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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 October 2006
Apparently, when this boipic was being made, Glenn Miller's fans were incensed as they felt Mr Jimmy wasn't good looking enough to play the role. However, once it came out, for the most part they did an about face, as the resemblence was uncanny. That is due, primarily, to Stewarts ability to *become* his character. In It's a Wonderful Life, he really is George Bailey - a man who feels he has nothing to live for; in Harvey, he really is talking to a 7ft white rabbit - to the point where you can almost see him, too. This film is no different. He *is* Glenn Miller, with all his lovely Jimmy charm.

There are a few scenes in here where you can tell Jimmy Stewart's laughter is spontaneous and genuine, and for those parts alone it's worth getting the film. The script *is* funny, and both Jimmy and June Allyson (who died only a few months ago) had genuine comedic talent. Once you hear Allyson's exasperated "Well, honestly" you'll positively *look* for reasons to say it, too.

It's a delightful film, from start to finish, notwithstanding the sad ending. In terms of the Stewart compendium, it's a hidden gem. In fact, apart from Anatomy of a Murder, it may be the gemmiest.
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on 6 August 2007
If I could I would give this movie 100 stars.
It is a classic example of where fiction overtakes fact and the fiction becomes fact.
Everything about the movie is flawed, including June Alyson's 1953 "A" line skirts, black and white soldiers marching together in 1943 (the US army was totally segregated then), a B29 parked in the background when the plane only came in service in 1944, the pre 1801 Union flag (without the red cross of St. Patrick) in the BBC studio and again hanging from the "castle" wall as the V1 was exploding as the Miller band carried on playing. However, only a sad b*stard like me would spot all this stuff!
It has all the sterotype Hollywood castings. The Jewish benefactor, the "best friend" (Harry Morgan from Dragnet and M*A*S*H)
I should hate it, but I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!
Forgetting all the 1950's Hollywood crap, it's Glenn Miller's music that makes the film and James Stewart IS Glenn Miller.
I fell in love with Glen Miller's sound when my older sister took me to see the Herb Miller Band (Glenn's brother) in the middle 50's. It was made up of a lot of the original band and even at the age of 10 I became addicted.
Over the years, I have worn out Vinyl, 8 Track and Cassettes and I am currently playing a CD to death.
I've had the movie on Betamax, VHS and now DVD.
If you don't have this movie, then you may need some serious professional help.
Don't spend big bucks on a psychiatrist, buy the movie and enjoy.
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on 26 April 2006
Prabably not Stewarts best movie but definately one of his most likeable ones that you can watch again and again and appreciate the excellent music and story.

There needs no explanation, the story is a biopic of the life of famous band leader Glenn Miller and his search for that special sound. Stewart plays the part beautifuly and even looks like Miller which really helps us in reliving that era.

Definately a film worth watching time and again,you know exactly what is coming up but the quality of acting and story makes this one a jem.The only disappointment are the extra features or lack of them,this is such a famous film that i am sure there are hidden moments that could be added. Look at the DVD of Capras brilliant Stewart film "Its a wonderfull Life" the extras improve ones understanding of that amazing film.

Possibly its an opportunity missed but donot miss this film.

If for some reason you have never seen this Stewart classic its a film well worth buying for a history of Millers music and life.
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on 17 July 2010
The storyline is good although it is a rather 'sanitised' and somewhat sympathetic reading of the Glen Miller character who was not quite the kindly and amiable musician portrayed in this film.

Nevertheless the story moves on nicely with the major characters well portrayed by stalwarts June Allyson and James Stewart. The whole production nicely directed by Anthony Mann.

If the film seems a little dated and pedestrian, it should be remembered that the film is now over 50 years old and under these circumstance, I feel it still deserves its acadamy award.

But for me it is the Miller music that is the real star of the film, a collection of classic numbers beautifully played. Of particular merit is the Tuxedo Junction sequence.
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on 4 September 2010
Despite Amazon listing this Old Favourite as being in Black & White, it is of course in Color. In fact it was one of the last films to be made using the Technicolor three strip camera + I.B. printing. This would have meant that the Original camera ratio would have been 1.33:1 (4:3) - but this DVD is in anamorphic 1.85:1 (16:9) ~ However at the time it was made there was a scramble by Exhibitors to instal new W I D E R Screens to keep up with CinemaScope and regular films were mercelessly cropped to fit. I must admit that nobody's head or feet appear to be chopped off so maybe the film was framed with plenty of headroom and legroom. If the film is ever restored and issued as a Blu-Ray Special Edition it should be in the original Format of 4:3 so that the viewer can tinker with the ratio himself.
Loved the film when it first came out and have been a lifelong Miller Fan.
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on 30 June 2000
Excellent nostalgic film. It's plot is slightly creaky but James Stewart in his own special way saves the day. The music is robust and enjoyable and even has some of Miller's work as played before he created his "Sound". It also has amusing moments that show even a trombone playing band leader can be a star. This is a good sentimental tribute to a man who was taken too early.
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on 6 October 2016
Essentially this is a film I have greatly enjoyed since I first saw it soon after its initial release. I have a major disappointment, however, with the DVD version: a section of the interview between Helen Miller and Cy Shribman is missing. This is the part of the dialogue when Helen explains what Glenn is trying to do in achieving a particular sound, which interests and attracts Cy, leading to his putting up the money for the band to be reformed. Without this section some of the impact of the later dialogue is weakened if not lost. I don't understand why the original dialogue has been edited in this way.
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on 18 June 2005
I first saw this film on TV 20 years ago and am very pleased that it has come out in a crisp DVD version. James Stewart gives a very watchable portrayal of the struggle and triumph of the famous American musician, while June Allyson gives a moving performance that shows that her star on the Walk of Fame is richly merited. The film contains some of Miller's most famous compositions like In the Mood - the climax of this in the film against the background of a German air raid is heartening as well as causing the audience within the film to cheer and applaud. A very enjoyable way to spend the afternoon (or later).
Highly recommended.
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on 25 August 2008
This one seems to have been re-issued with a variety of different covers, none like my own, so I chose this one; after all, it's the same film.
Yes, they were films back then, today we call them movies, but whatever, this is one of those 'sit on the sofa at Xmas or Bank Holiday with Mum & Dad' "must see" films, which was so important to their generation. Glenn Miller, along with Gracie Fields and others, helped win the war, and just like 'Live Aid' and 'Live Eight' in our generations, music can move mountains in even the most dreadful and dire situations, and cause people to DO something positive.
So, it was a bit of a drag watching the film with James Stewart's trademark drawl, but nevertheless it made quite an impression, at least, enough to feel the need, (and it's hardly what you'd call expensive), to buy a copy to watch it again, 40 years further on in our lives. It is worth it, believe me, they just don't make films like this any more. Thank goodness, some may say, but this one in particular has a wonderful and timeless quality about it which has kept its magic intact, and can still be thoroughly enjoyed, along with the music, today. Top Notch!
This one, in conjunction with the 'Glenn Miller's Last Flight' documentary are a great package.
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on 15 November 2013
Alright, so this is Hollywood and - as you might expect - they've taken a few liberties with the story of the great Glenn Miller. However, the film is still superb entertainment in that glossy, sugary-sweet style so typical of the era in which this was made.
Jimmy Stewart as Miller and June Allyson as his wife turn in great performances and Stewart is uncannily believable in the title role, even though he's so well known for other things.
I guess if you're buying this film, you're also a fan of the music and its as good as ever. I bought the soundtrack to this film almost 30 years ago on vinyl, and, if I remember correctly, the studios got together many of Miller's band for the studio recordings, and its a top notch band on the film soundtrack. (I think it won an Oscar for the sound recording). Whilst the recording quality is not up to today's digital standards, a lot of progress had been made by the mid 50's when this was recorded, compared to the early recordings of the Miller band from the 30's and early 40's so actually the sound quality is pretty decent.
I think my favourite scene from the film is when miller is in a club and is 'invited' up onto the stage to join in with the resident band. A band that just happens to include some of the foremost musicians of the day, including Louis Armstrong and others. Its pure Hollywood schmaltz but its great fun.
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