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  • bkoganbing2 April 2010
    I'll See You In My Dreams is one of the many songs that lyricist Gus Kahn had a hand in writing during the first half of the 20th Century. You couldn't possibly have gotten all the titles and fairly well known ones at that into a nearly two hour picture though Warner Brothers certainly gave it a try. Even if maybe a bar or two of music was played the film tried to get them in.

    Gus Kahn was not as well known a public personality as say George Gershwin or Cole Porter was so I'm sure certain liberties had to have been taken. Doing a little bit of internet research I learned next to nothing about him personally before writing this review.

    Kahn died in 1941 and his widow Grace LeBoy Kahn was still alive and she collaborated in the writing of this film. Danny Thomas and Doris Day play Gus and Grace and since their public personalities were a blank slate I'm sure what we saw was Danny Thomas and Doris Day on the screen pretty much as themselves. In fact Danny Thomas in his domestic scenes with Doris, their children and with wisecracking maid Mary Wickes is not any different from the Danny Thomas from the long running television family comedy that Thomas starred in.

    This was the first of two projects that Doris Day starred in as the widow of a famous personality, the second being The Winning Team where she is the wife of Grover Cleveland Alexander the famous baseball pitcher. In both cases Grace LeBoy Kahn and Amy Arrants Alexander served as custodians of their husband's legacy although Grover Cleveland Alexander led a far more public life than Gus Kahn.

    A lot of liberties were taken with the lives of Gus and Grace and there's no way the average moviegoer would know. But with these films it's the music that counts and the Kahn lyrics are sung beautifully by Doris, Danny, and others.

    One that wasn't sung by either was Love Me Or Leave Me which in real life Gus Kahn wrote for Ruth Etting for the show Whoopee. Here Patrice Wymore plays a fictional musical comedy star who unsuccessfully tries to seduce Kahn. Her character is far more like Marilyn Miller than Etting. And coincidentally enough when Ruth Etting's story came to the screen in 1955, Doris Day played her and played her well in both a great acting performance and a great singing one as well.

    Kahn wrote lyrics for many different composers, but the only one of his partners who gets a substantial role here is Walter Donaldson played by Frank Lovejoy. Donaldson apparently had a love of the sport of kings and required his partners to indulge same. When Kahn proved he could write at the clubhouse track he was in as far as Donaldson was concerned.

    I never worry that these films ever get the biography right and I don't know how close they came here, but the lyrics that Gus Kahn wrote will be sung for the next millenia and that's what really counts.
  • This is one of my favorite musicals. Doris Day and Danny Thomas are delightful in their roles as Grace and Gus Kahn. They do a great acting job and are very believable. The music is all wonderful and really takes you back. The reason I think the story is so good and probably close to their life is that Grace Kahn was one of the advisors when the film was being made. The movie was made after Gus died but she was still around to see that the story got told as close to the truth as possible.

    Mary Wickes also gives one of her best performances. Although I have never seen her give a bad one. She is just good in whatever role she has. Her sly comments are always charming and very funny and she delivers her lines so well.

    I think this should be at the top of their list to produce on DVD for all of us old musical fans and collectors. I think it was out at one time on VHS but now it's not in print. I for one vote to see this one come out again. If you haven't seen this it should prove to be a very good couple of hours spent if you get a chance to see it.
  • This musical bio of Gus Kahn, the "Corn Belt Bard," selected by New York's Radio City Music Hall as their Christmas presentation in 1951, is one movie you can just sit back and listen to. Doris Day sings one great song after another, while Kahn, the author of countless tunes from the title number to "Ain't We Got Fun" and "Makin' Whoopee," is portrayed by Danny Thomas, in his first screen role. Day is the "Song Plugger," who believes in his greatness and eventually marries him. A virtual survey of American popular music from the days of Tin Pan Alley, vaudeville, Broadway and early sound movies, the story is swept along by the expert direction of Michael Curtiz (YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, CASABLANCA et al.). Patrice Wymore (at one time married to Errol Flynn) does a wonderful turn as a singer in Florenz Ziegfeld's "Whoopee," performing "Carolina in the Morning" and "Love Me or Leave Me," with elan. It may be corn, but there is a nostalgic glow about the production that is most appealing.
  • Polo2 November 1999
    This is a movie for which Doris Day should have gotten an Oscar nomination. Her best film of the fifties aside from Pillow Talk. She gives a remarkable performance as Gus Kahn's wife, Grace. And Danny Thomas gives a great performance as well. This a movie for anyone who loves Doris Day or just good clean tasteful films.
  • In Chicago, the aspiring songwriter Gus Kahn (Danny Thomas) seeks out Miss Grace LeBoy (Doris Day) that works in a sheet music publisher and shows his lyrics expecting her assessment. The insistent Gus calls the attention of Grace and sooner she quits her job to help him in his career. They get married, Gus Kahn rises to the stardom and they have two children.

    However, Gus Kahn loses his fortune in stock market crash in the Great Depression and the couple has serious financial difficulties. But behind every great man, there is a great woman and Grace encourages him to return to a successful career.

    "I'll See You in My Dreams" is a delightful drama with the biography of the songwriter Gus Kahn and his beloved wife Grace LeBoy Kahn by Michael Curtiz. The story is very beautiful and Doris Day and Danny Thomas have magnificent performances and show wonderful chemistry.

    The music score is fantastic and the moment when Gus Kahn sings "It Had to Be You" is heartwarming. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "Sonharei com VocĂȘ" ("I Will Dream of You")
  • "I'll see you in my dreams" is one of the last really good Doris Day film, which is not only a Musical. A lot of people think, that this extra ordinary actress was only able to play Comedy or Musical Roles. It's has also a dramtic side, which can be compared to her performance in "Young at Heart". I guess "I'll see you in my dreams" was the cause, that she was voted as the Most Popular Actress of the Year in 1952.
  • evso29 July 1999
    "I'll See You in My Dreams" has great songs and terrific acting. Doris Day and Danny Thomas are extremely believable as the characters of songwriter Gus Kahn and his wife Grace. Their story is quite sweet, but not overly sappy as some classic bio - pics tend to be.

    Doris Day portrays the character of Grace LeBoy, a rather comandeering woman who works at a music publisher. She falls for Gus Kahn, an aspiring lyricist, who eventually will write "Pretty Baby", "I'll See You in My Dreams", "Tootsie", and other such memorable songs. While showcasing Kahn's classic songs, the film also shows the ups and downs of their marriage. Doris sings many of the songs, but Danny Thomas sings a few himself. Most of the songs are recognizable, so perhaps you will be singing along with the film. This movie had me singing along, crying a little bit, and laughing a lot.

    I strongly recommend this film to fans of Doris Day and Danny Thomas. Both deliver marvelous performances. Check it out, and keep an eye out for Mary Wickes as the stern but lovable housekeeper.
  • I was surprised how much I enjoyed this 1951 black & white musical with Danny Thomas, in his first starring role, and Doris Day who is always excellent. The story is a tear jerker, happy tears, the songs leave you humming, and the cast and credits are universally excellent. I highly recommend this film.
  • This is the kind of Hollywoodized biography of a famous composer that springs to life whenever DORIS DAY sings one of those warm and tender melodies. It's Day, at her perkiest, who makes the film rather than DANNY THOMAS, who simply lacked the screen charisma a leading man should have. He's not bad, but brings the film down a notch with his one-dimensional performance.

    Thankfully, there are some reliable supporting role players that help Doris sell the film--notably, PATRICE WYMORE, FRANK LOVEJOY and MARY WICKES who all do their best to keep the tale moving along at a brisk pace. Wickes is especially mirthful when she tosses off a one-liner with aplomb and clearly seems to be enjoying her role as a sharp-tongued maid.

    The Michael Curtiz touch is not too evident because the story drags in spots, but whenever Doris gets to warble an old-fashioned tune it doesn't matter what else is going on. Her rendition of "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else" is especially touching and her spirited version of "Makin' Whoopie" is another delight. Whether tossing off a ballad or jump tune she can do no wrong.

    Doris Day fans will enjoy this tuneful and sentimental trip down memory lane.
  • I saw this film a few years ago on AMC. It was fun. A piece of wholesome, corny family entertainment, which incidentally reminded one of just how literate,popular songs used to be. I was amazed by how many "standards"-My Buddy, Carolina in the Morning,etc., were written by Mr. Kahn
  • Jake-7525 November 1998
    At first glance, I did not think that this combination (Doris Day & Danny Thomas) would be as compatible as some of Ms. Day's other co-stars. It was a wonderful surprise and a delight to find out just how wrong I was. The timing was impeccable and the ease with which they played off each other was great.
  • The first time I saw Doris Day, was in "Pillow Talk". Since then I've grown very fond of her quirky personality on screen. She brings any role she plays to life before your eyes. This romantic comedy is a great example of her ability to make you care for a character's welfare. You want more than anything for she and her husband to succeed. Doris Day lights up the screen, as always.
  • When we look back on musicals, I guess we tend to remember the 'epics'. Big productions like "Footlight Parades" and "Singin' in the Rain" and "West Side Story".

    But there was also a whole long-lived genre of 'chamber musicals' - little cheapies, one step up from the B-list, and sometimes - in the case of the singing cowboys - one step up from the C-list! The scale is smaller, but that's no reason for them all to slip off into obscurity. "Two weeks with love" is fun; "My gal sal" is fun; "For me and my gal" is lots of fun.

    And if you ask me "I'll see you in my dreams" is a real charmer. It's an interesting story, even in the flossied up version: because it deals with relatively 'unknown' songwriter, Gus Kahn, it probably gives a better idea of Tin Pan Alley history than the various Gerswhin and Porter and Kern projects. The low-budget production values probably help, too: the whole thing has a pleasantly domestic scale.

    Kahn's lyrics help things out considerably, too. Compare this movie with "Words and Music" - the Kalmar and Ruby songbook is spread pretty thin to fill a whole movie. No such problem with Gus: it's a pleasant ongoing surprise to discover that he wrote the lyrics to so many familiar standards.

    Neither Danny nor Doris exactly "chews the scenery", but this is a fine showcase for them; there's little sexual chemistry, but there's a kind of professional rapport that makes the characters' relationship seem very believable and deep and adult. (And you can't say that about a lot of musicals.) Doris is such a credible actor in what's basically a dramatic role; the later comedies are fun, but she had more range than people give her credit for. And she's one of the best singers in the history of the movies: give her a couple of great songs, and the show's worth the price of admission already.

    I like Danny Thomas in this. Because of where I live, I never saw Danny on TV: his shows weren't broadcast here. So whenever I've seen him since, I've thought he was overacting heinously. Here, he's very charming and dignified - a sort of Wallace Beery / Ernest Borgnine type.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With great Director Michael Curtiz directing, this musical tale of the story of song writer Gus Kahn actually comes off pretty well. Doris Day is in the role of Mrs. Kahn and in this movie is not a virgin having two kids. She is excellent in the role. She sings several of Kahn's standards.

    Danny Thomas is really quite good in this movie as well. He does some singing too. I am sure Curtiz was happy working with Thomas as the next year he directs a Thomas version of The Jazz Singer with legend Peggy Lee in the cast.

    The supporting cast here includes Jim Backus, and Mary Wickes who is a major support actress in 1954's White Christmas which Curtiz directed too. Though this is shot in black and white, the script and music flow along nicely.

    There is one short sequence of Day doing a song on stage in black face. While the politically correct (actually naive) folks might not like this type of entertainment was never considered racist then and really should not be considered that way here.

    I am glad I caught this on TCM tonight, as I had never seen this one. I never realized that Thomas had done this type of role before his television series. For Doris Day, and Thomas fans this is worth a look. The music is dandy too.
  • ...Doris Day and Danny Thomas? It sounded like an unlikely pairing, but it worked.. Doris Day has such a beautiful voice. I love how slow and sultry it sounds along with the jazz feel. Her songs would be the perfect thing to listen to in a dimly lit room while sipping wine (or maybe brandy in a snifter) and relaxing after a tough day. I liked the pairing of Day and Thomas and how their relationship was presented realistically with all the highs and lows that normal relationships experience.

    This film had comedic and dramatic elements that saved it from just being a run of the mill musical chock full of cheesy, forgettable songs. There were some very beautiful songs in this film and some others that I recognized from various episodes of I Love Lucy, strangely enough . Directed by Michael Curtiz, there is no doubt that Curtiz is an underrated director. He seemed to handle all kinds of genres throughout his career with flair.
  • I'll See You in My Dreams is one among many musical biopics made during the golden age of movie musicals. Danny Thomas stars as lyricist Gus Kahn, the man who brought us the classic songs of "Pretty Baby", "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else", "It Had to be You", "Carolina in the Morning", and countless others. Many, many songs are featured in the film, so if you like his songs, you'll probably be pretty happy with this one.

    The film shows the rags-to-riches story of the hero, and how he woos and wins the girl, Doris Day. Doris, his wife, supports him through all his ups and downs, personifying the "woman behind the man" theme in many biopics. With a supporting cast of James Gleason, Jim Backus, Mary Wickes, Patrice Wymore, and Frank Lovejoy, this has all the makings of a very entertaining musical drama. I found it to be enjoyable the first time through, but for a biopic I choose to watch over and over, I prefer Love Me or Leave Me. It does have lots of great songs and interesting scenes, though, so if you decide to rent it, you won't be in for a bad evening.
  • Speaking as one myself. Cannot get enough of her beautiful voice and her charmingly natural presence in her films. Many of the songs are justifiable classics, and the involvement of director Michael Curtiz and being someone who loves musicals promised so much.

    'I'll See You in My Dreams' may not be perfect, but it is such an easy film to like, like having a nostalgic memory or a dream that you don't want to wake up from. It may be slight story-wise and the chemistry between Day and Danny Thomas doesn't sparkle or is as irresistible as with some of Day's other leading men (i.e. Rock Hudson, James Garner, Gordon McRae, Howard Keel).

    However, it is a beautifully produced film, beautifully photographed and opulent. Imagine though how even better it would have been if in colour, as good as the film looked parts did cry out for colour. There are not enough adjectives to describe the brilliance of the songs, which have such beautiful melodies and lyrics that are witty but also meaningful. Standouts are the title song, "It Had to Be You", "Makin' Whoopee" and "The One I Love".

    Day is just captivating in one of her best performances. Her acting is natural, charming and sincere and she not only sings sublimely but the songs suit her and her voice so well. Thomas is likable and portrays Gus Khan with much competence and making it easy to root for him, if perhaps slightly one-dimensional.

    A top notch supporting cast helps too, with standout performances from the always reliable James Gleason and especially a well-meaning but sometimes takes-no-prisoners character.

    Curtiz's direction is admirable and shows yet again that his musicals output is fairly undervalued, especially when compared to better known films of his. The script is light, witty and at times poignant, while there is a real sense of nostalgia and enchanting atmosphere.

    Overall, a lovely film and a dream for fans of Doris Day. 8/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Outstanding musical biography where Doris Day, as the wife of songwriter Gus Kahn, (a wonderful Danny Thomas) actually gets to act and sing in this film.

    Some ironies of the film are that Hans Conreid, who played Uncle Tanoose on the Danny Thomas television series, briefly appears in one scene with the same type of accent. The casting people must have remembered Conreid when they were casting a man with a similar accent for the television show. Day has to watch as another woman sings the ever popular "Love Me or Leave Me." 4 years later that was the title of the film of the biography of Ruth Etting, where Day was so memorable in the title role.

    The film chronicled the life of Gus Kahn and his wife Grace. Grace interfered with his career from the time they met. At first, she wrote the music for his lyrics, but that soon changed. It took the Great Depression to almost-end Kahn's career, but he persevered and the ending was a rousing tribute to his illustrious career.
  • The story of Gus Kahn is told in this musical starring Danny Thomas as the songwriter and Doris Day as his future wife. She currently works at a music shop, and he is writing about serious, political subjects like Paul Revere. When she dismisses his work, saying it's good, but not in touch with what the common people are interested in, he trashes it. She said, if you want to write songs, write about love, because the average person doesn't know how to say "I love you." You've got to say it for them. Gus Kahn, writer of over 800 songs, did just that. The subject of his life and songs are given much affection and dedication as any film can, in this enjoyable old-fashioned gem. It's also very funny to boot, with a great performance by Mary Wickes as the housekeeper they hire "to keep him in line." This is really one of the best of the musical biography pictures you're ever likely to find. Others of its kind will pale to this presentation of Gus Kahn, the writer of songs still loved today.
  • A recent viewing on TCM confirmed what I'd long suspected: This is one of Warners' best musicals, off the assembly line to be sure, but with an added dose of heart and honest sentiment. Too, it's modestly produced and unpretentious, with a believable, touching little love story that doesn't get lost among the parade of Gus Kahn song hits. It's also a family comedy, and Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson, who knew how to write for kids (they also did "Yours, Mine, and Ours"), provide some bright moments for the tykes. Thomas underplays, never pushing Kahn's wisecracking too hard, and Doris is at her best (if unflatteringly coiffed and costumed); her "The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else)" is one of her best numbers ever. The conflicts and resolutions are fairly standard-biopic, but Michael Curtiz, who directed "Yankee Doodle Dandy," appears to have lavished the same attention to detail to this much more modest effort. Don't mind the clichĂ©s about immigrant parents' dreams for their children (Minna Gombell overdoes this part), temperamental stars (Patrice Wymore is good), and difficult producers (Jim Backus as Sam Harris, who was far more benign than how he's portrayed here). Stick with this one; you'll be rewarded.
  • Danny Thomas plays real-life hit songwriter Gus Kahn, responsible in the 1900s for such innocent, old-fashioned tunes as "I Wish I Had a Girl", "Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goodbye)" and "It Had To Be You". Doris Day plays Kahn's songbird spouse and Mary Wickes is their wiseacre maid--and both are much preferable to Thomas, who gives an extremely weak performance. Hokey, safe "contract" picture from Warner Bros. keeps the stars busy and is fine during the musical stretches, but as a drama it falls short. Supporting characters are introduced and then dropped in rapid succession, and incidents such as Kahn's heart attack are glossed over with syrupy uplift. Day is pleasant as always, but she doesn't quite click with Thomas, who reads his lines with canned enthusiasm. ** from ****