The Benny Goodman Story

1956

Biography / Drama / Music

4
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 71%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1021

Synopsis


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Cast

Donna Reed as Alice Hammond
Don Gordon as Tough Boy in Gang
Jack Kruschen as Murph Podolsky
Steve Allen as Benny Goodman
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
965.05 MB
1280*694
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 2 / 3
1.84 GB
1920*1040
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 1 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Elgroovio 10 / 10

A great film

This film is considered by many as being a pretty mediocre film, but I think this film is truly great. Maybe it's just a jazz-lover's point of view; Benny Goodman is my favourite artist, and is the man who inspired me to take up the clarinet. Steve Allen comes across as a likable Goodman, and manages to look the part. Donna Reed also does her job pretty well but the people in the film who will really catch your attention are the jazz musicians that are in the film, playing themselves. These musicians include: the very enthusiastic drummer Gene Krupa, the trombone player Edward "Kid" Ory, the vibraphone player Lionel Hampton and the famous band leader and drummer of the '20s Ben Pollack. Whether you like the film or not, you have got to like the music which includes such Goodman classics as "Don't be that way", "Sing, Sing, Sing", "Let's Dance" and "One o'clock jump". All in all, a highly enjoyable film which, as far as I am concerned, is better than the much acclaimed film "The Glenn Miller Story" starring James Stewart in the part of Miller. "The Benny Goodman Story" is a must-see for all jazz fanatics and all clarinet players. The film also features a very impressive rendition of Mozart's clarinet concerto (Goodman also gave classical music a try, as you can see, to great effect). I'd say that it is decidedly worth seeing. Enjoy!

Reviewed by harry-76 7 / 10

Pleasant Goodman Biopic

Jazz enthusiasts in particular, and pop 40s devotees in general will enjoy the fine jazz renditions in "The Benny Goodman Story." Some very fine clarinet playing is heard on the soundtrack by Goodman himself, and there are many wonderful jazz musicians heard and seen as guests in the film. While Benny's story may well have been "reinvented" a bit for story's sake, the over all feel to the film is a typical rise from humble beginnings to the heights of stardom scenario. Those who'll enjoy the musical performances without being too critical on factual matters will undoubtedly find this a pleasant film. Goodman's famed Carnegie Hall concert is recreated as the movie's climax--and what a concert that was!

Reviewed by ianlouisiana 8 / 10

Well made biopic of the first man to front an integrated band.

Benny Goodman is respected in jazz circles not only as the first virtuoso clarinetist in the field,but,more importantly and influentially,leading the first band to have both black and white musicians on the stage at the same time.In Ken Burns' epic TV series "Jazz" BG is one of the few white musicians to get much more than a token mention - his importance in the social history not only of jazz but of the very fabric of life in America cannot be overstated.After the success of "The Glenn Miller Story" it was inevitable that Miller's more talented contemporary would become the subject of a biopic - the major difference being BG was still alive. Although respected by his peers BG was not liked,he was not a tolerant man and was very conscious of his "star" status,if any of his sidemen got more applause than he did he would go into a sulk and cut the solo out the next night.Of necessity,the portrayal of him by Mr. Steve Allen was not very accurate,although there was a remarkable physical similarity. Mr Allen,a great jazz lover and a fine pianist,taught himself to play the clarinet for the role and made BG seem a bit like an absent-minded professor,until he picked up his horn. Miss Donna Reed,beautiful,talented and,sadly,rarely mentioned nowadays in film literature adds style and class as the future Mrs BG. The music is wonderful,as it should be with the cream of former Goodman alumni to choose from.There are featured roles for Mr Teddy Wilson,Mr Lionel Hampton and Mr Gene Krupa(soon to have his own biopic with Sal Mineo in the lead).Of the older generation Mr Ben Pollack and Mr Edward "Kid" Ory are particularly welcome. The climax to the film is the legendary Carnegie Hall concert of 1938. The movie led to a welcome resurgence of interest in BG's music and a lot of British jazzmen went into the recording studios with "hommage" Benny Goodman quartets which must have helped to pay the mortgage. With the aforementioned "Drum Crazy - The Gene Krupa Story",the jazz biopic craze fizzled out,although W.C.Handy got a look in with "St. Louis Blues - The Story of W.C.Handy",but it was dire and failed to put bums on seats. Not until Clint Eastwood's "Bird" did the genre revive,however temporarily.By then both the movies and their audience had changed irrevocably. I suspect if "The Benny Goodman Story" was to be remade today it would be less adulatory in tone.The one story that I think sums him up most accurately and not unpleasingly concerns a rehearsal conducted in an unheated room.One after the other,band members complained about the cold until BG finally looked up from his music stand and said"You're right,it is cold".He put his clarinet down and went out of the room.The musicians cheered up,thinking he had gone to arrange for some heating.Three minutes later he came back wearing a thick pullover.

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