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Sun Valley Serenade, 8 out of 10


toddo
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I must admit I wasn't expecting much out of this movie. With the top billing being John Payne and Sonja Henie I expected nothing more than

a couple ok songs.

 

The music alone was superb enough to make this a must for my collection. This movie actually made me wish I had grown up in the big band era.

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This film was screened as the last of the season holiday movie a few weeks ago and the house was packed!

The audience sang along and even danced in their seats to the great music included. Many younger people enjoyed seeing the horn players swing their instruments to the music too.

Did Payne even get to sing?

 

The criticisms were "too much skiing" kind of slowed the story down and the wry observation of, "If I can't marry the one I love, I'll just marry the annoying one instead" silly ending.

 

Did you notice the black ice used for optimum reflection in that last number? Sonja Henie was the Madonna of her day, dictating creative control for the best effects.

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I generally can't stand musicals, but I happened to catch the part where Tex Beneke and his backup chorus were gathering around a table, singing their classic version of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo", followed by another version by the Nicholas Brothers with Dorothy Dandridge. I'm now thoroughly disgusted with myself that I didn't record it, but as Jack Webb used to say, "In America, there's always a tomorrow."

 

And for anyone who hasn't seen the sequence I'm talking about, you *have* to see it:

 

 

P.S. Does Beneke have a twin brother or something? Look at the scene right at the beginning of the song and check out the guitar player to the left of the pianist. Until I then saw Tex playing a saxophone before whistling his way over to the table to begin the vocal part, I thought that he was the guitar player.

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