AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Girl Crazy
Director: Norman Taurog (Dir)
Release Date:   Nov 1943
Production Date:   early Jan--early Apr 1943; addl scenes began early May 1943
Duration (in mins):   97 or 99-100
Duration (in feet):   8,871
Duration (in reels):   10
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Cast:   Mickey Rooney (Danny Churchill, Jr.)  
    Judy Garland (Ginger Gray)  
    Gil Stratton (Bud Livermore)  
    Robert E. Strickland (Henry Lathrop)  
    "Rags" Ragland ("Rags")  
    June Allyson (Specialty)  
    Nancy Walker (Polly Williams)  
    Guy Kibbee (Dean Phineas Armour)  
    Frances Rafferty (Marjorie Tait)  
    Henry O'Neill (Mr. [Danny] Churchill, Sr.)  
    Howard Freeman (Governor Tait)  
    Tommy Dorsey   and His Orchestra
    Ziggy Elman (Trumpeter with Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra)  
    Charles Walters    
    King's Men (Singers on "Bidin' My Time" number)  
    Eve Whitney (Brunette/Showgirl)  
    Carole Gallagher (Blonde)  
    Kathleen Williams (Blonde)  
    Jess Lee Brooks (Buckets)  
    Roger Moore (Cameraman)  
    Charles Coleman (Maitre d'hotel)  
    Harry Depp (Nervous man)  
    Richard Kipling (Dignified man)  
    Henry Roquemore (Fat man)  
    Alphonse Martel (Waiter)  
    Frances McInerney (Check room girl)  
    Sally Cairns (Check room girl)  
    Barbara Bedford (Churchill's secretary)  
    Victor Potel (Station master)  
    Joseph Gail Jr. (Student)  
    Ken Stewart (Student)  
    William Beaudine Jr. (Tom)  
    Irving Bacon (Reception clerk)  
    George Offerman Jr. (Messenger)  
    Mary Elliott (Southern girl)  
    Katharine Booth (Girl)  
    Georgia Carroll (Showgirl)  
    Aileen Haley (Showgirl)  
    Noreen Roth (Showgirl)  
    Natalie Draper (Showgirl)  
    Hazel Brooks (Showgirl)  
    Mary Jane French (Showgirl)  
    Inez Cooper (Showgirl)  
    Linda Deane (Showgirl)  
    Frank Jaquet (Roly-poly man)  
    Jimmy Butler (Boy)  
    Don Taylor (Boy)  
    Peter Lawford (Boy)  
    John Eaton (Boy)  
    Bob Lowell (Boy)  
    Sarah Edwards (Governor's secretary)  
    William Bishop (Radio man)  
    James Warren (Radio man)  
    Fred Beckner (Radio man)  
    Blanche Rose (Committee woman)  
    Helen Dickson (Committee woman)  
    Melissa Ten Eyck (Committee woman)  
    Vangie Beilby (Committee woman)  
    Julia Griffith (Committee woman)  
    Lillian West (Committee woman)  
    Sandra Morgan (Committee woman)  
    Peggy Leon (Committee woman)  
    Bess Flowers (Committee woman)  
    Harry C. Bradley (Governor's crony)  
    Bill Hazlett (Indian chief)  
    Rose Higgins (Indian woman)  
    "Spec" O'Donnell (Fiddle player)  

Summary: After New York playboy Danny Churchill, Jr.'s latest Broadway escapade makes scandalous headlines, his publisher father, Danny, Sr., announces that he is sending Danny to Cody, a small mining college out West. Upon disembarking in Cody village, Danny discovers he must walk eight miles through the desert to get to the college's campus. Although his father had assured him that there would be no women in Cody, Danny soon meets young, attractive Ginger Gray, whose car has broken down. Ginger, the local postmistress, is aware of Danny's reputation and laughingly rejects his advances, driving off without him after he gets her car running. Danny finally reaches campus and meets his roommate, Bud Livermore, who fills him in on the school's rigorous schedule. The following dawn, Bud and his fellow students cajole the sleepy-eyed Danny into participating in a day-long horse ride to a wilderness camp. To prove his mettle, Danny insists on riding Whitey, the school's wildest horse, but soon regrets his bravado when the animal takes off at full speed. After Whitey throws Danny, Rags, an ex-New York taxicab driver who now works for the college, gives him a ride in his buckboard. By the time Rags delivers Danny to the camp, Ginger has arrived with dinner, and once again snubs the tenderfoot. The next day, convinced that he will never fit in at Cody, Danny goes to see Dean Phineas Armour, Ginger's grandfather, and announces that he is returning East. Ginger drives Danny to the village, and along the way, Danny resumes his flirtation, sneaking in a kiss before parting. That night, the students of Cody throw an elaborate birthday party for the popular Ginger. Unaware that Danny has returned to campus and is eavesdropping on him, the manly if unromantic Henry Lathrop then proposes to Ginger, but she gently turns him down. After Henry leaves, Danny reveals himself to Ginger and confesses that he has decided to stay at Cody in order to be near her. As proof of his commitment, Danny offers Ginger his grandmother's locket, but she urges him to hold on to it for luck. Later, Danny gives Rags a message to wire to his father, which Rags then hands to a clerk, who reads it aloud in front of Henry and other Cody students. Although in the wire, Danny informs his father that he is staying, his derogatory comments about Cody infuriate the students. After Henry brings the matter up to the Cody student council, Dean Armour calls both young men into his office and orders them to declare a truce. Soon after, Ginger hears a radio report that, because of low enrollment at Cody, Governor Tait will be signing legislation closing the school. Anxious to help the despondent Ginger, Danny comes up with an idea for Cody to sponsor an annual rodeo and beauty contest as a way of attracting new students. Danny and Ginger then present the governor with the plan, and he agrees to delay signing the legislation for thirty days. To assure the plan's success, Danny attends the coming-out party of the governor's daughter Marjorie and flatters attractive debutantes into agreeing to enter the beauty contest. During the evening, Marjorie flirts openly with Danny and, to his chagrin, snatches his locket from him. Later, at the beauty contest, Danny swears his love to Ginger, but proclaims Marjorie the contest's winner. When Ginger then sees Danny's locket around Marjorie's neck, she assumes the worst and starts packing to go East. Danny is determined not to her lose her, however, and presents her with the locket, which he had retrieved from Marjorie, and swears his fidelity. Danny and Ginger then rush together to show Dean Armour the two hundred enrollment applications that have been sent by girls who want to enter Cody, and convince him to make the school co-educational. Their problems solved, Danny and Ginger sing and dance together in the rodeo show. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew's Inc.)
Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.  
Director: Norman Taurog (Dir)
  Busby Berkeley ("I Got Rhythm" number dir by)
  Joseph Boyle (Asst dir)
Producer: Arthur Freed (Prod)
Writer: Fred F. Finklehoffe (Scr)
  William Ludwig (Contr wrt)
  Dorothy Kingsley (Contr wrt)
Photography: William Daniels (Dir of photog)
  Robert Planck (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons (Art dir)
  Harry McAfee (Assoc)
  Merrill Pye (Mus presentation)
Film Editor: Albert Akst (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis (Set dec)
  Mac Alper (Assoc)
Costumes: Irene (Cost supv)
  Sharaff (Assoc)
Music: Georgie Stoll (Mus dir)
  Roger Edens (Mus adpt)
  Conrad Salinger (Orch)
  Axel Stordahl (Orch)
  Sy Oliver (Orch)
  Hugh Martin (Vocal arr)
  Ralph Blane (Vocal arr)
Sound: Douglas Shearer (Rec dir)
Dance: Charles Walters (Dance dir)
  Jack Donohue (Dance dir)
  Sheila Rae (Asst dance dir)
Stand In: Artie Schutt (Piano double for Mickey Rooney)
Country: United States

Music: "Fascinating Rhythm," music by George Gershwin.
Songs: "Treat Me Rough," "Bidin' My Time," "Could You Use Me," "Embraceable You," "But Not for Me" and "I Got Rhythm," words by Ira Gershwin, music by George Gershwin.
Composer: George Gershwin
  Ira Gershwin
Source Text: Based on the musical Girl Crazy , book by John McGowan and Guy Bolton, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin (New York, 14 Oct 1930).
Authors: George Gershwin
  Guy Bolton
  Ira Gershwin
  John McGowan

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Loew's Inc. 2/8/1943 dd/mm/yyyy LP12168 Yes

PCA NO: 9139
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Sound System

Genre: Musical comedy
Subjects (Major): College students
  The West
Subjects (Minor): Beauty contests
  College deans
  Fathers and sons
  New York City
  Newspaper publishers
  Proposals (Marital)
  Riding accidents
  Unrequited love

Note: Charles Walters' onscreen credit reads: "Dance Direction and Solo Dance with Miss Garland by Charles Walters." In addition to the above-listed numbers, excerpts from George Gershwin's Girl Crazy score are also heard, including "Broncho Busters," "Sam and Delilah," "When It's Cactus Time in Arizona," "Barbary Coast" and "Boy! What Love Has Done to Me." According to modern sources, a "Broncho Busters" production number, sung by Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney and Nancy Walker, was cut from the final film.
       Rooney plays the piano with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra during the "Fascinating Rhythm" number. Although CBCS lists Sidney Miller in the role of "Ed," he did not appear in the final film. HR news items add the following information about the production: In Aug 1939, M-G-M announced that Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell would star in the picture. Later, Richard Quine, Virginia Weidler, Ray McDonald and Van Johnson, who was to make his singing debut, were announced as cast members. None of these actors appeared in the final film, however. Busby Berkeley began as the film's director but was replaced by Norman Taurog in early Feb 1943. According to a 1 Feb 1943 HR news item, Berkeley left the production due to illness, but modern sources contend that he was fired by producer Arthur Freed because of excessive spending on the "I Got Rhythm" number. Modern sources add that Freed later claimed that Berkeley, who received an onscreen credit for his direction of the "I Got Rhythm" number, was dismissed due to a personality clash with Garland. According to HR , Jack Donohue worked on the film as dance director, and Sheila Rae was his assistant. Although not credited onscreen, it is possible that Donohue and Rae worked on the film while Berkeley was directing. In mid-Jan 1943, HR announced that dancer Jack Boyle was "helping with the dance routines," but the exact nature of his contribution has not been determined.
       Girl Crazy was the last film in which Garland and Rooney, a popular M-G-M team, appeared together. Prior to being cast in the film, Garland made a best-selling recording of "Embraceable You." Showgirl Kathleen "Kay" Williams, who some years later married Clark Gable, made her screen debut in the film. Gil Stratton, a former Broadway musical player, also made his debut in the picture. In later years, Stratton worked as a television sports announcer in Los Angeles. Frances Ward and Aileen Morris were announced as cast members in Dec 1942, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to HR , the Leo Diamond Harmonia Band accompanied Garland and The King's Men on the "Bidin' My Time" number, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Some scenes in the film were shot in the desert, 150 miles from Los Angeles. According to modern sources, Girl Crazy was one of the top box office films of 1943.
       The Gershwins' musical was first adapted for the screen in 1932. William A. Seiter directed Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey and Dorothy Lee in the RKO Radio picture, also titled Girl Crazy . Norman Taurog directed retakes for the earlier film (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1587). In 1965, Alvin Ganzer directed Connie Francis and Herman's Hermits in When the Boys Meet the Girls , M-G-M's second version of the musical (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.5521). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   7 Aug 1943.   
Daily Variety   3 Aug 43   p. 3, 9
Film Daily   3 Aug 43   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Aug 39   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Nov 41   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Jan 42   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Oct 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Dec 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Dec 42   p. 1, 8
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jan 43   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Jan 43   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Feb 43   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Feb 43   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Mar 43   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Apr 43   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Apr 43   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Apr 43   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   19 May 43   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Aug 43   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Dec 43   p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald   7 Aug 1943.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   7 Aug 43   p. 1469.
New York Times   3 Dec 43   p. 27.

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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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