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Of Thee I Sing (1972)

CBS' updated version of the classic Gershwin musical, cast largely with stars who were all appearing in then-current CBS television series.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Carroll O'Connor ... John P. Wintergreen
Cloris Leachman ... Mary Turner
Jack Gilford ... Alexander Throttlebottom
Michele Lee ... Diana Devereaux
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jim Backus ... Senator Robert F. Lyons
David Doyle ... Francis X. Gilhooley
Bob Duggan Bob Duggan ... Senate Clerk
Herb Edelman ... Louis Lippman
Paul Hartman Paul Hartman ... Chief Justice
Shirley Kirkes Shirley Kirkes ... Miss Benson
Garrett Lewis Garrett Lewis ... Sam Jenkins
Jeannine Riley ... Hotel Chambermaid
Jesse White ... Matthew Fulton
Ted Zeigler Ted Zeigler ... White House Guide
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Storyline

CBS' updated version of the classic Gershwin musical, cast largely with stars who were all appearing in then-current CBS television series.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Of Thee I Sing" by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind opened on December 26, 1931 at the Music Box Theatre, ran for 441 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1932. Music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. Original stars were William Gaxton (Wintergreen), Lois Moran (Mary), Grace Brinkley (Diana), Victor Moore (Throttlebottom) and George Murphy ( Jenkins). See more »

Connections

References Mary Tyler Moore (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Well Remembered
24 January 2011 | by lzf0See all my reviews

I remember seeing this TV version of "Of Thee I Sing" when I was very young. It helped turn me into a life long Gershwin fan. I even have the LP made by Columbia. Since that time, I have seen and been involved with productions of this brilliant musical comedy. A few of the songs ("Of Thee I Sing", Who Cares", "Love Is Sweeping the Country") have become world class standards. Then there are the hidden gems like "A Kiss for Cinderella" and "Because, Because".

Paramount was supposed to make a movie version. It was discussed as a vehicle for the Marx Brothers. Would Groucho have played Wintergreen or Fulton? Harpo would have been hysterical as a silent Throttlebottom. Chico would have added to the hilarity as an immigrant committee member. Maybe Zeppo would have been Wintergreen! In the 1940s,Bob Hope was to star in a movie version. Hope would have been perfect as Wintergreen, but looking at Paramount 40s musicals, it wouldn't have been great. Musically, we probably would have ended up with only "Wintergreen for President", "Love Is Sweeping the Country" and the title song. Paramount used Hope instead of William Gaxton for its production of "Louisiana Purchase"; Victor Moore repeated his Broadway role. However, most of Irving Berlin's score was unused and Hope did not get one single musical number. What a shame! Paramount also made messes of Broadway hits "Let's Face It" and "Lady in the Dark".

As for the CBS production, the libretto was truncated to fit into a 90 minute slot and the southern senator became the villain, replacing the French Ambassador, which would not make much sense in the 1970s. Peter Matz's musical arrangements are crisp and swinging. They are far superior to the Don Walker arrangements from the 1952 Broadway version. Jack Gilford was so perfect as Throttlebottom that he was used again for the Brooklyn Accademy of Music production in the 1980s. With the Gershwin music still vital at the time, CBS was able to update the story and place it in the 1970s. However, if this show was revived on Broadway today, unfortunately it would have to be treated as a period piece.


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