Wow! The Glenn Miller Story has a fun beat, a little romance, and a lot of stars.
James Stewart shows the heart of trombone player and band leader Glenn Miller as he struggles for enough money to start the band, struggles to get married to the girl he couldn’t stop thinking about, and struggles to find that “sound” he was looking for.
The six-foot three-inch frame of James Stewart towers over petite June Allyson, who plays Helen Berger Miller. Harry Morgan (a familiar face best remembered from the TV series M*A*S*H*) brings a smile in his role as Miller’s long-time friend Chummy MacGregor.
The Glenn Miller sound was a hit then and still is today in the hearts of those who, like me, can’t listen to it without tapping toes and nodding to the beat. My husband and I danced to Glenn Miller music at a New Year’s Eve dance several years back. When music is this good, it stands the test of time.
Appearances by Frances Langford, Louis Armstrong, Ben Pollack, Gene Krupa, made the film even more enjoyable. I played the Gene Krupa scene for my husband who walked through the room just after it. And who doesn’t love Louis Armstrong?
This movie was released the same year as Hitchcock’s Rear Window, in which James Stewart also starred.
James Stewart portrayed a soldier who died in the service of his country in 1944. Stewart knew about being a soldier since he was the first movie star to enter military service for WWII, which he did eight months before Pearl Harbor. After he joined the Army and became a pilot, he flew 20 combat missions during the 21 months he served overseas. He also served in the Air Force Reserve after the war, retiring as a brigadier general.