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Ted Scott Payne is a band pianist whose publicity manager decides that, for good press, the band should adopt a foreign refugee. The band goes to Ellis Island to meet the girl and soon discovers that the refugee isn't a year-old child, but a young woman, Karen Benson Henie. The surprise comes right before the band is to travel to Sun Valley, Idaho for a Christmas gig.
While on the ski slopes Ted soon falls for Karen's inventive schemes to win the heart of her new sponsor, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Vivian Dawn Bari , a soloist with the band. Vivian promptly quits the band out of jealousy, and Karen stages an elaborate ice show as a substitute.
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Please try again later. I've been a Glenn Miller fan since I was a kid. I lost interest in Glenn and the big-band era for a while, when a group called The Beatles came over from Liverpool and changed my life musically, but rediscovered Glenn in the late '70s and '80s, when my musical tastes became more adult.
The band's pianist and arranger, Ted Scott John Payne , is in love with the band's new girl singer, Vivian Dawn Lynn Bari, whose singing voice is dubbed by Pat Friday, even though Bari was a singer herself , but complications arise when the band's manager, "Nifty" Allen Milton Berle , forces Scott to sponsor a foreign refugee as a publicity gimmick. Thinking he was going to sponsor a young child, Scott is shocked when the refugee turns out to be a young woman from Norway, Karen Benson Sonja Henie , who is seeking a husband, and immediately begins pursuing Ted Scott.
Ted resists Karen's advances, but she follows him everywhere, from band rehearsals to the ski resort where the band was booked. When Ted gets engaged to Vivian, Karen temporarily hooks up with band manager Allen, but in the end, finally wins over Ted after Vivian breaks off the engagement and marries him.
Glenn Miller's band is in top form. The big production number, "Chattanooga Choo Choo," much longer than the record, is the highlight of the film, with a fabulous performance by the band including singers Tex Beneke, Paula Kelly, and The Modernaires , and a great song-and-dance number by Dorothy Dandridge and The Nicholas Brothers who were under contract to Fox at the time and are credited in the film; Dorothy Dandridge is not credited.
Unfortunately, the dance sequence only lasts about 45 seconds, so if you blink, you'll miss it. Poor Halle - she took three months of intense tap lessons for that film, and all she got was a lousy second tap sequence.
The plot is fast-moving, and the skiing and figure-skating scenes, filmed on location at Sun Valley, Idaho, are beautifully done. Sonja Henie does most of the figure skating herself, but stand-ins were used for the skiing scenes.
The only bonus feature on the DVD is the theatrical trailer. Some of the film's songs may have been recorded with another female vocalist, Lorraine Elliott, but Pat Friday does the actual singing in the film though the Elliott versions, if they exist, may have been issued on vinyl in the '50s by either RCA Victor or 20th-Fox Records. Although there is probably not enough demand for it, I'd love to see Sony Legacy RCA and Universal Music which owns the 20th Century-Fox music library , get together with the Miller Estate and issue a complete collection of all of the music from both of Glenn's films, including outtakes and rejected songs.
Five stars for this classic film. Sun Valley Serenade is a magnificent movie on several counts. Firstly it is an archeological musical treasure. No where else is there such superb working film of the great Glenn Miller band in action.
That is a fine movie, but SVS is much better. And we cannot forget the sparkling presence of Sonja Henie, the great Norwegian figure skater star of the 40's. All it needs is for it to be released in a Region one 1 version. Both are really great movies however I'm writing about Sun Valley Serenade this time.
All the rest could have been mixed better. I really like when Chattanooga Choo Choo starts the bandleader says "one, two" in mono then the music begins in full stereo. I love when it does that!! If they put this out on DVD I hope they try to mix the stereo music tracks better as some of it doesn't sound like stereo should and sounds a bit fake to my ears.
It's better on speakers than headphones though as some of the sound is unnatural sounding with headphone listening. The movie itself is great just like Orchestra Wives is. Remember the Elvis movies that were basically a thin plot excuse to have the "star" sing? Well these movies are the 's equivalent featuring the pre-war and so definitive Glenn Miller Band.
Forget about the plots which are almost identical and don't even stand up today. Boy meets Girl, Falls in love, Another girl is jilted or gets in the way, disharmony in the band, all is sorted out. Big set piece number to finish. Both movies - honest! In fact unless you are interested in period movie making and Hollywood fashions you can safely fast forward between the tunes.
You can figure the plot as it whizzes by - though how Milton Berle playing the band's "publicity agent" in Sun Valley Serenade got his wise crack about the size of a girl's chest past the production code is beyond me! Must have been the war. Sure - it was shot to be showy - and it is - but it is WELL shot and you can see how the components of the sound were built - even if the "recording studios" are the size of movie studios Couple this with the restored soundtrack some tracks are in early stereo!
If you can only afford one - Orchestra Wives - there are more hits on it! A period classic that will make you smile. The best Glenn Miller footage.
One person found this helpful. Excellent seller and item - Five stars! They don't make 'em the way they used The 'Nicholas Brothers' number is worth the watch alone! Their dancing is absolutely amazing! They don't make 'em the way they used to It was a hoot to see, and some great period stuff of the resort etc..
Of course great footage of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The skiing scenes look ridiculous, but given the primitive nature of the equipment they had back then its amazing that they could ski on that stuff at all! But over all this is a great film, but it deserves a full restoration and re-release in DVD form. See all 87 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 17 days ago.
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NR Not Rated Number of tapes: April 21, Run Time: Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon.
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Sun Valley Serenade is a musical film starring Sonja Henie, John Payne, Lynn Bari and Milton Berle. It features The Glenn Miller Orchestra as well as dancing by . Tennessee Vols, Lady Vols and high school sports news, scores and photos for Knoxville and the East Tennessee region from the Knoxville News Sentinel.