Glenn Miller Story The (1953) – full review!
This fictionalized biography of the titled arrangement composer trombone player and famed band leader won Leslie I. Carey (The Mississippi Gambler (1953)) an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. The Joseph Gershenson-Henry Mancini Score was also nominated (the first nominations for either) as was the Story and Screenplay by Valentine Davies (It Happens Every Spring (1949)) and Oscar Brodney his only Academy recognition. Shot in Technicolor the story (which contains the usual struggling artist that finally finds success plot-line) is sugary sweet and a bit slow in places.
It was directed by Anthony Mann features James Stewart in the title role and June Allyson as Glenn Miller’s supportive wife the former Miss Helen Berger. Henry Morgan plays Miller’s lifelong friend pianist Chummy MacGregor; Charles Drake his business manager Don Haynes. George Tobias plays Si Schribman who according to the film was a theater manager that invested in the band leader before he’d found his unique sound that included hits like: Moonlight Serenade String of Pearls Pennsylvania 6-5000 Chattanooga Choo Choo In the Mood and Tuxedo Junction. Barton MacLane plays General Hap Arnold who apparently enabled enlisted Captain Miller to assemble his band members that were in the service to boost morale for the soldiers abroad during World War II which cost the band leader his life when his plane went down during the tour. Sig Ruman appears as a pawnshop owner that Miller knew in his early days in California before he’d found success. Irving Bacon plays Miller’s father.
Appearing as themselves are several who knew Miller in his heyday including singer Frances Langford trumpeter Louis Armstrong band leader Ben Pollack and drummer Gene Krupa (among others).