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Skating in Swingtime,
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This review is from: Sun Valley Serenade [DVD]  (DVD)
This is the first of only two Glenn Miller films (the other one being "Orchestra Wives") and as a result probably suffers from the studios reluctance to allow the Miller band to carry the film alone, without the "added attraction" of olympic skater, Sonia Henie. Despite the oil and water mix the resuling film is probably better than you might expect. Henie gives an engagingly naive performance in a simple story line, with some wonderful skating pyrotechnics thrown in for good measure, while the Miller band sequences are just about as good as it gets. The band started work on the picture on 24th March 1941 and finished on 3rd of May. Personel was unchanged from the previous November and this shows in the performance. The "togetherness" is breathtaking. Many of the sidemen would go on to form their own bands later, (Billy May; Ray Anthony; Tex Beneke; Hal McIntyre), or move into the "studios" when the big bands lost their appeal and the singers took over in the late forties early fifties. It has been said that Glenn Miller never hired a "dud" musician and his work for the Fox Studios in 1941 and 1942 certainly prove this point.