The Glenn Miller Story

Synopsis: The unemployed trombone player Glenn Miller is always broken, chasing his sound to form his band and hocking his instrument in the pawn house to survive. When his friend Chummy MacGregor is hired to play in the band of Ben Pollack, the band-leader listens to one Glenn's composition and invites him to join his band. While traveling to New York, Glenn visits his former girlfriend Helen Berger, in Boulder, Colorado, and asks her to wait for him. Two years later he quits the band and proposes Helen that moves to New York to marry him. After the success of "Moonlight Serenade", Glenn Miller's band becomes worldwide known and Glenn and Helen and their two children have a very comfortable life. Duting the World War II, Glenn enlists in the army and travels to Europe to increase the moral of the allied troops. In the Christmas of 1944, he travels from London to Paris for a concert to be broadcast; however his plane is never found in the tragic flight.
Director(s): Anthony Mann
Production: Universal Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
115 min

(# Moonlight Serenade)

Hello, Mr Kranz.

- I'd like to redeem my...

- I know! The trombone.

I always keep her hanging in the window

so when you walk by

you can see she is still there.

I keep my eyes on her.

Say, Mr Miller,

where'd you got the money this time?

- Working in a gas station.

- And now you've got another band job?

Yep. I'm with Minton at the Sunset Hotel.

Chummy's gonna pick me up.

Your friend Chummy,

why don't he hock something?

- He plays the piano.

- I see!

That's all we need! To schlep a piano

in and out every once in a while.

That string of pearls,

how much did you say that was?

I'd like to give my girl a birthday present.

Isn't it wonderful to be young?

He just got his trombone out of hock

and he wants to buy a $100 necklace.


I'd like to give her this.

Haven't seen her for a few years.

- You are engaged?

- No, not exactly.

We went around together when we were

in college. University of Colorado.

$100. That's a lot of money, isn't it?

For a regular customer,

I make a special price.

- (Car horn)

- I guess that's Chummy.

A hundred dollars.

Here's for the horn.

- Thanks. Goodbye.

- Goodbye, Mr Miller.

- Where'd you get this one, Chummy?

- Made a deal on my Briscoe.

She's a beaut.

45 horsepower. Only four years old.

- 45 horse...

- Come on, hop in. We gotta get goin'.

- Isn't this a darb, kid?

- Yeah, gee whiz!

- You bring my arrangement?

- You're sittin' on it.

But this is the Sunset Hotel,

potted palms and marble stairs.

- Minton's band plays sweet.

- I know that.

Don't try to slip in

that arrangement of yours tonight.

- We don't wanna lose this job.

- Stop worryin'. This is a classic.

I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls,

it's a classic!

When Minton hears this arrangement,

he'll give us a job for life. Let's go.

(# Upbeat swing)

(# Romantic swing)

Too bad you can't keep the trombone

and hock the arrangement.

- You know where there's Venice?

- Italy.

No! Venice here.

By the pier, with that big wheel.

- Oh, yeah.

- You boys go out there next Monday.

- This fellow Pollack, he has tryouts.

- Ben Pollack?

Ben Pollack. He gets together a new band.

They go for a long, long trip.

- How do you know?

- A fellow told me this morning.

- You boys go out there.

- Sure. Thanks a lot.

Next Monday?

That gives you a week

to get your trombone out.

- You could work in a gas station.

- Not me.

I'm gonna work on arrangements.

For me, I'm glad for your business,

Mr Miller,

but why don't you give up this arranging

and stick with the trombone?

That's a good question.

I wish I knew the answer.

But I have one idea up here in my head.

To me, music is more

than just one instrument.

It's a whole orchestra playing together. See?

The only way I can express myself

is to work out an arrangement.

See? Thanks for the tip.

Come on.

(# Ragtime piano)


- Thanks, Ben.

- You're in. You're in.

- Who's next?

- I am.

I've done some arrangements...

I'm full up on arrangements.

I need more musicians.

I've been working on 'em all week.

They're in your style.

I appreciate that. Lay them on the piano,

I'll try 'em some other time.


- My name's on the cover.

- Swell.

OK, who's next?

I am. My name's Schwartz.

Wilbur Schwartz.

Clarinet, eh? Sit down at the first chair

and blow a little bit.

- What tune do you want me to play?

- Do you read at sight?

- Try me.

- Chummy, get him something to read.

One, two.

(# Plays upbeat tune)

(Music stops)

Hey, Glenn! Come on back.

Mr Pollack wants to talk to you.

He says your arrangement is a pip!

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Valentine Davies

Valentine Loewi Davies (August 25, 1905 – July 23, 1961) was an American film and television writer, producer, and director. His film credits included Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Chicken Every Sunday (1949), It Happens Every Spring (1949), The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), and The Benny Goodman Story (1955). He was nominated for the 1954 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Glenn Miller Story. Davies was born in New York City, served in the Coast Guard, and graduated from the University of Michigan where he developed his writing skill with a column in the Michigan Daily and honed his skills further as a graduate student at Yale Drama School. He walked away from his family's successful real estate business in New York and moved to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. He wrote a number of Broadway plays and was president of the Screen Writers Guild and general chairman of the Academy Awards program. He wrote the story for the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, which was given screen treatment by the director, George Seaton. Davies also did a novelization of the story, which was published as a novella by Harcourt Brace & Company in conjunction with the film release. Miracle on 34th Street earned him an Academy Award for Best Story. From 1949-50, he served as President of the Screen Writers Guild. He died in 1961 at his home in Malibu, California when he was fifty-five years old. His secretary at the time of his death, Marian Saphro, recalled many years later that her boss died in the midst of a heavy laugh. The Valentine Davies Award was established in 1962, the year following his death, by the Writers Guild of America, West, in his honor. It has been awarded annually, excepting the years 2006, 2010, and 2015. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Glenn Miller Story" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Apr. 2021. <>.

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