Movies in the Movies: 'Lucky Me'

Doris Day: "The Superstition Song" from "Lucky Me" via YouTube

Lucky Me
Star Doris Day opens the 1954 musical "Lucky Me" by singing a cheery song across the Floridian streets of lovely Miami -- except the entire enterprise was faked on the Burbank, CA lot at Warner Bros.

I've been fortunate to visit the studio twice and stroll the much photographed outdoor set, although I didn't warble show tunes or get gunned down by James Cagney.

Maybe next time.

As Doris passes along the movie theatre's sidewalk, we see posters for "The Command," an actual Warner production released in Feb. 1954. "Lucky Me" hit screens in April, so this ploy was a smart up-to-the-minute product placement to entice sharp eyes.

I do so wish Miss Day had lingered. I'd be under that theatre marquee beside her in a scant 43 years.

We'd have lunch at the commissary, croon the obligatory duet, bungalow in Carmel, and rescue puppies.

"The Command" advertisement boasts its presentation in the months-old technological process of CinemaScope, yet the picture was produced twice for non-compatible cameras. Here's an interesting bit of trivia, found at Internet Movie Database:

Filmed in two separate versions - 3-D and CinemaScope - with different aspect ratios (1.37:1 for the 3-D, and 2.55:1 for the CinemaScope print). Only the wide screen version was ever released, though the 3-D elements still exist in Warner Bros. vault. Also the first wide screen Western of the 1950's. The flat (i.e. non 3-D) 1.37:1 version was also made available to theatres who were not yet equipped to project CinemaScope.

The Command
"Lucky Me," by the way, is reported to be the first musical in CinemaScope, although there is conflicting research.

It appears the Judy Garland version of "A Star Is Born" was the first musical to go before the CinemaScope camera. It's 10-month schedule to completion, however, delayed release until October.

"Lucky Me" lucked out.


Crosby Kenyon said...

I understand about impossible fantasies. Yours D. Day...mine A. Hepburn.

Mike Durrett said...

Well, okay. If I can't have Doris, I'll settle for Grace Kelly. Audrey is glorious, too. Those 1954 women are spectacular.

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