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Song of the Open Road

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Title: Song of the Open Road  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Rose Hobart, Academy Award for Best Original Score, W. C. Fields, Jane Powell, Sammy Kaye, Bonita Granville, Raymond H. Torrey, Long Path, Steve Condos, Regis Toomey
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Song of the Open Road

Song of the Open Road
File:Song of the Open Road.jpg
Directed by S. Sylvan Simon
Produced by Charles R. Rogers
Written by Irving Phillips (Story)
Edward Verdier (Story)
Albert Mannheimer
Starring Jane Powell
Bonita Granville
Peggy O'Neill
Music by Charles Previn
Cinematography John W. Boyle
Editing by Truman K. Wood
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) June 1944 (1944-06)
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Song of the Open Road is a 1944 musical comedy film directed by S. Sylvan Simon, from a screenplay by Irving Phillips and Edward Verdier. It was the debut film of teenage singer Jane Powell. Powell's real name was Suzanne Burce, but prior to the release of this film, MGM assigned her the stage name "Jane Powell", the name of the character she portrays in this film.[1]


Child film star Jane Powell, tired of her life being run by her stage mother, runs away from home and tries to lead a "normal" life at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. When a crop needs picking, Powell enlists the help of some celebrity friends. It was W. C. Fields's next-to-last film; he is one of several performers playing themselves in the production. In the film, Fields—who began his career as an accomplished juggler—juggles some oranges for a few moments. He remarks "This used to be my racket". Then, missing a catch, he drops the oranges and walks away muttering "used to be my racket, but it isn't anymore!".



Director S. Sylvan Simon had terrible difficulty filming scenes with W. C. Fields due to Fields' alcoholism. After lunch hour he was often nowhere to be found. This problem was solved by luring Fields into his truck early in the day and removing the ladder. Fields would often rant and complain before eventually falling asleep.

Although Fields often made fun of singers and singing in general, he had a fondness for the promising young singer Jane Powell and even referred to her (as "little Janie Powell") on one of his CBS radio broadcasts (preserved on transcription discs). Powell sang several songs in the film and made such an impression that MGM signed her to a contract to make a number of musical comedies for them, through the mid-1950s. Powell's real name was Suzanne Burce, but prior to the release of this film, MGM assigned her the stage name "Jane Powell", the name of the character she portrays in this film.[2]

Award nominations

Year Result Award Category Recipient
1945 Nominated Academy Award Best Music, Original Song ("Too Much in Love") Walter Kent (Music) & Kim Gannon (Lyrics)
1945 Nominated Academy Award Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture Charles Previn


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
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