summer Stock
Director: Charles Walters (Dir)
Release Date:   Aug 1950
Production Date:   21 Nov 1949--early Feb 1950; mid-Mar 1950
Duration (in mins):   108-09
Duration (in feet):   9,824
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Cast:   Judy Garland (Jane Falbury)  
    Gene Kelly (Joe D. Ross)  
    Eddie Bracken (Orville Wingait)  
    Gloria De Haven (Abigail Falbury)  
    Marjorie Main (Esme)  
    Phil Silvers (Herb Blake)  
    Ray Collins (Jasper G. Wingait)  
    Nita Bieber (Sarah Higgins)  
    Carleton Carpenter (Artie)  
    Hans Conried (Harrison I. Keath)  
    Paul E. Burns (Frank)  
    Bridget Carr (Member of stock company)  
    Jean Coyne (Member of stock company)  
    Carole Haney (Member of stock company)  
    Jean Adcock (Member of stock company)  
    Joanne Tree (Member of stock company)  
    Rena Lenart (Member of stock company)  
    JoAnn Dale (Member of stock company)  
    Betty Hannon (Member of stock company)  
    Elynne Ray (Member of stock company)  
    Marilyn Reiss (Member of stock company)  
    Dorothy Tuttle (Member of stock company)  
    Carol West (Member of stock company)  
    Arthur Loew Jr. (Member of stock company)  
    Eugene Freedley (Member of stock company)  
    Dick Humphreys (Member of stock company)  
    Don Powell (Member of stock company)  
    Joe Roach (Member of stock company)  
    Albert Ruiz (Member of stock company)  
    Jimmy Thompson (Member of stock company)  
    Erville Alderson (Zeb)  
    Bette Arlen (Showgirl)  
    Bunny Waters (Showgirl)  
    Alice Wallace (Showgirl)  
    Meredith Leeds (Showgirl)  
    Lorraine Crawford (Showgirl)  
    Jack Gargan (Clerk)  
    Almira Sessions (Constance Fliggerton)  
    Kathryn Sheldon (Amy Fliggerton)  
    Michael Chopin (Boy)  
    Teddy Infuhr (Boy)  
    Cameron Grant (Producer)  
    Jack Daley (Producer)  
    Reginald Simpson (Producer)  
    Eddie Dunn (Sheriff)  
    Roy Butler (Townsman)  
    Henry Sylvester (Townsman)  
    George Bunny (Townsman)  
    Frank Pharr (Townsman)  

Summary: Jane Falbury, a Connecticut farm owner, has worked hard to keep her family farm productive, but three years of bad crops have left her nearly destitute. Despite her financial crisis, Jane continues to pay for the expensive education of her sister Abigail, who is studying acting in New York. After her farm hands, Frank and Zeb, quit to take jobs in Hartford, Jane realizes that she must get an expensive tractor to help her with the heavy work on the farm. However, because she does not have enough money to pay for the new tractor, Jane tries to get a loan through her boyfriend, Orville Wingait, whose father, Japser G. Wingait, owns a general store in town and is a leader in the community. Jasper initially balks at Jane's extravagant request, but because he knows that his son is in love with Jane, he tells her that she can have the tractor if she consents to marry Orville. Jane refuses to accept Jasper's terms, but Jasper provides her with a new tractor regardless. Jane returns to her farm only to discover that it has been overrun by a troupe of actors that Abigail has brought in from New York to stage a musical in the farm's barn. Furious with Abigail for not asking her about the musical, Jane tells the troupe that they must leave. Joe D. Ross, who is Abigail's boyfriend and the director of the show, is also angry with Abigail for not having asked Jane's permission, but he uses his natural charm to persuade Jane to let them stay. Jane insists, however, that if the actors stay, they must perform some of the daily chores on the farm. The troupe begrudgingly agrees to the arrangement, and Jane immediately gives them lessons on how to maintain a working farm. One day, while helping her housekeeper, Esme, in the kitchen, Jane improvises a little tap dance, unaware that Joe is watching her. She becomes embarrassed when she notices Joe, but Joe admires her dancing and tells her that she has real talent. As word begins to spread through town that an acting troupe from New York is staying at Jane's farm, Jasper becomes concerned about the sudden influx of show business people in the quiet community. Jane is summoned to town to explain the situation and address the protests of the town leaders. Meanwhile, Herb Blake, one of the actors, accidentally crashes Jane's new tractor. When Jane returns to the farm and learns about the accident, she orders the troupe to leave and demands that Abigail stay on the farm to help her. Jane later reverses her decision when the troupe pools all its money to buy her a new tractor. Joe continues to encourage Jane's interest in the theater, and Jane and Joe soon realize their attraction for each other. When Abigail and Harrison I. Keath, the show's leading man, suddenly leave the farm to star in a play in New York, Joe decides to take over the male lead and asks Jane to take her sister's part. Orville sternly objects to Jane's involvement with the troupe, and when Jasper learns that Jane is in the show, he threatens to use his influence to stop it. Jane responds by threatening to call off her engagement to Orville. Just before the first performance of the show, Abigail returns to the farm and demands that Jane relinquish her role. Jane refuses to give up the part, and when Abigail sees that Jane is in love with Joe, she decides to stop interfering with their romance. Joe proposes marriage to Jane just before the show begins and Jane gladly accepts. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew's Inc.)
Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.  
Director: Charles Walters (Dir)
  Al Jennings (Asst dir)
Producer: Joe Pasternak (Prod)
Writer: George Wells (Scr)
  Sy Gomberg (Scr)
  Sy Gomberg (Story)
Photography: Robert Planck (Dir of photog)
  Joseph Ruttenberg (Photog)
  Harkness Smith (Cam op)
  Otto Dyar (Stills)
  Lew Roberts (Gaffer)
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons (Art dir)
  Jack Martin Smith (Art dir)
Film Editor: Albert Akst (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis (Set dec)
  Alfred E. Spencer (Assoc)
Costumes: Walter Plunkett (Cost)
  Helen Rose (Gloria De Haven's cost by)
Music: Johnny Green (Mus dir)
  Saul Chaplin (Mus dir)
  Conrad Salinger (Orch)
  Skip Martin (Orch)
Sound: Douglas Shearer (Rec supv)
  John A. Williams (Sd)
Dance: Nick Castle (Dances staged by)
  Bob Osgood (Co-dir of square dance seq)
Make Up: Sydney Guilaroff (Hair styles des by)
  William J. Tuttle (Makeup created by)
  Helene Parrish (Hairstylist)
  John Truwe (Makeup)
Production Misc: Hugh Boswell (Prod mgr)
  Les Martinson (Scr supv)
  Tom Long (Grip)
Color Personnel: Henri Jaffa (Technicolor col consultant)
  James Gooch (Technicolor col consultant)
Country: United States

Music: "Portland Fancy" by Saul Chaplin.
Songs: "If You Feel Like Singing, Sing," "Happy Harvest," "Dig-Dig-Dig Dig for Your Dinner," "Friendly Star" and "Mem'ry Island," music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon; "All for You" and "Heavenly Music," music and lyrics by Saul Chaplin; "You Wonderful You," music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Saul Chaplin and Jack Brooks; "Get Happy," music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler.
Composer: Harold Arlen
  Jack Brooks
  Saul Chaplin
  Mack Gordon
  Ted Koehler
  Harry Warren

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Loew's Inc. 7/8/1950 dd/mm/yyyy LP272 Yes

PCA NO: 14515
Physical Properties: col: Technicolor
  Sd: Western Electric Sound System

 
Genre: Musical
  Musical
Sub-Genre: Show business
  Rural
 
Subjects (Major): Actors and actresses
  Farms
  Musical revues
  Romance
  Sisters
 
Subjects (Minor): Allergy
  Cattle
  Dancers
  Debt
  Dogs
  Engagements
  Fathers and sons
  General stores
  Housekeepers
  Proposals (Marital)
  Singers
  Tap dancing
  Theatrical directors
  Tractors

Note: According to HR , M-G-M optioned Sy Gomberg's original screenplay in Dec 1948, at which time Judy Garland and Gene Kelly were announced for the starring roles. Although June Allyson was announced for the leading female role in Feb 1949, Garland was later reinstated. The film was Garland's first picture since being placed on suspension by M-G-M on 10 May 1949. Garland's suspension came during the filming of Annie Get Your Gun (see above), from which she was fired and replaced by Betty Hutton. Following her suspension, Garland spent nearly three months at a Boston hospital, where she was treated for drug dependency.
       According to a May 1949 HR news item, Busby Berkeley, the first director assigned to the film, was replaced by Charles Walters before production began. Contemporary news items in DV indicate that Walter Plunkett replaced Helen Rose as the film's head costume designer, and that garments designed by Rose were discarded following her replacement. Rose was later placed in charge of designing Gloria De Haven's costumes. DV news items list actor Michael Chapin and models Ann Beck, Lola Kendreck, Dona Damron and Pat Dean Smith in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. HR production charts indicate that Joseph Ruttenberg worked as a co-cinematographer with Robert Planck in late Dec 1949 and early Jan 1950. A Mar 1950 DV news item notes that the "Get Happy" production number, which was to have been directed by dance director Nick Castle, was instead directed by Walters.
       Modern sources relate the following information about the production: Producer Joe Pasternak initially wanted to cast Mickey Rooney opposite Garland, but because Rooney was no longer considered the box office draw that he had been in the past, Kelly was cast instead. Kelly and Walters disliked the script but agreed to do it only as a personal favor to Garland, whose career was near collapse. After three weeks of production, Pasternak, frustrated by Garland's frequent delays and erratic behavior, tried to abandon the picture. However, M-G-M production chief Louis B. Mayer refused to allow the picture to be halted and insisted that Pasternak give Garland another chance. The delays continued and additional problems were created by Garland's rapid gain in weight.
       The "Get Happy" number was one of the last items on the film's production schedule, and was shot nearly three months after Garland had filmed her other scenes. During those months, Garland was treated by a hypnotist for weight loss, and succeeded in losing several pounds. Another musical number, entitled "Heavenly Music," was to have featured Garland singing and dancing with Kelly and Phil Silvers, but because she failed to show up on the set, the number was filmed without her. (Garland does, however, appear in her costume for the "Heavenly Music" number in the scene following the "Get Happy" number). Kelly choreographed himself in the "You Wonderful You" musical number, as well as the numbers "All for You" and "Portland Fancy." Castle choreographed other routines, including the "Dig-Dig-Dig Dig for Your Dinner" number.
       Summer Stock was the last film Garland made for M-G-M, the studio to which she had been under contract for many years. Garland was fired by M-G-M in Sep 1950, while working on Royal Wedding in a part she had taken over from the then pregnant June Allyson. Jane Powell replaced Garland, who did not appear in another film until 1954, when she starred in A Star Is Born

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   12 Aug 1950.   
Daily Variety   24 Oct 49   p. 8.
Daily Variety   31 Oct 49   p. 2.
Daily Variety   8 Nov 49   p. 1.
Daily Variety   9 Nov 49   p. 8.
Daily Variety   25 Nov 49   p. 11.
Daily Variety   16 Dec 49   p. 7.
Daily Variety   13 Mar 50   p. 6.
Daily Variety   15 Mar 50   p. 10.
Daily Variety   4 Aug 50   p. 3.
Film Daily   11 Aug 50   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Dec 48   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Feb 49   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   4 May 49   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Dec 49   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Jan 50   p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jan 50   p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Aug 50   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   12 Aug 50   p. 434.
New York Times   1 Sep 50   p. 17.
Variety   9 Aug 50   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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