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Atlantic City

Atlantic City(1944)

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The Daily Variety review lists this film's preview running time as 70 minutes, although all other sources list the length as 86 minutes. According to a July 1943 Hollywood Reporter news item, Republic originally intended for the picture's screenplay to place more emphasis on the development of the Miss America Beauty Pageant, although the main character, "Brad Taylor," is not based on the real pageant's founder. The news item also noted that "former 'Miss Americas' are being sought and will be used in the production." In February 1944, Hollywood Reporter noted that producer Albert J. Cohen had written to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor and George Jessel, asking for their permission to "use actors portraying them" in the film. Although Cohen did receive permission from Jessel, who offered to coach the actor playing him, none of the celebrities appear as characters in the finished picture.
       According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Sophie Tucker was to be in the cast, and Wilbur Evans was "considering the lead." Hollywood Reporter also noted that New York actor Stanley Stewart was being tested for a leading singing role, and that former silent picture star Dorothy Brenda was to join the cast. The appearance of Stewart and Brenda in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. In March 1944, 2d unit director Anthony Mann led a technical crew obtaining "atmosphere shots" at Atlantic City, NJ, according to Hollywood Reporter. The film marked the screen debut of dancer Robert B. Castaine.
       Bobby Connolly, who was originally set as the film's dance director, suffered a fatal heart attack in March 1944 and was replaced by Seymour Felix. As noted in the onscreen credits, the film features recreations of two famous vaudeville teams: Gallagher and Shean (for which Jack Kenny replaced the late Ed Gallagher) and Van & Schenck (for which Charles Marsh replaced the late Joe Schenck). Although information in the copyright records credits Gallagher and Shean as the writers of their signature patter song, "Absolutely Mr. Gallagher, Postively Mr. Shean," Gallagher's Variety obituary reported that Bryan Foy had sued them over the song, which he claimed to have written. According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the patter song's lyrics were initially rejected by the Breen office "by reason of extreme sex suggestiveness." The lyrics were revised and later accepted, but the song "Get Out and Get Under," for which Belle Baker wrote special lyrics, was dropped from the film after the lyrics were rejected due to "obvious sex suggestive double meaning."
       According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the film's premiere in Atlantic City was to be attended by many local leaders, including the mayor, sixteen "Miss Atlantic City" pageant winners acting as hostesses, and Tom Endicott, the director of the first "Miss America" pageant. In 1950, the picture was re-edited and re-released as Atlantic City Honeymoon.