Orchestra Wives (1942)

orchestra wives 1942

The trials and tribulations of being an orchestra wife and traveling with the band. A romantic comedy with Glenn Miller providing the music. Cesar Romero is especially good as a womanizing piano player.

The Gene Morrison (Glenn Miller) band is rehearsing. The group includes trumpeter Bill Abbot (George Montgomery), pianist St.John Smith (Cesar Romero), Bassist Ben Beck (Jackie Gleason) and vocalist Jaynie Stevens (Lynn Bari). Jaynie tells a reluctant band that they’re going on tour. The last one almost ended several marriages.

The band is playing near a small town. Connie Ward (Anne Rutherford) is crazy about the band and soda jerk Cully Anderson (Harry Morgan) takes her to see them. Big mistake. She becomes enamored with Bill Abbot. Cully challenges him to a fight but St.John and Ben calm things down. The dance is over and Bill asks Connie to come to their next show.

The next night Connie hops the bus. She can’t get into the hall without an escort and waits outside on a bench. Bill can’t believe she waited outside all that time. She’s about to hop the bus back home and he tries to convince her to stay over. Bill asks her to marry him. That’s exactly what they do.

The next day on the train to the next gig wives Natalie (Carole Landis), Elsie (Virginia Gilmore) and Caroline (Mary Beth Hughes) decide to have some fun at innocent Connie’s expense. They also want to see how Bill’s former girlfriend Jaynie handles the situation.

The bored wives play around with each others husbands but don’t know it. They each let Connie know what goes on. The band is making a side trip to Iowa City and the wives stay in Des Moines. The wives sit down to play some bridge and Natalie tells Connie about Jaynie and Bill. Connie runs out and takes the bus to Iowa City.

After the gig Bill takes Jaynie out to eat and then she tries to get him to come into her hotel room. He’s not going for it. Natalie calls Jaynie and tells her Connie is on her way. Jaynie calls Bill and lies about her brother being in a minor accident and needs some money. He agrees to lend it to her and goes to her room still dressed in his robe.

Jaynie’s trick works as Connie shows up and misunderstands the situation. After Connie learns that Natalie set it all up she tells the three orchestra wives about how they carry on with each others husbands, singing sax player Phil (Tex Beneke) and drummer Buddy (Moe Purtill). The result is the band breaks up and Bill wants nothing to do with Connie.

It all comes to a fun ending and the movie is really with checking out, especially if you’re a Miller fan.

Look for Iris Adrian exchanging wisecracks with Cesar Romero.  Band members to spot include Billy May, Ernie Caceres and Bobby Hackett. You’ll also spot Ray Eberle and The Modernaires, Marion Hutton and as Hazel a band singer, Dale Evans. The Nicholas Brothers also perform.

Pat Friday dubbed Lynn Bari’s voice and Johnny Best did George Montgomery’s trumpet solos. This was also the film debut of Dale Evans and the debut of the song “At Last” that turned into a monster hit years later for Etta James.




About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in Comedy, Drama, vintage movies, vintage music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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