The Glenn Miller Story (1954) Script

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.

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.

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.


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.

Hey, Glenn! Come on back. Mr Pollack wants to talk to you.

He says your arrangement is a pip! Your arrangement!

I'm playing in the band and working on arrangements.

I got a two-week advance.

You are a regular Rockefeller!

I want to thank you for everything. Don't mention about it.

I'm only glad it worked so good out.

About that string of pearls for my girl's birthday.

You said something about a special price for those.

For you it's $80. You pay me 40 down and $5 a week.

Good enough. Shall I mail it for you?

I better take 'em with me. I'm not sure of her address.

We're booked into Denver. She lives right near there.

Ten, 20, 30, 40. There's the 40.

And here is for the trombone. All right.

Thank you very much. Same to you, and good luck.

I hope you stay out of pawnshops for a while.

So do I! Goodbye. Goodbye, Mr Miller.

Glenn, come on! A Pierce-Arrow?

Yeah! I got it for the old car and 100 bucks.

Much heavier. It'll hold the road better on a long trip.

If the band folds up, we can sell it to an undertaker.

Get in the back, I'll give you a ride in style.

Hurry, Glenn. We're due at the Denver Palace in ten minutes.

How much, sir? Oh, give us five.

Hello. I want Boulder 6-1-7-0.

How many?

I'll get it, Mother.


Hello? Helen? How's my girl?

Your girl? Who is this?

Who is this? Is this Helen Burger?

Yes, but there must be some...

Well, it's Glenn! Glenn? Glenn who?

It's Glenn Miller!

Glenn Miller?

Oh, Glenn Miller.

Well, now, honestly. After two years and not a word.

Didn't you get my card?

The one you wrote a year ago last Christmas?

Well, I haven't heard from you either.

I didn't know where you were. I don't even know where you are now.

I'm down here in Denver. I want to see you. How about tonight?

Oh, I'm sorry. I have a date.

Couldn't you break it? I'm with Pollack and we're leavin' tomorrow.

Now, honestly, I...

Glenn, come on, hurry it up.

I'll see you later, then. Gee, there's a lot I want to tell you.

Glenn, wait a minute... I'll be out right after I finish work. Bye.

Glenn? Hello?

Well, honestly.

Hi, Dad. Going out, Helen?

This is a new wrinkle, isn't it? Ed keeping you waiting.

It isn't Ed tonight. It's a man I haven't seen for years.

Not Ed? What's happened?

It must be serious for you to break a date with Ed.

No, Mother. Glenn isn't my type.

I guess I'm just too practical or unromantic or something.

I want a man like Ed who's got a factory or a store or something solid.

I certainly don't want a wandering nomad like Glenn Miller.

What's he do, this Glenn Miller?

I don't really know except he said he was in Denver for overnight.

He's gonna pick me up after work.

He must be a hard worker. It's nearly 9:00 now.

It is?


Oh! There's really no excuse for this!

The least he could've done was phone.

Unless he was in an accident. Call him.

How can I? I don't know where he is.

If I'm going hunting in the morning, I've gotta get to bed.

Sam's picking me up at the crack of dawn.

Doesn't look as if he's coming tonight. It certainly doesn't!

Even if he did come, I wouldn't see him.

Then we can all go to bed?

Well, so much for Mr Glenn Miller.

I'll never see him again.






Oh, there you are. Glenn Miller, you go away.

I don't want to go away. I came to see you. We have a date.

Shh! You'll wake up the neighbourhood. How can I talk to you?

You keep quiet. I'll be right down.

Hello, Helen.

What's the matter with you, coming at this hour?

I told you I'd come out after work. I got here as quick as I could.

Shh. Be quiet. You haven't changed a bit, have you?

Just as feisty as ever, and just as pretty too.

I must be pretty! Wearing this kimono and my hair up in curlers.

Is that what they are? Come on, sit down.

It's cold out here. Come on. It's a beautiful night.


There. I bought you a present for your birthday.

My birthday? That isn't until next November.

This is for your last birthday.

Why, they're beautiful! But I can't accept a present like this.

Why not? They're not real. I wish they were.

I got 'em out in Los Angeles in a pa... In a, uh... A, uh...

I'll get you some real ones someday.


Two years and not a word and then a present like this.

You know, with some people you don't have to write. You just know.

I knew you'd be here. Oh, you did?

Sure. I knew you'd be just the same.

Just sitting around waiting for you to show up, I suppose?

"How is my girl?" you said. Well, you happen to be wrong!

I've been engaged to Ed Healey for nearly a year.

Did it occur to you that I might not care if I ever saw you again?

No, it never did.


Never. Why can't I ever stay mad at you?

You had me worried there for a minute.


If you were anybody else, I would never speak to you again.

Look at me. Sitting here in this kimono and my hair all...

Those curlers. Terrible, isn't it?

Helen, now look, I've got an idea.

Come with me to Fort Morgan. I'm gonna introduce you to my folks.

Now? Right now.

People do sleep between 3am and 6am.

They'll be crazy about you.

And they'll give us breakfast. How do we get there?

I'll get a taxi. A taxi to Fort Morgan?

Sure. That's so extravagant.

It isn't far. Maybe I can get the family car.

Wonderful. Wait a minute.

Let me try these on for size, hm?



Mr Burger, I... Take it easy, son.

I'm just going hunting, for jackrabbits.

Glenn! It's Glenn!

Hi, Herb. How are you? Glad to see you. Hello, Irene.

What a surprise! I had no idea. Hello, Mother.

Glad to see you. Mother, this is...

You don't need to tell me. You're Helen!

We've been hearing about you for years.

Why, yes. I'm very happy to meet you.

Daddy'll be down in a minute. Dean and Velna?

They're fine! I'll show you a picture of the baby.

Sure. She your girl, Glenn?

That's right, Herb.

Are you and Glenn gonna get married?

Don't ask that! We just take such things for granted.

How are you, son? Fine.

And you're Helen. Welcome to the family. Thank you.

You gonna get these kids some breakfast? I certainly am!

You might've let us know where you are and what your plans are.

We have to ask Helen, eh? I'll bet he tells you everything.

Oh, no, Mr Miller. I seem to be the last person he tells.

Yeah. Well, come on.

You like hotcakes, Helen? Yes.

Mom makes pretty good ones...

~ Little brown jug, how I love thee ~

~ Ha-ha-ha, you and me ~

~ Little brown jug, how I love thee... ~

Good old Colorado U. It hasn't changed a bit.

No, it's just as pretty as ever.

We still have time. Let's walk across the campus for old times' sake.

I'd love to. Come on.

Wish I didn't have to leave so soon. I do too.

Listen. It's the Glee Club rehearsing.

I love that song. What, Little Brown Jug?

That's sort of a tin-eared tune.

Why, that's one of my favourites.

My dad used to sing it to me when I was a little girl. I guess that's why.

They sing it pretty well. Mm-hm.

When something's really wonderful like that, I know it.

I get kind of a funny feeling up the back of my neck.

That's how I can tell. Sort of makes my hair stand on end.

Is that so? Yeah.

Looks pretty normal from here.

It just feels that way!

Remember that lake? Yes, I do.

Where do you go from here? We're heading east.

Chicago, New York. We're booked into the Club Fifty there.

Ever been to New York? No.

Neither have I. I hear it's quite a town.

You're certainly seeing America, aren't you?

You think I'm kinda rudderless, don't you?

Wandering over the country with the band.

Yes, I guess I do. But I'm not, though.

I know exactly where I'm going. I know exactly what I want to do.

You do?

I'm not gonna be a sideman all my life, a trombone player.

I'm gonna have a band all of my own.

I'm gonna play my own kind of music.

I... It's hard to explain, but a band...

A band oughta have a sound all of its own, oughta have a personality.

Sort of like a person. Uh-huh.

How do you get this different sound?

You see, the arrangements, the way you score each one of the individual instruments.

Some bands have that sound already, like Pollack, but it's not the right sound, not for me.

What is? I don't know.

I don't know. I haven't found it yet.

But someday I'm gonna find it and when I do...

You'll find it. I'm sure you will.

You are? Hey, Glenn!

There's Chummy. He found it all right. Goodbye.

It's been wonderful seeing you. Goodbye. I'm comin'

You'll be hearing from me. Wait and see.

Come on, boy, let's go. All right, all right.



How about one more? One more number?

We can't, kids. We're leaving for Atlantic City.

We'll be back in a couple of months.

Thanks a lot. Swell.

Fellas, listen just a minute before you start packing up.

The bus leaves from the hotel for Atlantic City tomorrow morning at 10:30.

Everybody be on time. Don't be late, will ya? OK.

Ben, like I told you, I guess this is where I get off.

I want to thank you for everything.

You know what you're doin' Yeah.

I wanna stick around New York for a while. I want to do some studying.

Just when the band's really startin' to take on.

I know all that. I appreciate everything you've done for me and I wish you all the luck in the world.

If there's... Any time you want me to do an arrangement for you, just let me know.

That's an idea. Well, so long, kid. A lotta luck.

Thanks for everything. Goodbye.

You're really serious about this? Yeah.

Still got that crazy idea in your head, that sound?

Hey, Don?

This is Chummy MacGregor. This is Don Haynes.

Hi. Glad to meet ya. You're the band booker.

Gonna try and get Glenn some work arranging.

It's an awful lonely town. I know.

I wish we could stick together, but I've been eating for two years now.

It's gotten to be a habit. I don't think I can break it.

I know.

Well, good luck, kid. Hope you find a friendly pawn shop.

Yeah, bye, Chummy. So long.

Glenn! Hi, Don. How are you?

What are you doin' Not much.

Listen, Red Nichols is getting together a pit band for a new musical, Girl Crazy.

I know you're still looking for that sound but it's been two years.

You won't find it on an empty stomach. I sure can't.

A lot of your friends are in the band - Benny Goodman, Babe Russin.

It's a great chance. It'll run all season. I guess I better take it.

I'll call you tomorrow. I gotta run.

Thanks a lot.

~ My wife and I live all alone in a little log hut we call our own ~

~ She loves gin and I love rum, I tell you, we have lots of fun ~

~ Ha-ha-ha, you and me, little brown jug, don't I love thee? ~

~ Ha-ha-ha, you and me, little brown jug, don't I love thee? ~

~ If I'd a cow that gave such milk, I'd clothe her in the finest silk ~

~ I'd feed her on the choicest hay and milk her forty times a day ~

~ Ha-ha-ha, you and me, little brown jug, don't I love thee? ~

~ Ha-ha-ha, you and me, little brown jug, don't I love thee? ~

Helen, it's for you.

Who is it? Don't forget to turn off the roast.

Who is it?


Helen, can you come to New York right away?

Glenn! I don't know whether I can or not.

But for heaven's sake, why?

So we can get married.

I need you, Helen. I can't wait any longer.

Glenn, I'm engaged!

That's right. It'll be a very short engagement.

No, you don't understand. I'm engaged to Ed. Ed Healey.

Ed Healey? The fellow you told me about two years ago?

Yes. If you haven't gotten married in two years...

People just don't rush into getting married!

Nonsense, Helen. You come to New York, marry me and get this thing settled.

I can't just walk out on him!

There's a train leaving Denver at 11:30 tomorrow night. Can you get that?

Glenn, you just wait a minute.

We can talk everything over when you get here.


Call me from Denver so I can meet the train. My number is Pennsylvania 6-5000.

Pennsylvania 6-5000.

Pennsylvania 6-5-0-0-0.

And, Helen, bring a warm coat.

It gets kinda chilly here this time of year. Goodbye.


What beats me is how she got Ed to drive her into Denver.


Hi. You look wonderful. I've only come to talk things over.

We can talk it over on the way.

I'm not going to let you rush me into getting married.

Of course not. But there isn't much time.

We have to pick up the licence, then be uptown at the church by 7:00.

I have to be in the theatre by eight. Wait a minute, Glenn.

Gee, I'm so glad you're here.

Where are we going? The theatre.

You're gonna see a wonderful show, Girl Crazy. I got you a box seat.

No, I mean, on our honeymoon. The Pennsylvania Hotel.

Don's arranged for a big suite. He's sending up the baggage.

The Pennsylvania Hotel? Isn't that extravagant?

If we'd been married in Boulder and come to New York on our honeymoon, we'd be staying at a hotel.

I suppose. Of course we would. Here's the ticket.

I'll meet you after the show. I wanna check if it's...

What? What are you looking at? The man I just married.

The first time I even suspected anything was when I found myself packing.

And then when you met me at the station and kissed me.

It was that kiss that convinced you.

I kinda figured that'd do the trick.

And if you don't mind, I'd like to be convinced all over again.

~ I'm bidin' my time ~

~ Cos that's the kind of guy I'm ~

~ Beginnin' on a Monday, right through Sunday ~

~ Bidin' my time ~

~ Next year ~

~ This year ~

~ I'm bidin' my time ~

~ Cos that's the kind of guy I'm ~

~ Stranger, so long ~

~ I'll just go 'long ~

~ Bidin', bidin' ~

~ Bidin' my time ~

Sixth floor.

I'm sorry about the rice.

It was kinda embarrassing, though.

I had a feeling people were staring at us.

Nonsense. No. Here.

I'm gonna carry you over the threshold.

~ Here comes the bride ~

~ All dressed in white ~

~ And there's the groom standing right by her side ~

Everybody, this is Helen.

Ben! This is the fella that gave me my first job.

This is Helen. You remember Gene Krupa from the show.

Here's Babe Russin, the tenor saxophone.

You remember Chummy. There's Polly and Don.

We decided to celebrate. We're gonna have a party.

Here? No, Harlem. Connie's Inn.

Oh. Well, that's awful nice of you.

Helen just arrived. We've had the wedding and the show and Helen's a little tired. I'm not.

You've been on the train for three days.

If your friends are nice enough to give us a party, we should go!

Wonderful! We've already got reservations.

~ Yes, Basin Street ~

~ Is the street ~

~ Where the folks really meet... ~

Who's he?

Who? Louis Armstrong!

~ Yeah, yeah, yeah, really, yeah ~

~ Yeah, this is a treat ~

~ A-swingin' on Basin Street, yeah ~

Hey, Gene! Gene Krupa there!

What'd you say? Come here, man. Gimme some skin.

How you doin' Won't you join us?

Babe Russin! Don't you wanna swing with the boys?

Is that gin? Yeah.

Glenn, come here, daddy. Beat out one like you did with Ben Pollack.

Be right back.

Nice goin', Glenn. You were wonderful!

It's fun but I don't kid myself.

When I start playing jazz with Louis Armstrong and Gene Krupa, I'm lucky if I come in third, isn't that right?

Where have you been, Mr Miller? Dr Schillinger!

It must be over a year. Glad to see you. This is my wife.

Very pleased to meet you. You remember Chummy.

I missed you but I can see you had a very charming distraction.

Yeah, well, glad to see you, Doctor.

Who's Dr Schillinger? Were you sick? No, he's a musician.

He worked out a new method of composition. I studied with him.

Why did you stop? I got busy and it was expensive.

Want something else to eat?

Maybe we'd better call it a day. No, I'm having a...

No, I really had a wonderful time. Yes, dear.

Bye. Good night.

~ Ooh-ooh, Basin Street ~

~ Boo-boo boo-boo-boo ~

Well, get you!


Let's try it again.



Good morning. Honey, what are you doing up at this hour?

This hour? I've been up since seven.

Well, come here.

Good morning. Good morning.

7:00? It must be dark outside.

No, it is not. I've been getting up at this hour all of my life.

But you haven't been staying up until 4:00 in the morning.

Well, no, that's true. Only when you were around.

That's right. Your father on the porch with his shotgun.

What have you been doing? The ironing.

The ironing? Honey, this is a hotel.

All you have to do is pick up the phone. They have people to do that.

But did you see what they charge? No.

It's just terrible. Is that so?

I don't think we should waste our money like that.

Nobody can say I married a spendthrift. No, sir.

I'm a penny-pinching miser.

I'm the kind of wife that steals money out of your pockets and puts it in the bank.

Would you really do that? Sure. I've already started.

Hi, dear. Hi.

It's a long movie. We have two hours before the next stage show.

Have a good time? I like the show. But the music!

Well, you know the music.

That isn't the way you want to play, is it? No, but I like pit work.

It pays well. You get to stay in one place.

Glenn, I've been thinking. How much does that Dr Schillinger charge?

He's pretty expensive. I don't know exactly.

I haven't worked with him for years.

That's just exactly what I mean. Why not?

I don't know. I...

What happened to that dream of yours? What about that sound?

Well, I've been working on that, Helen.

It's an uphill grind. My chance will come one of these days.

To tell you the truth, Glenn, I've been sort of disappointed.

You mean that?

If I started to study again, we'd have to make all sorts of sacrifices.

I'd have to give up those record dates.

Darling, I don't want to live in a fancy hotel.

We could get an awfully cute little apartment.

I just want you to keep on trying.

I've sort of let you down, haven't I?

A little.

I'm sorry, Helen.

You're right. I should start to study again. I...

Why don't I call Schillinger right now? See if he'll take me back.

I have his phone number here...

It's Trafalgar 7-5-0-9-8.

7-5-0-9... Eight.

Well... Well...


Helen? Yes?

Where are my glasses? Right here! Why don't you put them on?

I'll have to get some glasses to find my glasses.

What were you playing? It's lovely.

A little exercise I'm working out for Schillinger. I hope he likes it.

Does that mean you won't be able to use it?

No, that doesn't make any difference. It's not that good, though.

I think it is.

You like it as good as Little Brown Jug? No.

But I think you should do something with it.

I suppose you could make a song out of it. Get somebody to write lyrics.

Have to get a title. What's a good title?

Well, it should be soft and romantic. Sort of like moonlight.

Moonlight. Young lover under his sweetheart's window.

You wouldn't be thinking of a certain night in Boulder?

There wasn't any moonlight. Just a shotgun!

I know. And you didn't serenade me either.

I didn't have a chance. Serenade. There's a title.

Serenade in the Moonlight. How about Moonlight Serenade?

Moonlight Serenade? Not bad.

It's kinda pretty. Moonlight Serenade.

~ I stand at your gate ~

~ And the song that I sing is of moonlight ~

~ I stand and I wait ~

~ For the touch of your hand in the June night ~

~ The roses are sighin' ~

~ A moonlight serenade ~

~ Let us stray till the break of day ~

~ In love's valley of dreams ~

~ Just you and I ~

~ The summer sky ~

~ A heavenly breeze kissing the trees ~

~ So don't let me wait ~

~ Come to me tenderly in the June night ~

~ I stand at your gate ~

~ And I sing you a song in the moonlight ~

~ A love song, my darling ~

~ A moonlight serenade ~

What have they done to my tune? It wasn't very good.

The song is supposed to be a ballad, not a hootchy-kootchy dance!

They made a production number out of it. And that arrangement, Holy Moses!

Why wouldn't he use yours?

Every band leader wants his own arrangement.

So do you! If you had your own band, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.

Of course. Let's go. We have a lot to do.

We need an instrument truck, and a car.

That's two down payments. If we use Chummy's car...

Wait till you see what I got now. Snappiest job on the road.

It's a big Phaeton. Even got a separate windshield for the back seat.

You can always be the first one to arrive in town.

We'll need music stands and a copyist.

We can do the copying. Like the old days, no food but plenty of manuscript paper.

What do you mean, no food?

We'll need at least 1,800. Then we're all set.

Honey, he means we need $1,800 to start the band.


We don't need anything but good luck. What's this?

"The Glenn Miller Band Account"?


Now eat your dinner.

Hey. Did you get all that money out of my pockets?


We're late for the job now. I better go on ahead.

You fellas get there as quick as you can. All right, Glenn.

Practically a new tyre too.

Helen, you don't look very well.

I'm just fine. I'm just a little tired.

And poor Glenn is up all night working on the arrangements and I have to sort of take care of the bookkeeping.

Has the business manager given you the big financial statement yet?

No, but I will. We left New York with $42 in the bank.

After six months, we've paid for the truck and the car.

That leaves a balance of 48.

In short, we're making exactly $1 a month.

So in ten years we'll have made $120.

It takes time for a new band to catch on.

It sure does.

I don't know. One night we pack 'em in and they love us.

The next six dates we die.

We don't seem to be getting anywhere, and we don't deserve to!

I just haven't been able to hit the right combination.

I just still haven't got that sound.

Glenn, maybe if you stop playing.

Touché! I'm sorry. I didn't mean...

I know what you mean. Get a baton and start leading. No.

Once you step out in front of the boys, you can never be a sideman again.

I'll stick to my trombone.

I've got some good news for a change.

I talked to Si Schribman. He runs the State Ballroom in Boston.

He's booked you in for the week of the 22nd.

That means six half-hour air spots. That's what counts.

It sure does! Imagine! A whole week in one town.

I could even get the washing and the mending done.

Let's all drink to Boston! I think we should.

Good ol' Boston.

Glenn, why don't you ever use Moonlight Serenade?

Don't we have enough trouble without resurrecting that?

Well, I liked it. So did I.

That's two of us. Now, if we can just find a third.

How's she look? Could be worse. Don't know how.

You need a new axle housing, an axle shaft, ring gear and pinion, differential gear case.

How long'll it take? A few days once I get the parts.

You don't have 'em here? Don't have many calls for ring gears.

Might have to go to Woodstock soon as it stops snowing.

It could be worse. Yeah.

There's Helen. Get a hold of Schribman?

No, I couldn't get Boston. The telephone lines are down.

Chummy, you and Helen better try and make Boston.

Tell Schribman we'll be there as soon as we can.

He's probably guessed what happened.

He wouldn't cancel on us. No, we'll get there all right.

We can't lose that week in Boston. Go ahead. Bye, dear.

Take care. Yeah.

You Mr Miller? Yeah.

Man left a message. Your wife's sick. They got her to the hospital.

What hospital? Boston Memorial.

Mr Miller, she's a very sick girl.

We gave her a transfusion but we're lucky this happened when it did.

A few months further along and we might've lost the mother as well as the child.

I had no idea that she was...

All right, Doctor. Thank you.

Just for a minute.


The truck all right?

Five and a quarter, cash on the barrel head. Take it or leave it, boys.

Better than the others.

I guess we'll have to take it.

Kinda leaves us in a spot. It's $900 to pay the boys in the band.

With my car? How much'll you give us?

You're not gonna do it. I can sell my own car if I want to.

Four hundred. That makes nine and a quarter for all three of 'em.

This isn't your problem. Why isn't it? I wanna get paid off, too.

You got a deal. Just one condition.

I need the car long enough to drive the boys to the station.

Yes, that can be arranged.

Fellas, pile in. I'll drive you to the station.

Thank you, Chummy.

Hi, dear. How do you feel? Fine.

You look much better. Good.

The doctor said if I behave myself, I'll be up in a few days.


I've made up my mind about something, young lady.

If I ever go on the road again, you're gonna stay in that nice apartment of ours on East 57th Street.

You just listen to me, Glenn Miller.

You enticed a little country girl to run away and marry you and now you're hooked with her.

And I'm not gonna let you go gallivanting around the country without me.

You're hooked with a no-good itinerant musician.

I'm not complaining. I know. You never do.

But I know how you wanted kids.

I want to tell you something else I've made up my mind about.

We're not gonna have just one child. We're gonna have two!

We're gonna have a boy and a girl.

Glenn, I can't. I know.

The doctor told me, but I mean it.

There'll be two kids meant for us. Somewhere we're gonna find them.

I hope so.

Who sent these flowers?

The boys in the band. Wasn't that nice?

They're sweet.

What's happened? Any dates?

No. No dates.

There's no band.

We had to sell the cars and pay off the boys.

Chummy had to sell his Phaeton. Isn't that a shame?

Poor Chummy really loved that car.

Glenn, you had a good band.

It was getting better all the time. It wasn't your fault.

It's my fault all right!

I'm broke, I'm in debt, I don't even have a job.

I told you before, you've gotten mixed up with a no-good itinerant musician.

And I love him. And I love you.

It's almost worth it.

It's the first time you've told me that since the day we were married.

Come in.

Mrs Miller? Yes.

I thought so. I can come in?

Well, yes, of course.

I brought you some flowers.

Oh. Well, thank you very much.

They're all right? They're lovely.

I'm a bachelor, I got no wife to tell me these things.

Well, they're very pretty. Yeah.

I heard all about the band and how you were sick.

Such a shame. I can sit down a minute?

Yes, please.

"Compliments of the State Ballroom."

Is this a joke? I shoulda said so right away.

No, that's me. Si Schribman.

Si Schribman! If I'd known who you were...

I know. Don Haynes said you wanted to give me a piece of your mind.

That's why I came here.

Maybe we can exchange pieces of mind.

I'm not really such an ogre. I didn't like cancelling you out.

But an old widow lady, 75, she owns that ballroom.

If I don't have a band, I don't pay the rent.

If I don't pay the rent, that old lady don't eat.

It's a bad situation.

If she would only die, God forbid, then I could run it like I like.

It finished us. You know that. Yeah.

We had to break up the band. I know.

I heard the band. It was good.

Not great, mind you, but good, very good.

We were just getting started. Well, now I don't know what we'll do.

Just don't you worry, young lady. Get well, and don't worry about the band.

That's easy to say.

I believe in Glenn and I believe what he's trying to do, so naturally I worry.

I tell you, you send him over, he should see me.

With my own money that don't go to the widow, I sometimes invest in bands. Do you mean that?

Would I make myself so much trouble if I didn't?

But there's a problem. I know Glenn.

He's down right now and he won't accept help.

I don't think he'd risk somebody else's money.

I never even met your husband and I like him already.

You just leave it to me. I'll cook up something.

Thank you very much for coming.

And I'm sorry I was so ungracious.

Who was ungracious? We got along fine exchanging pieces of mind.

Goodbye. Bye.

I know you don't want a band but I'm stuck.

But this Charley Firman sneaks a band right out from under my nose.

I don't have any men. No money. I'll give you the money. Here.

Five hundred. Six hundred. A thousand.

There. You got the money. Now, go get the men.

I've tried all sorts of combinations. I never found out what I was looking for.

If I start again, I've got to have an entirely different kind of a band.

Different tunes. I wanna try something radical.

Fine. Go get radical, but just get going!

I gotta have something in here making a noise the kids can dance to.


Let's have the five saxes right in there. Five saxes?

And the trombones over there.

And the four trumpets right behind them.

Four trombones and four trumpets!

When they play, what's gonna hold the roof on?

Five saxes and a trumpet lead.

Maybe it's good and maybe it ain't, but it's radical.

Let's try this.

Remember this is a ballad, so take it nice and easy, don't bruise it.

Joe, you stand up so I can get a balance between you and the saxophones.

All right, here we go.

One, two.

What's the matter?

He cut his lip. Let's see.

Oh, no. You really split it open. You better have it looked at.

I'm sorry, Glenn. Go on, Joe. Take care of it.

Oh, no.

All right, take five, boys.

Is it bad? He'll be out for weeks.

You get more tough breaks... Just when you got a good sound.

It isn't what I want but if we could've worked on it...

You can't find another trumpet blower? Not with Joe's range.

All the arrangements have a trumpet lead?

He had to hurt his lip the day before you open.

What are we gonna do? Postpone the opening?

Poor old widow lady. We're not gonna postpone anything.

We'll open tomorrow if I have to stay up all night and rewrite the arrangement.

You can't. It's impossible. Wait a minute!

Just a minute. I have an idea.

Willie Schwartz could play those parts on clarinet. Why not?

You see? Clarinet lead. Why not?

Get me lots of manuscript paper. Can I use your office?


Clarinet lead. Why not? And, Don, call Helen, tell her not to worry.

Tell her I'll be here all night. Clarinet lead.

And I can harmonise it real tight, all in the same octave.

Four saxes and a clarinet.

He better stay up all night.

He looks like he's got it, maybe. Listen to those kids!

There's no maybe about it. That's it, that's the sound.

Thank you.

Here's a brand-new number by Jerry Gray.

I hope you like it as much as we do.

I, uh, bought you a present for your birthday.

My birthday? That isn't till next November.

This is for your last birthday.

Oh, Glenn! They're just real.

Here, let me try 'em on for size.


Hm. Not bad.

I forgot to tell you the name of that tune.

We call it String Of Pearls.

Hi, Mother, Dad! Hi, Glenn.

You rested up ready for the big night?

We've had a wonderful time with little Stevie.

Quite a boy. Big for his age. Isn't he?

I can't tell you how much it's meant to us to have him.

Is everything all set? Yes, dear.

Did you get Helen out of the house? Oh, yes.

Where'd she go? I suppose she's shopping.

A girl doesn't have a tenth wedding anniversary every day!

You sure she doesn't suspect anything? Oh, no.

Is everything all set back here? Oh, yes.

I think Helen'll get a big kick out of this.

She certainly will, Glenn.

I've been lookin' about. Quite a place you got here.

It's beautiful, Glenn.

Paid for, is it? Yes, it's paid for.

Must be doin' pretty well. We hear him every night on that radio!

That's only 15 minutes. Don't suppose it pays much.

Then there's the records. And he's playing at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

How much do they pay for playing on one of those records?

We get three cents a record. Three cents?

Have to sell a heap of records to make it worthwhile.

But they do, dear!

Let's go see Stevie. No, Helen wants us to wait.

Why? Come on. Sure, we can go on up there.

Hi. Stevie and I have a surprise for you. You do?

Let's go up to the nursery. Come on.

How many copies of a record do they sell, son?

Moonlight Serenade, we sold about 800,000 copies.

Did you say 800,000? That's right.


Look what just arrived.

This is Stevie's new baby sister.

Can I pick her up? I think so. She's your daughter.

Well, well, well.

So you're Jonnie Dee! Look, she's beautiful! Isn't she?

Look at those red cheeks.

Stevie, look at your baby sister. Isn't she beautiful?

You sure surprised him! I've been planning it for months.

I told 'em I just had to have her today. How old is she?

Six weeks today. Old lady.

She's a hungry old woman. This is gonna take some expert action.

Her young father's gonna feed her. Let's have the bottle.

Here, now. Here we go.

All right, Jonnie Dee. There we are.

How's your appetite?

There! Is this hot enough?

That's a good girl. The kid's starved.

Helen, we'll be late for the theatre. Coming.

I'll get the car. All right, dear.

Glenn, I've been figuring. 800,000 records at three cents apiece, that's $24,000.

That's right. Just for one record?

Well, you certainly are doing well at that!

All right, boys, right over here. You all set? All right.

Helen, come on!

I'm coming!


What a surprise!

Oh, Mother! Darling!

Oh, I'm glad to see you!

Polly, Don. How are you? It's a wonderful surprise!

We sort of surprised each other. Yes, we did!

I've got another surprise.

The band has a number, and that's exactly what it is, a number.

This is based on a telephone number that was kind of important to you and me, Helen, about ten years ago.

Here we go. One. Two.

Now, listen to this. Now, watch.

Pennsylvania 6-5000!

Remember? Yes!

Pennsylvania 6-5000!

Would you like to make this a really memorable evening?

Dance with me. In front of all these people?

In all the years we've been married you've never danced with me.

And I may never get another chance. Here we go.


Pennsylvania 6-5000! Good.

Hi, Joe. Hi, Glenn.

Glad to see ya.

That's good.

Come on, don't stand around. Come on! Dance it up!

Come on, let's try something.

That's pretty good. Let's try that again. All right.

I think I better go back to the trombone.

You sit down there.

All right, you.

Pennsylvania 6-5-0-0-0!

I'm kinda glad you called me that night.

So am I. All right, let's have something to eat.

Come on. Come on, dear.

We're cutting a record of that. A record?

Three cents? Right.

That's my boy!

You oughta use that number in your picture.


Glenn and the boys are gonna do a movie in the fall.

Are you gonna be a movie star? Yes, Mother.

I'm gonna play Tarzan and swing from the trees playing my trombone.

I'd like to propose a toast.

To Glenn and Helen, who serve the best food in town.

Besides, the price is right. We can remember when it wasn't like this.

May you be as happy together always as you are tonight.

Thank you, Chummy. That was a very nice speech.

It oughta be, I worked on it all day!

You did?

I thought your special number was gonna be Helen's favourite, Little Brown Jug.

He'd never do that. He hates it.

I knew this would come up sooner or later.

So I have an anniversary present for my good wife and on the card it says, "Ha-ha-ha, you and me

"We hardly ever disagree

"So here you are, this will be

"The one brown jug you'll get from me."

Roll 'em for a take. M3-45, take one.

Here we go.

One, two, three, four.

All right. Save it.

Hello, everybody. Hi, Helen.

Well, hi, dear.

I thought you'd like lunch. I sure would.

I brought the mail.

Chummy, we still have a little time. Why don't you go over At Last?

Let's go up to the control booth.

Anything wrong? No, no.

Come on, sit down, honey.

Helen, I wanted to talk to you about...

With this picture deal and the record sales and everything, we're pretty well fixed. Yes.

And, no matter what happens, you and the kids, you're in good shape. Yes, I know.

Can you come to Men's Wardrobe at two?

Yeah. Thank you.

So, I thought that...

What I'm trying to get at...

I've been thinking... Yeah?

On Tuxedo Junction, we'll have a wax right after lunch.

Fine. Thanks very much.

So... Open the letter from the War Department.

I'm sure it's your commission. How do you know?

I've known it for months. I knew it was only a question of time.

I just put in for it two weeks ago. I guess you found out about it before I did.

Go on, open it. I want to know what to call you.

Let's see.

This is it all right.

Captain. Captain Alton G Miller.

Serial number 0-4-5-0-5-2-7-3.

How soon will you be leaving, Captain Miller?

I don't know. It usually takes about a month.

Don wants to go with me, so do some of the boys.

Are you gonna have your own band? I hope so.

You know, all the kids that liked our music are in the service.

That's the reason I... I understand.

I think you'll look very handsome in uniform.

What do you think about it? Are you upset?

Of course I'm upset. I don't want you to go but I guess I'd be even more upset if you didn't.

They sound good. Do we have to play this kind of music?

We've marched to this music for a hundred years.

That's what I mean. We're not gonna change now, Captain.

We gotta do better than this for General Arnold.

In all my 27 years in the Army I have never witnessed a more flagrant breach of military decorum.

Sorry, Colonel. And walking through a reviewing column!

I had to get to the band, sir. Then playing blues!

You made a laughing stock of this entire unit, and in front of General Arnold!

I had no such intentions. What was your intention?

Blasting out right in the General's face!

The men seemed tired, sir.

The men's condition is my responsibility. Yes, sir.

I must warn you that your conduct calls for disciplinary action.

Yes, sir.

Come in.

Just wanted to say goodbye, we're due in Washington tonight.

General Arnold, it's been a pleasure.

I'm sorry that... Aren't you Captain Glenn Miller?

Yes, sir. I want to congratulate you on your band.

Thank you, sir. Great morale builder.

The effect was astonishing! Keep up the good work.

Yes, sir. I like your music myself.

Makes me think of home.

My children play your records day and night.

May I make a suggestion, sir? Certainly.

I'd like to suggest that I be given the authority to form my own band.

Play my kind of music.

Most of my men are in the service.

If we can be sent overseas, I know we can be of value.

As you say, I think we can give the boys a piece of home.

I must say I agree with you, Miller.

I'll see what I can do. Thank you, sir.


Well, gee, I didn't expect this!

General Arnold brought us.

General, thank you. I appreciate everything you've done.

A pleasure. I'll probably get court-martialed but I brought 'em anyway.

Good luck. Thank you.

Goodbye and thank you. I enjoyed it.

Goodbye, General. Goodbye.

Well, Jonnie Dee.

You got a hug for your daddy? Got a hug for your daddy?

That's a girl!

How about you, young man? How about you?

Can I fly in your airplane? I'm afraid not.

You have to stay and take care of your mother.

You be good and don't cause him any trouble.

I'll try not to. You take care of yourself. Don't worry.

You show 'em a picture of me every once in a while.

I promise. And I'll read them your letters, if you write.

I'm gonna write.

Gee, I'm gettin' homesick already.

It's funny how you can miss a person even before he's gone.

Hurry it up, Glenn.

Goodbye, dear. Goodbye, Stevie. Bye.

This is Glenn Miller and the American Band of the AEF.

Coming to you from Buzz Bomb Alley through the courtesy of the BBC.

And to all you GI boys and girls a long, long way from home, and to all our British friends as well, we hope to give you a little lift.

That's why we're here.

We'll start right out by seeing if we can put you In The Mood.

Thank you. A little while ago an airplane landed out here and out stepped a singing group that you all know.

They sang with me back in the States.

Let's give 'em a good, warm welcome. The Modernaires!

The Modernaires!

And somebody else stepped out of that same airplane. A big surprise, boys.

Here's a girl you all know.

She's flown across the ocean just to sing for you.

Let's give her a good, big ETO welcome. Frances Langford!

Hi, Frances.

Thank you, Glenn. Thank you.

That's from Helen. Bless your heart.

I'll start out by taking you on a trip south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Let's all get aboard that old Chattanooga Choo Choo.

~ Hi there, Fran, what you say? ~

~ Step aside, partner, it's my day ~

~ Lend an ear and listen to my version ~

~ Of a really solid Tennessee excursion ~

~ Pardon me, boy, is this the Chattanooga Choo Choo? ~

~ Yes, yes ~

~ Track 29 ~

~ Boy, you can give me a shine ~

~ I can afford to board the Chattanooga Choo Choo ~

~ Yes, yes ~

~ I've got my fare ~

~ And just a trifle to spare ~

~ You leave the Pennsylvania Station 'bout a quarter to four ~

~ Read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore ~

~ Dinner in the diner ~ Nothing could be finer ~

~ Than to have your ham and eggs in Carolina ~

~ When you hear the whistle blowin' eight to the bar ~

~ Then you know that Tennessee is not very far ~

~ Shovel all the coal in ~ Gotta keep it rollin' ~

~ Woo-woo, Chattanooga there you are ~

~ There's gonna be ~

~ A certain party at the station ~

~ Waitin' for me ~

~ How very happy we'll be ~

~ He's gonna sigh ~

~ Until I tell him that I'll never roam ~

~ So, Chattanooga Choo Choo, won't you choo-choo me home? ~

~ Chattanooga, Chattanooga ~

~ All aboard ~ Chattanooga, Chattanooga ~

~ All aboard ~ Chattanooga, Chattanooga ~

~ Chattanooga Choo Choo, won't you choo-choo me home? ~

Remember that?

Seems a million years since we made that.

I wrote Glenn what you asked.

I want to read you his answer. He says...

"Tell Chummy not to take the job.

"As long as there's a Glenn Miller Band, he'll be a part of it.

"Don and I have been making plans for after the war.

"I have a lot of ideas for new arrangements, "so tell Chummy to start looking for a friendly pawn shop."

Friendly pawn shop. He hasn't changed, has he?

Yes, he has! He's been promoted. He's Major Glenn Miller now.

Major? That's wonderful. I wish I could've gone with him.

You'd have made a fine soldier with your heart and ulcers!

I've got two eyes and ten fingers. That's all you need to play the piano.

They're going to Paris. I told you that.

And he says, "We're doing a special programme on Christmas Day."

It's gonna be broadcast over here.

"Be sure and listen cos I'm sending you an extra special Christmas present."

And I'll know what it is if I listen to the programme.

I wonder what he's gonna do. I don't know. But I'm sure gonna listen.

Morning, Glenn. Morning, Colonel.

I sure appreciate the lift. Not at all.

You coming too? No. Tomorrow.

I got some work to do in Paris.

They're gonna let us do some shows at the advance bases.

It's kinda soupy, isn't it?

It's always this way in December. Shall we hop in?

Don, I don't know where I'll be, so as soon as you land at Orly, get in touch with the dispatcher.

Be sure the band goes over that new arrangement.

I want to use it. Right. See you tomorrow.

Pick up my mail. I'm expecting a letter from Helen. Bye.

All right, hurry it up, you guys.

This is Paris. You wanted to see it. Now's your chance.

I'm Lieutenant Haynes. Did Major Glenn Miller leave a message here for me?

Nothing here, sir. Did you try Flight Control?

No, he said he'd leave it here. He came with Colonel Barrell on the Norseman.

The flight wasn't logged in.

No Norseman has landed here in two or three days.


General! I thought you were in Europe. Just arrived.

May I congratulate you on your promotion? Thank you.

Five Star final.

Sounds like a late evening paper.

Have you heard about Glenn Miller? Yes, this morning.

Notified his family yet?

We've been ordered to withhold notifications until after Christmas.

His band is broadcasting tomorrow. We can't let Mrs Miller find out that way.

Do you mind if I call her personally? Of course not.

Use my telephone. Thank you.

It's still a couple of minutes before the broadcast, Helen.

You know, I never realised how wonderful friends could be.

Even General Arnold, he called me himself.

That's why he's where he is, maybe, because he's that kind of a guy.

Last night when I couldn't sleep, I got to thinking.

It come to me about this broadcast.

You know, Helen, this is a test.

A test? How do you mean?

You remember how much we talked, all of us, about how Glenn's band was something different?

Something permanent? An institution, like!

Yeah, Glenn and I talked about it often.

Don't you see what Si's getting at?

If the band goes on, even if Glenn's not with it, that's the proof.

It means that Glenn's band, Glenn's music, keeps right on going, and the kids'll be dancing to it for years and years.

That's what he wanted.

'We take you now to Paris for a special programme.'

'A s some of you might know, Major Glenn Miller is not with us today.

'But in his absence, we shall do this programme exactly as he had planned it.

'Our first number is a new arrangement

'which Major Miller himself made especially for this performance.

'T his tune should be a familiar one, 'especially to the members of Major Miller's family across the ocean who are listening.'