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The Glenn Miller Story Reviews

Unlike so many film bios, this is an honest, intelligent depiction of one of America's greatest musical influences and doesn't merely string together a series of hit tunes and gratuitous scenes. But oh, what music! James Stewart is Glenn Miller, a bright young man with a love for the trombone and a desire to create music. At the University of Colorado he falls for Helen Burger (June Allyson, at her charming best, and a perfect match for Stewart); then, after graduation, he goes to work for Ben Pollack (playing himself) and later has a gig in the pit of a Broadway show. On their wedding night, Helen is shocked to find her husband in a jam session in Harlem with Gene Krupa and Louis Armstrong. Later, in Boston, at the dance hall run by Si Schribman (George Tobias), Miller refines his art, stumbling upon his signature sound when his trumpet player splits his lip, forcing the clarinetist to play lead on "Moonlight Serenade." Although Stewart learned how to handle the trombone, the actual playing was dubbed by Murray MacEachern and Joe Yukl, who are great on such Miller classics as "In the Mood" "Tuxedo Junction" and "Little Brown Jug." All that's missing from this well-crafted film is Tex Beneke, the "boy singer" for Miller's band, who went on to lead it after his mentor's death. Look for the great Frances Langford really doing her thing.