“The Glenn Miller Story” (1954), Coronado Island Film Festival’s Classic Movie presentation for June, is guaranteed to get toes tapping (and hankies dabbing) at Coronado’s Village Theatre, 620 Orange Avenue, on Wednesday, June 29, at 5 p.m.
A be-speckled James Stewart stars in the title role, with the same easy grin and self-effacing charm that Miller himself possessed as he won the hearts of World War II- era America. Miller’s wife Helen is played by the lovely, husky-voiced June Allyson. The natural, easy-going on-screen chemistry between Stewart and Allyson is fun to watch, and explains why they were often cast as husband and wife.
But, indeed, the music itself must share top billing with the actors. All the Miller favorites are there, along with cameo appearances by legendary music greats such as Louis Armstrong, Frances Langford, Ben Pollack, Gene Krupa, Barney Bigard, James Young, Arvell Shaw and others, playing themselves.
Those of us who grew up in the Fifties remember our parents rolling up the living room rug, putting a 78 R.P.M. record on the Victrola, and kicking up their heels to Miller songs like ”In the Mood,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “Chatenooga-Choo-Choo,” “String of Pearls,” and others. Glenn Miller’s band ruled the record charts and anchored the airwaves. “The Glenn Miller Story” is a charming biographical musical tribute to the man, his music, and his life.
One of CIFF’s trusted staff members (OK, it was Nick Curtin) warned us that “nobody under age 70 even knows who Glenn Miller was!” He might be right. So, you under-70’s out there, it’s time to do some Googling: There will be a Trivia Quiz before Wednesday’s screening - with prizes!
Tickets, which include complimentary adult beverages and other refreshments, are $15 and may be purchased in advance at coronadofilmfest.com (preferred), or at the CIFF table at the door beginning at 4:45 p.m. on the night of the screening (cash or credit card). Theatre doors will open at 5 p.m. for the “Meet and Greet,” followed at 5:30 p.m. by the Trivia Quiz, vintage cartoon and feature presentation.
Next month: CIFF Founder Doug St. Denis and Executive Director Merridee Book discovered that they share an all-time favorite foreign film, and on July 27 they will treat you to the Italian charmer and love letter to movie theatres,“Cinema Paradiso” (1989). In Italian, with subtitles. Get ready to love this one.
VOL. 112, NO. 25 - June 22, 2022