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AND THE ANGELS SING
Release Date: April 25, 1944 | Production Date: May - June 1943 | Color: Black & White Running Time: 95 minutes | Studio: Paramount Pictures
as "Nancy Angel"
as "Happy Morgan"
as "Bobby Angel"
as "Josie Angel"
as "Patti Angel"
as "Pop Angel"
Eddie Foy, Jr.
as "Fuzzy Johnson"
Screen Play by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama
Based on a Story by
Joseph J. Lilley
Blackout Sketches by
Lester Lee and Jerry Seelen
Johnny Burke and James Van Heusen
Musical Numbers staged by
Director of Photography
Karl Struss, A.S.C.
Hugo Grenzbach and Hal Pereira
Gene Merritt and Joel Moss
PUBLICITY IMAGES AND STILLS
POSTERS AND ADVERTISEMENTS
Sisters Nancy (Dorothy Lamour), Bobby (Betty Hutton), Josie (Diana Lynn) and Patti Angel (Mimi Chandler) live with their father in the small town of Glenby Falls, New York. Although they are all talented singers, Nancy aspires to be a painter, Bobby hopes to be a journalist, Josie prefers to play the piano and Patti dreams of being an actress. Pop Angel (Raymond Walburn) wants to buy a farm and raise soybeans, and everyone saves their earnings toward this aim. As the sisters hate to sing, they get angry when Bobby, who is chronically unemployed, accepts a job for them to perform at a seedy roadhouse, for which they will be paid only ten dollars. The quartet is a big hit with the audience, and band leader Happy Marshall (Fred MacMurray) makes a pass at Nancy. Although Nancy rebuffs Happy, Bobby immediately falls in love with him.
Nancy's boyfriend Oliver (Frank Albertson), who is a dull but sweet taxicab driver and an aspiring inventor, drives Nancy, Josie and Patti home, leaving Bobby behind at the roadhouse to collect their money. Bobby is unable to resist the urge to gamble with the ten dollars, and wins $190. At the same time, Happy disappoints his band by telling them that they cannot accept an engagement at Schultz's Copacabana in Brooklyn, as he has lost their earnings at the racetrack, and does not have enough money for train fare and the tropical dinner jackets required by the club. Fuzzy Johnson (Eddie Foy, Jr.), Happy's best friend and a band member, encourages Happy to seduce Bobby and trick her out of her winnings, and by the end of the evening, gullible Bobby is convinced that Happy is in love with her and has offered her a $350 per week singing job.
Oliver then returns to to pick up Bobby, and while Fuzzy and Happy slip away to catch a train, he and Bobby get drunk on the pink champagne Fuzzy ordered as the finishing touch of his ruse. Bobby and Oliver finally stumble out of the club as the band is leaving, and Happy, feeling remorseful, insists on driving them home so they will not crash. After dropping Oliver off, Happy continues to the Angel home, but when Bobby becomes amorous and grabs him, he crashes the car. Nancy blames Happy for the accident, but he leaves before Oliver's boss arrives with the police and fires both Nancy and Oliver.
The Angels rally behind Bobby and are so angered by Happy's trick that they go to Brooklyn to demand their money back. When they are turned away at the stage door of the Copacabana, Nancy dons a Brooklyn accent and is escorted in by a wise-cracking fop. She then confronts Happy backstage and all the patrons overhear their argument because the microphone is on. Schultz (Mikhail Rasummy) sends his bouncer to force Nancy out of the club, but when he gets rough, Happy defends her. Happy then takes Nancy to a café, where he confesses the truth about his situation, and after he promises to return the money, they fall in love. Happy and Nancy spend the night together, and she returns home riotously drunk.
The next day, Bobby furiously confronts Happy, who informs her that Schultz will give them the money only if the sisters sing with the band. Nancy, meanwhile, has received roses from Happy, but pretends that they are for Bobby, who has again fallen for Happy. When the quartet proves a big hit at the Copacabana, Schultz tells Happy that he will keep his band only if the sisters sign a contract as well. Josie, Patti and Bobby are content to stay in New York and pursue their various careers, but Nancy is insistent upon returning home. That night, Happy sincerely proposes marriage to Nancy, who is overjoyed, but Fuzzy forces Happy to lead Bobby on as well so they will all sign the contract. Both Nancy and Bobby return home believing they are engaged to Happy, but when they discover the truth, they refuse to sign the contract. Pop insists that they remain in New York and pursue their careers, but the sisters prove incapable of doing anything competently but singing.
When Patti and Josie discover that Happy and Fuzzy are working in lederhosen costume at the Café Polonais, the entire family goes to the café. Happy and Fuzzy perform a silly song and are further humiliated when they have to scramble for the coins that customers toss to them. At the end of the evening, the Angels confront the two men, and Happy offers them his $90 in earnings. Happy then criticizes Pop's lenient parenting, and he and Fuzzy give the girls a spanking until they all cry out that they want to sing. Later, the Angel Sisters perform again with Happy's orchestra and are a resounding hit. After the spanking, Fuzzy has discovered that he is in love with Bobby, which leaves Nancy and Happy free to reunite.
This film is a remake of Paramount's 1938 film "Sing You Sinners", which was directed by Wesley Ruggles, and starred Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray and Donald O'Connor. Instead of four singing sisters and their father, "Sing You Sinners" features three singing brothers and their mother.
"And The Angels Sing" is one of four films Betty appeared in with Dorothy Lamour, and one of three with Diana Lynn.
The scene where Betty's character meets her sisters on the stairway after a champagne bout had to be extinsively cut and re-shot. The set's walls were actually made of cloth-backed paper, stretched on a flimsy wooden backing, and the actresses kept bumping into the wall, causing it to ripple.
Although Fred MacMurray's character is listed as "Happy Morgan" in the credits, he is called "Happy Marshall" in the film.
Actor Cully Richards was inducted into the Army and had to withdraw from the cast. The production, which was originally slated to begin on April 28, 1943, was delayed while his replacement was being sought.
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