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Presenting Lily Mars (1943)

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2:12 | Trailer
Small-town Indiana girl Lily Mars dreams to be a stage actress. She begs visiting Broadway producer John Thornway for a role but he dismisses her as an amateur. She follows him to New York and worms her way into his show, and his heart.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Booth Tarkington (novel), Richard Connell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judy Garland ... Lily Mars
Van Heflin ... John Thornway
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Thornway
Richard Carlson ... Owen Vail
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Mars
Mártha Eggerth ... Isobel Rekay (as Marta Eggerth)
Connie Gilchrist ... Frankie
Leonid Kinskey ... Leo
Patricia Barker Patricia Barker ... Poppy
Janet Chapman ... Violet
Annie Ross ... Rosie (as Annabelle Logan)
Douglas Croft ... Davey
Ray McDonald ... Charlie Potter
Tommy Dorsey ... Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra ... Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
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Storyline

Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New York, he gets to know her better and his opinion of her changes for the better. Then, when the leading lady of the play walks out, Lily gets her big break on Broadway. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For You and Your Gal - It's a Honey of a Show! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1944 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Lily Mars vedette See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

World renowned jazz singer-songwriter ("Twisted") Annie Ross plays Judy's younger sister Rosie Mars in this film. Credited as Annabel Logan. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Thornway: John, he died several years ago. He left a wife and five children. Nobody knows how they manage, but they do. Everybody in Midhaven worries about the Marses... except the Marses.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Under the single "The End" title, Davey Mars is seen to steal one more doorknob for his collection. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Judy Garland (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

(When You Think of Lovin', Baby) Think of Me
(uncredited)
Written by Don Swander and June Hershey
Sung by Bob Crosby, Lee Wilde and Lyn Wilde with Bob Crosby Orchestra and danced by couples at the Panorama Club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Every Little Movement
30 March 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Presenting Lily Mars may have provided Judy Garland with one of the easier roles she had while at MGM because Lily Mars is definitely a character she could identify with. A young girl with talent enough for ten, she knows she has what it takes to make it in the theater no matter how much producer Van Heflin from her home town discourages her.

I really liked Judy in this one as the girl determined to make it in the theater. Because it is Judy Garland with the talent of Judy Garland you in the audience know she has the right stuff even if it takes Van Heflin nearly the whole movie to be convinced.

Both Judy and Heflin hail from the same small town, Heflin's dad was the town doctor who delivered her and Heflin while he may have moved away and become a big producer on Broadway, their respective moms, Fay Bainter and Spring Byington have kept in touch. That's her entrée, but Heflin's constantly barraged with stagestruck kids, but never anyone quite like Lily Mars.

No real big song hits came out of Presenting Lily Mars for Garland, though she sings all her numbers. The best in the film is a revival of that gaslight era chestnut, Every Little Movement Has A Meaning All Its Own. Judy sings it with Connie Gilchrist playing the cleaning lady in a Broadway theater where Heflin's show is being produced. Gilchrist was a star back in the days of the FloraDora Girls and she and Judy deliver the song in grand style with Connie. It's the best scene in the film as Gilchrist encourages Judy to keep at it. Composer Karl Hoschna had died a long time ago, but lyricist Otto Harbach was still alive and I'm betting he liked what he heard.

European musical star Marta Eggerth is in Presenting Lily Mars as the show's star who's at first bemused, then angry and finally, understanding of Garland and Heflin. She did a couple of films with MGM and then went back to Europe for more work on the continent. I'm betting MGM didn't quite know what to do with her and her thick Hungarian accent, though Louis B. Mayer never met a soprano he didn't like.

Van Heflin does well as the patient producer who puts up with a lot from Garland and Eggerth. Heflin was just coming off his Oscar for Johnny Eager the previous year and he and Garland wouldn't appear to be an ideal screen team, but they're not bad together.

Presenting Lily Mars is a fine showcase for the talents of Judy Garland. And she didn't have to share the screen in another backstage film with Mickey Rooney.


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