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The Benny Goodman Story

The Benny Goodman Story

Steve Allen
Director: Valentine Davies Cast: Steve Allen
Steve Allen
, Donna Reed
Donna Reed
, Berta Gersten
Berta Gersten
Valentine Davies


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Steve Allen makes his dramatic film debut in The Benny Goodman Story. Obviously made to cash in on the success of The Glenn Miller Story (1953), this slow-moving biopic isn't quite in the same league. Outside of Goodman's conflicts with his parents over his career choice, and his early frustration over not being able to play his kind of music, the film tends to be more a series of musical highlights than a biography. Something could have been made of Goodman's tireless efforts to racially integrate the Big Band scene of the 1930s and 1940s, but Universal chose to sidestep this. As for Steve Allen, his dour, low-key performance does little to enliven the proceedings; Allen is at his best when miming the prerecorded clarinet licks of the real Benny Goodman. Despite its faults, The Benny Goodman Story remains a treat for music fans, with guest appearances by Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Harry James, Martha Tilton, Ziggy Elman, and Sammy Davis Sr. (as Fletcher Henderson).

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Product Details

Release Date: 03/04/2003
UPC: 0025192263620
Original Release: 1955
Rating: NR
Source: Universal Studios
Region Code: 1
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 1:57:00
Sales rank: 4,108

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve Allen Benny Goodman
Donna Reed Alice Hammond
Berta Gersten Mom (Dora) Goodman
Herbert Anderson John Hammond
Robert Simon Pop (Dave) Goodman
Hy Averback William Alexander
Shepard Menken Harry Goodman
Sammy Davis Fletcher Henderson
Dick Winslow Gil Rodin
David Kasday Benny Goodman at 10
Wilton Graff Mr. Hammond
Harry James Himself
Gene Krupa Himself
Martha Tilton Herself
Lionel Hampton Himself
Ziggy Elman Himself
Teddy Wilson Himself
Stan Getz Actor
Kid Ory Actor
Barry Truex Benny Goodman at 16
Jack Kruschen Murph Podolsky
Fred Essler Prof Schoepp
George Givot Jake Primo
Ben Pollack Himself
Urbie Green Actor
Buck Clayton Actor

Technical Credits
Valentine Davies Director,Screenwriter
Harry Brown Score Composer
William H. Daniels Cinematographer
Joseph E. Gershenson Score Composer
Alan Harding Score Composer
Henry Mancini Score Composer
Aaron Rosenberg Producer
Russell Schoengarth Editor
Bill Thomas Costumes/Costume Designer
Sol Yaged Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [1:44]
2. The Prodigy [7:28]
3. A Union Musician [3:07]
4. New Orlean's Style [3:21]
5. Benny's Big Chance [5:23]
6. Pop's Accident [1:37]
7. Hammond's Offer [6:44]
8. Plans for a Hot Band [5:33]
9. A Musical Evening [8:58]
10. Convictions [2:40]
11. Benny's New Band [8:40]
12. Falling In Love [5:09]
13. On the Road [1:14]
14. Jackpot [3:02]
15. Lionel Hampton [9:20]
16. The Toast of New York [11:04]
17. Love, Alice [4:02]
18. Carnegie Hall [6:45]
19. The Big Concert [6:41]
20. Cast of Characters [13:08]

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