Subject: Don Ameche and Mary Martin on sale for limited time


Kiss The Boys Goodbye (1941)
Starring Don Ameche and Mary Martin

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
The nationwide search for an actress to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind formed the basis of Claire Booth Luce's satirical Broadway comedy Kiss the Boys Goodbye. By the time the film version came out in 1941, Gone with the Wind was yesterday's news, but the picture still managed to elicit loud laughter from moviegoers bombarded by bad news from Europe. When Broadway producer Bert Fusher (Jerome Cowan) decides to produce a lavish musical version of a best-selling civil war novel, he dispatches director Lloyd Lloyd (Don Ameche) and composer Dick Rayburn (Oscar Levant) to the Deep South, in search of a genuine Southern-belle leading lady. Lloyd and Rayburn end up on the Georgia plantation of Tom Rumson (Raymond Walburn), where they are forced to sit through an impromptu audition by Rumson's niece Cindy Lou Bethany (Mary Martin). Lloyd can't stand the girl, but Rayburn is enchanted by her-never suspecting that Cindy Lou is a phony, who prior to this meeting had never stepped below the Mason-Dixon line. Eventually, Lloyd and Cindy Lou fall in love and the show goes on. Many of playwright Luce's more pointed barbs have been blunted by the Hollywood censors, with the more pungent gags replaced by lavish musical numbers. Still, Kiss the Boys Goodbye is a lot of fun, especially whenever the magnificent Elizabeth Patterson (cast as Mary Martin's unreconstructed-southerner aunt) takes center stage.
Director: Victor Schertzinger

Writers: Clare Boothe Luce (play), Dwight Taylor, Harry Tugend

Stars: Don Ameche, Mary Martin, Oscar Levant, Virginia Dale, Barbara Jo Allen, Raymond Walburn, Elizabeth Patterson, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, The Music Maids
Originally planned as a vehicle for Jean Arthur (who had actually tested for the role of Scarlett O'Hara). She had to drop out of 'Kiss the Boys Goodbye' after being tied up at RKO with The Devil and Miss Jones. 'Mary Martin' was cast in the role meant for Arthur. Ray Milland was initially considered for the role eventually played by Don Ameche.
Songs include:

I'll Never Let a Day Pass By
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Don Ameche and Mary Martin

Kiss the Boys Goodbye
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Mary Martin and The Music Maids
Played on piano by Oscar Levant

Sand in My Shoes
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Connee Boswell and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson; danced by Anderson

Find Yourself a Melody
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Mary Martin and gospel chorus
Reprised at the end by Don Ameche and chorus

My Start
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Mary Martin

Battle Hymn of The Republic
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Performed by Oscar Levant, Elizabeth Patterson, and chorus

Ma Curly Headed Babby
Written by G.H. Clutsam
Performed by Mary Martin (in the "Find Yourself a Melody" number)

Joshua Fought The Battle of Jericho
Performed by gospel chorus (in the "Find Yourself a Melody" number)

Cindy Lou Bethany was raised in the South, but is now a struggling actress and chorus girl in New York City, eager to find a starring role. An audition to portray a Southern belle in a big production is her big chance, but it ends before she gets a chance to show director Lloyd Lloyd what she can do.

The show's financial backer Top Rumson and writer Bert Fisher would like to hire a newcomer, but Lloyd feels more comfortable with his old standby, Gwendolyn Abbott, even though she seems all wrong for this part. The producers travel South to cast the role, so Cindy Lou follows them there, looking up her Aunt Lily Lou and Uncle Jefferson Davis Bethany and scheming to show the New Yorkers what she can do.

Cindy Lou surprises everyone, not only with a musical number showing off her talents, but with a striptease thrown in that ends up with her diving into a swimming pool. Rayburn and others are delighted, but Lloyd is unamused and Gwen quarrels with Cindy Lou, who proceeds to toss her into the pool, too. By the time Lloyd returns to New York, however, he realizes that exactly the actress he is looking for is Cindy Lou, making her a star.

Twentieth Century-Fox contract actor Don Ameche pulled out of the cast of Paramount's The Night of January 16th, engendering a lawsuit against him by Paramount. The situation was settled when Ameche agreed to appear in Kiss the Boys Goodbye.
Mary Martin, like her contemporary Ethel Merman, was one of the great enduring stars of the Broadway musical theater. Both women made their share of movies early in their careers but neither achieved the same success in film that they had on stage, particularly strange in the case of Martin who seemed to have everything it took for stardom--not only could she act and sing but she photographed beautifully. The 1941 film based on a Broadway play by Clare Booth Luce features a number of songs by the director Victor Schertzinger with lyrics only by Frank Loesser before his Guys and Dolls success, including one of Mary's great hits, the title song. Oscar Levant does his usual acerbic role as Oscar Levant, always sounding as if he is ad libbing his best lines, perhaps he did. He even gets to play some harpsichord. Connie Boswell and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson do speciality numbers, and there are some funny moments.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
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Gerald Drayson Adams

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