Friday, November 25, 2011

Swing High, Swing Low(1937).

Swing High, Swing Low(1937). Romantic/musical starring Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray. This is the second film adaptation, after The Dance of Life (1929) and before When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948).

While traveling by cruise ship, Maggie King, masquerading as a hairdresser to pay her way to California, meets a soldier named, Skid Johnson. After they arrive, Skid offers to drive Maggie and her friend Ella into Panama City and introduces them to his roommate, Harry. Skid, gets into a fight defending Maggie, at a night club and they both land in jail.

After they go before a judge the next morning, Maggie's, ship has sailed on without her. Harry and Skid, invite her to move in with them. Skid, gambles away his trumpet and Maggie convinces Murphy, the owner of a cafe, to give her the money to buy back Skid's trumpet and then hire him to play at the club.

After Maggie, becomes angry with Skid, who spent the night with Anita, a girl who works at the club. Skid, decides to marry to Maggie.

A New York agent, tells Skid about a job in New York at the El Greco. Skid is a big hit, with Anita's help, but.. he keeps putting off sending money for Maggie's ticket to join him. Concerned Maggie, borrows money from Murphy and sends a telegram to Skid, but .. Anita, sees it first and tosses it out. When Maggie, arrives in New York, with no one to meet her, she calls Anita's room and Skid answers the phone. Heartbroken, Maggie files for divorce, will Maggie have a change of heart and get back together with Skid?

Please click here to view the full movie Swing High Swing Low.

Fun Fact:

The lead was originally offered to Gary Cooper, who turned it down, then to Bing Crosby, who also turned it down, then to Fred Mac, who took it.

I loved the night club scene with Anthony Quinn. Wonderful little movie for all Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray fans.

Jean Dixon (July 14, 1896 – February 12, 1981). While living in France, she studied dramatics under Sarah Bernhardt.

She was on the Broadway stage a number of years before Hollywood called her in 1929.

She mostly played the streetwise, smart-mouthed friend of the leading lady.

Her most famous performance was in the film, My Man Godfrey (1936).

The Lady Lies (1929)
The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)
Sadie McKee (1934)
I’ll Love You Always (1935)
She Married Her Boss (1935)
My Man Godfrey (1936)
You Only Live Once (1937)
Swing High, Swing Low (1937)
Holiday (1938)
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)


  1. Dawn,
    This was a great little film.
    Interesting that both Cooper and Crosby turned it down. Lucky for Fred who did a good job alongside Carole and the supporting cast. Jean Dixon reminds me a bit of an older Jean Arthur or Jeannette MacDonald.
    Lovely photos as always!

  2. Thanks for sharing about this, Dawn. I enjoyed the Lombard/MacMurray film Hands Across the Table, so when I saw that TCM was airing Swing High, Swing Low a month or so ago, I recorded it. It's still on my DVR...waiting for a time for me to watch it. (Holden and Ryan films have been taking most of my viewing time this month.) Your review is telling me I need to make time for it soon.

    It's always funny hearing how certain stars turned down certain roles. For Coop, turning this down wasn't damaging to his career. George Raft, on the other hand, might have been bigger than Humphrey Bogart had he not turned down iconic roles that made Bogey a star.

    Have a wonderful day,

  3. Dawn said...
    Page, being a huge fan of Copper, I would have loved to have seen him play opposite Carole in any movie. I thought, Fred looked a little odd in the Army Uniform. Also, I was not used to seeing Fred play a guy who hits bottom.

    Jean Dixon, also.. reminded me a little of Eve Arden.

    Patti, I saw this film Swing High, Swing Low, for the first time last month when TCM featured it. I thought that it was a really different role for Fred to play.

    I would have liked to have seen George Raft, become a bigger star, but I'm a bigger fan of Humphrey Bogart, so I'm happy that things worked out the way they did for him. :)

    You guys have a great weekend!


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