Friday, February 5, 2010


The Dolly Sisters (1945) Biographical film, about the Dolly Sisters, identical twins who became famous on Broadway. Cast: Betty Grable, June Haver and John Payne.

In 1904, Hungarian sisters Yansci and Roszika Dolly, travel to America with their uncle Latsie, when they stop by a New York City restaurant. On a whim the little girls dance as the band performs. It is 1912, and the girls, are now grown, they call themselves Jenny and Rosie, and they still love to dance and sing at the restaurant. Needing money to pay bills, Jenny and Rosie talk the restaurant owner help them find a job in upstate New York. On the train, the sisters meet singer Harry Fox, who is not too happy to find out that he has been billed below the two sisters and a performing seal. Harry and Jenny, fall in love. When the girls have to move on, Jenny promises Harry, that she will wait for him. Back in New York City, the sisters, are not having any luck with their singing career, until one day, Harry, comes back into their lives. Harry and Jenny, are very happy to see each other. Harry says, with his help, he can arrange an interview with, Oscar Hammerstein. Harry puts up the girls in an expensive hotel and buys them expensive clothes. The girls audition for Hammerstein, who is very impressed with them, and soon has them starring in one of his shows. But their success takes them out of Harry's league. Lots of wonderful songs. One of my favorite Betty Grable films. I think my favorite scene is when Betty was driving the car and has an accident. She really looked like she was having a nervous breakdown. Also in the hospital scene, she was again very convincing in her performance. Too bad the academy did not nominate her for an Oscar.


Jenny Dolly, Rosie Dolly, and Harry Fox were real people.

The real Rosie Dolly, loaned her scrapbooks to Twentieth Century-Fox, for research on this movie.

Twentieth Century Fox, planned to have Alice Faye and Betty Grable, star in this movie. Miss Faye, becoming weary of musical roles, declined.

Betty Grable, using the pseudonym Ruth Haag (which combined her middle name with that of her husband Harry James), performed as vocalist for Harry James and His Music Makers on the best selling commercial disc, released by Columbia Records, of the movie's Oscar-nominated ballad, I Can't Begin to Tell You.


"Hungarian Dance No. 5 (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played by the band at the Little Hungary restaurant
Danced by Evon Thomas and Donna Jo Gribble, Betty Grable and June Haver

"The Vamp"
Written by Byron Gay
Performed by Betty Grable and June Haver during the rehearsal at the Elmira theater

"I Can't Begin to Tell You"
Music by James V. Monaco
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Sung by John Payne during the rehearsal at the Elmira theater
Also performed by John Payne, Betty Grable and June Haver
Played often in the score

"Give Me the Moonlight, Give Me the Girl"
Music by Albert von Tilzer
Lyrics by Lew Brown
Sung by Betty Grable, John Payne and chorus on record

"We Have Been Around"
Music by Charles Henderson
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Betty Grable and June Haver

"Carolina in the Morning"
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Performed by Betty Grable and June Haver

"Don't Be Too Old Fashioned (Old Fashioned Girl)"
Music by Charles Henderson
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Betty Grable and June Haver

"Powder, Lipstick and Rouge"
Music by Harry Revel
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Performed by Betty Grable, June Haver, and showgirls

"I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"
Music by Harry Carroll
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Sung by John Payne and Betty Grable

"The Darktown Strutters' Ball"
Written by Shelton Brooks
Performed by Betty Grable, June Haver and showgirls

"Arrah Go on, I'm Gonna Go Back to Oregon"
Music by Bert Grant
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Sung by the soldiers as Harry reads the letter
Also sung by John Payne

"Mademoiselle from Armentières"
Sung by the soldiers at the train station

"Oh! Frenchy"
Music by Con Conrad
Lyrics by Sam Ehrlich
Sung by the soldiers at the train station

"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile!"
Music by Felix Powell
Lyrics by George Asaf
Sung by the soldiers at the train station

"The Sidewalks of New York"
Music by Charles Lawlor
Lyrics by James W. Blake
Played during the opening scene
Also performed by Betty Grable and June Haver at the benefit

Music by Mel Kaufman
Played during the trained seal act

"Oh You Beautiful Doll"
Music by Nat Ayer
Played when Harry and the girls are having coffee

Music by Lee S. Roberts
Lyrics by J. Will Callahan
Played as dance music at the London party
Sung by the soldiers when Harry is shown the magazine

"On the Mississippi"
Music by Harry Carroll and Arthur Fields
Lyrics by Ballard MacDonald
Sung by a chorus when Harry gets the divorce notice

"Give My Regards to Broadway"
Music by George M. Cohan
Played when the sign for the benefit is shown

Music by Egbert Van Alstyne
Played during the rope trick act at the benefit show.

The Real Dolly Sisters:

The Dolly Sisters, twins Rosika (Rose) and Jansci (Jenny) Deutsch, were born October 25, 1892 in Hungary, and traveled to the United States in 1905. They perfected a dance act, under the name of 'The Dolly Sisters' they began earning money in beer halls in 1907. Barred for being under age by the New York City stage, they toured the Orpheum circuit until 1909 when they debuted on the Keith vaudeville circuit till 1911 when they signed with the Ziegfeld Follies for two seasons.

In addition to making about a half dozen films from 1913 to 1920, they toured the theatres and dance halls of Europe. Sometimes they would perform with separate partners as "rival" acts to boost ticket sales.

Rosie lived long enough to see a biopic made in 1945 of their lives called, The Dolly Sisters - starring June Haver and Betty Grable.

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