Till the Clouds Roll By

maxresdefaultMGM’s 1946 Till the Clouds Roll By is the musical life story of beloved composer Jerome Kern, who gave his blessing to the production shortly before his death. The extended flashback relates the ups and downs of Kern’s early career and culminates where it begins, with Kern’s triumph as composer of the Broadway blockbuster “Show Boat.” The film’s biggest drawing card is its lineup of all-star MGM talent, performing Kern’s most famous numbers. Judy Garland (as Marilyn Miller) sings “Look for the Silver Lining”; Dinah Shore performs “The Last Time I Saw Paris” before a back-projected “Gay Paree”; Kathryn Grayson does a Rita Hayworth imitation with “Long Ago and Far Away”; Virginia O’Brien deadpans “A Fine Romance”; Tony Martin warbles “All the Things You Are”; June Allyson and Ray McDonald team up for the title number; and Frank Sinatra, incongruously dressed in white tuxedo, runs through “Ol’ Man River.” In addition, other musical contributions are made by Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury, Cyd Charisse, Gower Champion, and Lucille Bremer (cast as Van Heflin’s daughter). The film’s high point comes at the very beginning featuring Lena Horne, as Julie (the role she was born to play, but never did again on screen), delivering a powerhouse rendition of “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man.”

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