GenreComedy, Drama, Music CinematographyHal Mohr CountryUnited States
Release dateJune 2, 1944 (1944-06-02) Based onthe play Angela Is Twenty-Two
by Sinclair Lewis and Fay Wray WriterSinclair Lewis (play), Fay Wray (play), Wanda Tuchock (screenplay) CastDonald O'Connor, Susanna Foster, Peggy Ryan, Louise Allbritton, Patric Knowles, Dorothy Peterson Similar moviesDonald OConnor and Peggy Ryan appear in This Is the Life and The Merry Monahans
Donald o connor this is the life 1944
This Is the Life is a 1944 American musical romantic comedy film starring Donald O'Connor, Susanna Foster, and Peggy Ryan. This is one of the several films that Universal Studios rushed O'Connor and Ryan through before O'Connor was drafted into the Army to serve in World War II.
On her 18th birthday, orphan Angela Rutherford is given an inheritance of $6000. Her wisecracking friend Jimmy Plum arranges for a professional band to perform a number for her party, "You're a Lollapalooza", sung and danced by Jimmy and the band's Sally McGuire. Afterward, Sally tells Jimmy she likes him, but he is in love with Angela, who in turn is infatuated with Army surgeon Major Hilary Jarret. Angela is certain that Jimmy's father, Dr. Plum, will arrange a deferment so that Jimmy can follow in his footsteps and go to medical school, but Jimmy insists he is going to enlist.
While gazing at a sleeping Hilary, Angela fantasizes that she is serenading him with "Ciri-Biri-Bin". When he wakes up, Angela makes it clear she is attracted to him, causing him to deflect her advances and return to New York City to try to get reinstated into the Army, having recovered from malaria. Angela and her aunt Betsy follow him. She takes singing lessons, showing him what she has learned with a rendition of "L'amour, toujours, l'amour".
After Hilary is declared unfit for active service, Angela wears him down in his depressed state and gets him to agree to an engagement. Jimmy travels to New York and is ready to give up when he finds out, even though Hilary encourages him to fight for Angela.
Jimmy encounters photographer Harriet West and learns she has some connection with Hilary, so he arranges a "chance" reunion at a nightclub. It turns out that Harriet is Hilary's ex-wife. The couple are still attracted to each other, but Harriet remembers their clashes over their careers. Everybody resents Jimmy's schemes and ask him to desist, but he persists. Finally, after Jimmy gets Angela to eavesdrop on a conversation between Hilary and Harriet, she realizes they still love each other. They get back together, while Jimmy enlists in the Army.
Donald O'Connor as Jimmy [Plum]
Susanna Foster as Angela [Rutherford]
Peggy Ryan as Sally McGuire
Louise Allbritton as Harriet [West Jarrett]
Patric Knowles as Hilary Jarret
Dorothy Peterson as Aunt Betsy
Jonathan Hale as Doctor Plum
Eddie Quillan as Gus
Frank Jenks as Eddie
Frank Puglia as Music Teacher
Maurice Marsac as Leon
Virginia Brissac as Mrs. Tiggett
Ray Eberle and His Orchestra
Bobby Brooks Quartette
unbilled players include Mantan Moreland
"You're a Lollapalooza", written by Grace Shannon and Bill Crago, sung and danced by O'Connor and Ryan
"Ciri-Biri-Bin", written by Alberto Pestalozza, sung by Foster
"All or Nothing at All", composed by Arthur Altman with lyrics by Jack Lawrence, sung by Ray Eberle
"At Sundown", sung by Bobby Brooks with the Ray Eberle Orchestra
"Yippee-I-Voot", written by Buddy Pepper, Inez James and Sidney Miller, sung by Ryan and O'Connor
"With a Song in My Heart", music by Richard Rogers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, sung by Foster
"Gremlin Walk", written by Inez James and Sidney Miller, sung by Ryan
"It's the Girl", written by Buddy Pepper and Inez James, sung by O'Connor and Foster
"Open Thy Heart", written by Georges Bizet, English version by Eugène Oudin, sung by Foster