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The Glenn Miller Story: Classic film

Updated on July 13, 2015
The Glenn Miller Story on DVD
The Glenn Miller Story on DVD | Source

The Glenn Miller Story - an essential part of my DVD collection

It's true that I love so many old, classic movies. This one gets watched so often. It has all my favorite ingredients - great music, a splendid plot, humor and a weepie ending. Perfect.

And James Stewart too

I can't think of any of his movies that aren't simply wonderful.

But what a wonderful rags to riches story we have as we follow him, as Glenn Miller, struggling to make living as a musician, trying to find that elusive special 'sound' and of course, his home life.

The Glenn Miller sound

There's no doubt that this was a magnificent era for music and that Glenn Miller was largely responsible for an entire genre but this could easily have been a boring story. 'Musician meets girl, struggles with career, finds success, joins the army during WW2' and so on.

But from the bare bones of that, emerged a fabulous film that doesn't simply rely on the music but moves the audience too.

I don't like spoilers!

True, I really don't but I imagine that even people who know nothing about Glenn Miller have assumed that a chap born in 1904 is no longer with us. So here goes:

The disappearance of Glenn Miller

Just before Christmas 1944 he was in England and boarded a small aircraft to take him to a planned concert in Paris. The plane disappeared over the English Channel and was never found. Neither were any remains. There was - and still is - a great deal of speculation over the tragedy. Some say the plane was hit by 'friendly fire' - US and UK bombers who were jettisoning their weapons when returning from a bomb raid.

There is also a theory that it was accidentally shot down by land gunners.There is also a preposterous story (well, I think so) that he actually died of heart attack in the arms of a Paris prostitute but that the facts were covered up. I'm inclined to think that is nonsense.

The weepie ending

When he died, he left a young wife and two adopted children. I don't know how true-to-life the movie is and I certainly can't vouch for the scene you see in the video below - who knows? But it's a perfect ending to fabulous and highly recommended film.

Such a bargain

The DVD that you see has subtitles in Korean (which is excellent if you're Korean I suppose!) but the film is nevertheless in English and it's possibly the subtitles which make this such a bargain. Soon, there may be other versions that will cost a lot more...

Made in 1954

I am fairly sure that we shall soon be seeing a sixty year anniversary edition of this wonderful film - and although it will have extras, no doubt, it will be sold at 'anniversary edition' prices. (When it's a available I'll add it below.)

Kleenex at the ready?

If you're not familiar with this film here's a little background to this scene. June Allyson has recently heard that her husband has died. Because it is Christmas, there is a pre-recorded show about to be on the radio. She will hear her late husband talking and playing.

Now the real weepie part

Despite her husband's 'new sound', her favorite song has always been the folk song Little Brown Jug. She's asked him repeatedly to play and arrange it but he refused. Guess what is played on the radio transmission?

Hairs on the back of your neck

Something I have always loved about this scene is the way June Allyson touches the back of her neck.It's such a simple gesture, but says so much. Watch for it in the clip below.

In the Mood
In the Mood

Ten CDs with over two hundred songs? Absolutely right, TEN. This makes this collection the most amazing bargain and is a great idea as a gift for anyone who loves music from the wartime era. But even if you're new to the joys of his music, you'll adore this set.

Golden Years: 1938-42
Golden Years: 1938-42

There is nothing like his sound - it's unmistakable. I saw the film before I really knew anything about his music but there's no way I could watch the movie and NOT buy CDs. This is a boxed set of four CDs so is fantastic value for money. It features music from 1938 to 1942 so includes pieces of music that was played to entertain the troops.


© 2013 Jackie Jackson


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    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      My parents loved Glen Miller's music - it defined an era. (It was before my time, I'm afraid).

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TreasuresBrenda: Yes, it's a fascinating subject, too. I'll be looking into it further, I think.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lesliesinclair: It certainly does! I could watch this movie over and over again.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      Who knew that Glenn Miller disappeared? Not I! Sounds like an interesting story.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Doesn't that music just want to swoop you up into an embrace of dancing!