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Help with a movie title please?


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I've asked about this film on another thread devoted to movie songs, but to no avail.


B&W. Maybe 1940s, maybe 50s. I saw it in the mid-1950s, and again at some time in the past 10 years, perhaps on TCM. A Federal agent (FBI?) gets put into prison so that he can make contact with some members of a well-organized gang. With his help, some key gang members manage an escape. There is a trial period while they decide if they can trust him. Eventually he is able to get higher up into the gang and to bring about an effective arrest that brings the gang down.


The main thing I remembered, and what I am trying track down: During his "proby" period, the agent is being guarded by an older man, I think an alcoholic, disgraced doctor. In his cups, the old guy is in the habit of singing a song that I have heard otherwise only in British-made films. It's a drinking song, with a refrain about "...Here's to the next man that dies." One of the titles is The (British Royal) Air Force Drinking Song. Another title is Stand To Your Glasses Steady. RAF pilots sing it in the 1938 remake of *Dawn Patrol.* I am looking for this American crime movie because I would like to learn the wording of this American version of the song.


Does anyone recognize this film, and know the title?

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  • 3 months later...



Sounds a little like Red River Valley.


See this YouTube link and the lyrics that go with the song:




Come and stand by my side if you love me,

Do not hasten to bid me adieu;

Just remember the poor parachutist,

Who is doing his job just for you.


Now stand by with your glasses all ready

Drink a health to the men of the skies!

Here's a health to the dead men already,

And here's to the next man who dies!

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Hello, FredC. Thanks. but I was aware of the scene in *The* *Red Beret/Paratrooper* in which Red River Valley morphs into the RAF drinking song, AKA Stand to Your Glasses Steady. Look in the right place, and you can find a scene from *The Dawn Patrol* (I believe that's the title) with David Nivin, Errol Flynn, and some more familiar faces harmonizing on the origional song.


No, the film I have in mind is American, in a gangster setting. I can't shake my impression that Gig Young was in the cast, but I can't track it down in that filmography. An old coot in the gang resorts to the song when he's in his cups. Not a major itch, but I would like to scratch it. Thanks for your effort, though.





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Right again, FredC.

Before coming to this Forum and this thread, I posted that same link on August 5, 2011. The Forum is GAMES AND TRIVIA, and the Thread is DO YOU KNOW THIS SONG? Still, as from the first looking for the Gangster actioner with a slightly different wording of the lyrics. If you can find that version, I'll still be very glad to get hold of that info. Thanks again.

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