I'll See You in My Dreams

6.81 h 49 min195113+
The entertaining true story of songwriter Gus Kahn, tracing his lifefrom Chicago roots to his New York rise with Ziegfeld. Terrific scoreperformed by Doris Day and Danny Thomas.
Michael Curtiz
Doris DayDanny ThomasFrank Lovejoy
ComedyDocumentaryArts, Entertainment, and Culture
English [CC]
Audio languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
Add to Watchlist
Add to
By ordering or viewing, you agree to our Terms. Sold by Amazon.com Services LLC.
Write review

More details

Supporting actors
Patrice WymoreJames GleasonMary WickesJulie OshinsJim BackusMinna GombellHarry AntrimWilliam ForrestBunny LewbelRobert LydenMimi GibsonChristopher Olsen
Louis F. Edelman
Content advisory
Blackfacesmokingalcohol usefoul languagesexual content
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats


4.7 out of 5 stars

308 global ratings

  1. 82% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
Sorted by:

Top reviews from the United States

ElyReviewed in the United States on August 8, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Don't take anything for granted.
Verified purchase
This is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen...definitely five-star. The music, the performances, the story line were all wonderful. I had a wife who, in many ways, was like Grace. She died recently of cancer, and I know that I did not appreciate her anywhere near the way I should have. If you read my review, please take this to heart. Appreciate your spouses and show them how much you love and appreciate them each and every day. Never take them for granted, and don't delay because you don't know how long you will have them with you. Make your marriage five-star too.
13 people found this helpful
johnfReviewed in the United States on January 6, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Sweet biopic full of great songs.
Verified purchase
“I’ll See You In My Dreams” was, surprisingly to me, Doris Day’s biggest grossing film of the fIfteen she made until “Love Me or Leave Me”. It’s not that it’s a bad film; in fact it’s quite good. But it’s much less known now than “Lullaby of Broadway”, “Calamity Jane”, or “Young At Heart”. Although it has plenty of music, it’s not really a musical but a biopic about song lyricist Gus Kahn and his wife Grace. It’s also in black and white, unusual for a Day movie, but for a long time black and white indicated a more serious film and color was for out-and-out musicals and lighter pictures. It may be that the biographical nature of the film brought in members of the movie audience who weren’t into the usual frothy fare of Day’s musicals.

Secondly it’s not about a truly famous or compelling character who the audience would be curious about. Though some might know his name, few would have been able to say exactly what he did. Gus Kahn was not a public figure like, say, George Gershwin or Cole Porter. On top of that he was a lyricist and it’s usually the composer of the music who gets most of the attention. Lyricists only get noticed by the public if they’re part of a regular team, like Oscar Hammerstein II, Lorenz Hart or Hal David and even then, not so much. But unlike them, Kahn worked frequently with Walter Donaldson, but also with many other composers over the years.

But in many ways this worked in favor of the film. With no real preconceptions the audience could simply accept the story as it was and not be upset about any of its details. Hollywood biopics have always been mostly fiction anyway as they have to make a film about someone who despite some accomplishments probably lived a rather uncinematic life the rest of the time. Though Gus Kahn died from a heart attack in 1941, Grace lived till 1983 and was an advisor to the writers of the screenplay. As such, I have to take it on faith that there is at least some basic accuracy here. What we do learn is that Gus and Grace were a team and without her he might not have done so well. She is played by Doris Day.

She’s teamed up with Danny Thomas as Gus. That threw me the first time I saw this film years ago. Having grown up with “The Danny Thomas Show” (aka “Make Room for Daddy”) it was hard for me to not see the zany Danny Williams character in his scenes. Happily I got over that and it didn’t figure in on this, my third viewing. Thomas had been a well-known radio actor and even had his own show. He made only a handful of films. I think Grace wanted an actor who was somewhat like Gus and standard leading men of the day were just too Anglo-American. Danny Thomas, whose family came from Lebanon was able to express Gus’ ethnicity. He’s nice in the role of a man who was a little coarse and rough around the edges, matter of fact about most issues and at times too proud for his own good.

He and Day work well together as actors and seem to be a real couple throughout the movie. Of course it’s Day’s lively presence that really ignites the film. She had a special quality that shone through in all her films and she always looked dazzling, though even more so in color. They are assisted by an able cast including Frank Lovejoy as Walter Donaldson and Patrice Wymore as Gloria Knight, a star of Broadway. Her big song is, ironically, “Love Me or Leave Me” (and was dubbed by Tommy Dorsey Band singer Bonnie Lou Williams). Though Ruth Etting sang the song originally in “Whoopee” one of the big hit shows of 1928, I don’t think Gloria Knight is supposed to represent Etting. The Knight character is single and free-wheeling while Etting was closely tied to gangster Moe Snyder.

There’s lots of music here, though having written so many songs, many are heard in shortened form or as parts of several movie montages that move the plot along. Day does most of the singing, of course, but Thomas gets “It Had To Be You” and a “Whoopee” duet with Day. Still, you could not call this a Doris Day musical. The acting is shared with Thomas the main focus of the film. It’s a biographical drama with songs. All in all this is a sweet film and easy to enjoy.
5 people found this helpful
H. BalaReviewed in the United States on March 17, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
"Express yourself in your own way, Mr. Kahn, and if you can make others feel what you feel, that's poetry."
Verified purchase
Danny Thomas, he of the mighty beak, is known more for his television work than for his feature film career. I cut my teeth on reruns of MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY. On the silver screen Danny Thomas only ever starred in two prominent pictures, the 1952 remake of [[ASIN:B003MJS3A0 Jazz Singer]] and 1951's I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, which chronicles the life of Gus Kahn.

I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS falls in line with them old biopic treatments, laced with some truths but sweetened and fictionalized for public consumption. It boggles the mind just how prolific lyricist Gus Kahn was for decades. He put words to catchy tunes that became the rage of Tin Pan Alley and the flapper era, during them halcyon days of sheet music and phono records. In Chicago, Grace Le Boy (Doris Day) worked in a music store as a song demonstrator. It's at work that she first meets a persistent laborer named Gus Kahn (Thomas) who's come for her opinion regarding the raw stuff he'd penned. Grace is a bit reluctant and plenty put off by Mr. Kahn's pushy behavior. She's left lukewarm by his ambitious lyrics celebrating the Statue of Liberty and such. But she recognizes potential.

I don't know how much of the above sticks to facts. It's certainly a cute meet. And once Grace takes a gander at the hasty lyrics he'd scribbled down (she'd suggested that love songs were what sells), well, she's in for the long haul.

There's a bit of a jarring element in the way this movie shuffles time. We're barely alerted to when years elapse in the narrative. The plot follows a well-trodden path as we track the ups and downs of Gus's career and his sometimes rocky marriage with Grace. There are running sub-plots concerning Gus' inability to articulate his affection for his wife and also Grace's penchant for steering her husband's career, although the film is careful not to make Ms. Day seem too calculating and bossy. Both leads are fine performers and so natural in front of the camera. Doris Day's warm and sunny personality shines thru. But, at the time, it was Danny Thomas' seemingly off-the-cuff performance that was the revelation. There was nothing polished or "rehearsed" about him. He came off as a real guy. He and Day play off each other beautifully. Maybe they didn't happen in real life, but the heartfelt emotional beats between them cannot be devalued.

A film that depicts the life of Gus Kahn can only score big with its music. Kahn's lyrics are delightful. They trigger that resonating button. There's a reason his songs are timeless stuff. Thomas is perfectly disarming as he croons "Pretty Baby" and "It Had to Be You." His playful duet with Day in "Makin' Whoopee" is an absolute highlight. But my favorite number is Doris Day's sparkling, wistful rendition of "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else." She hits all the emotional chords with this tune. It ain't breaking news, but Doris Day sure has got some dulcet pipes. And while meant to convey a negative reaction, a down-and-out Gus' spoofy version of his own song, "It had to Be You" (titled "Seven-Foot-Two"), made me grin. I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS proved to be one of 1951's biggest box office hits, Gus Kahn's impact and relevance extending yet another decade deep. Plenty but plenty of sweethearts owe much to this man. But can Gus Kahn find the courage to say "I love you" to his own girl? Sometimes, it's not enough to sing a song.
13 people found this helpful
Rebecca, MichiganReviewed in the United States on February 17, 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
I loved the beginning of this movie and I liked the ...
Verified purchase
I loved the beginning of this movie and I liked the end of it, but the rest not so much. The movie starts out really good with Doris Day meeting Danny Thomas, and the scene with both his and her parents I loved! then, the movie got irritating to me. Doris Day works tirelessly trying to get Danny Thomas's career going and gets nothing in return, but a bunch of cigar smoke blown in her face and ordered around. Day keeps patiently waiting for Thomas to make a romantic move on her for years, which he finally does, but the romance left something to be desired. This role seemed out of character for Day being too subservient. The movie later picks up when Thomas finally becomes famous for his music writing; and he finally thanks his devoted wife Day for all she did to make his career a success. I really liked the end with him thanking Day, and showing their children. I Love The Movies "On Moon Light Bay , And By The Light Of The Silvery Moon, with Day and Gordon Mcrae , and when they had two of the same songs from these movies put in this movie, I hated that ! Over all the movie was sweet, but not my favorite Day movie. Rebecca
4 people found this helpful
Elisa 20Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Gus Kahn's Wonderful Songs
Verified purchase
Doris Day is always good in everything she's in and her performance as the "woman behind the man" is good in a typically lightweight musical. The way it implied infidelity--a moment done hurtfully even though it was in song--was unusual, though it had to follow with a syrupy moment that was emotionally fake, but true to the time. (It's the screenplay--well, really, just the dated idea that every musical love story has to tell us that couples always faithful and in love by the last reel.)

Anyway, Doris Day is good as ever, a role model in the 1950s that still works today--feminine, poised, disciplined and sweet, but also self assured and assertive. (They imply she was controlling but that's hard to interpret given the ideas of the times and that she seemed to be the one with the sense. Also implied is that Kahn might have been physically abusive when the kids seem doubtful of his explanation for hitting mommy in the eye--then tell him that he never tells her he loves her. These, the infidelity moments, and the "effects of fame" added a little dramatic interest, but overall it was pretty predictable.)

Thomas was surprising--decent in the acting and with a good singing voice. Best of all, of course, and the reason for watching are the songs--no big production numbers, just Doris and/or Danny singing his music as his career develops. It's easy to forget the great Gus Kahn catalogue, including the title song, "It Had to Be You", "Making Whoopee" and "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Dream a Little Dream of Me". Most people don't remember Kahn anymore--this movie is a great way to keep his music alive.
ljmchReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Full of Wonderful, Memorable songs
Verified purchase
I saw this movie years ago. I am a BIG Music fan. Musicals, Broadway, Movies with Big Band to Country music. I especially Love Biographies on the Musical Geniuses that brought all the Great Music to Us throughout History. AMADEUS to BENNY GOODMAN to JOHNNY CASH, up to Today's Multi-talented Songwriters. Movies with music and singing and dancing. ALL OF IT. This story of GUS KAHN a Lyricist who wrote/cowrote beautiful Love Songs like - IT HAD TO BE YOU, LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, MAKIN' WHOOPEE. This Movie was full of wonderful, memorable songs that just sent my Musical Heart into a whirl. Even tho they were way before my time - you Can't Beat the Greats - I was right there singing along. DANNY THOMAS plays Gus Kahn and Doris Day plays his dedicated supportive wife, whom he writes many of his Love songs for. Danny Thomas n Doris Day, whom I've remained a Huge fan since a kid (FYI - I always wanted to Sing and Look like Doris Day). The Movie goes
through Gus Kahns ups and downs in the music publishing industry. Danny Thomas and Doris Days light-hearted - serious performances showed off their Star Qualities. Then When Doris Day Sings.... well - there You Are. Need I say More? It's a warm and touching movie. Full of romantic music and plenty of moments where you are yelling for the under dog to come out on top. Where You will Wish you could write songs as beautiful as Gus Kahn .You will Love it! I had to Own It. Thanks to Amazon I Do Now. The movie is in black and white, even tho the DVD Cover is in color. Excellent quality and sound. Looks great on large screen. Worth waiting for.
3 people found this helpful
Alan L. Rubin MDReviewed in the United States on May 1, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
"I'll See You in My Dreams" is fun to watch but unreal.
Verified purchase
If you don't shed a tear or three as you watch, "I'll See You in My Dreams", the "biography" of Gus Kahn, your heart is hard, indeed. Kahn, the lyricist for such standards as "It Had to Be You", "Everything I Have Is Yours". "Dream a Little Dream" and many, many others is presented in a Hollywoodified version that made me want to know who the real Gus was. Danny Thomas plays Gus and Doris Day plays his domineering wife. There's lot of great songs and singers and it's fun to watch, but a little reality would have been welcomed.
Lenore C. JacobsReviewed in the United States on April 29, 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
Verified purchase
I thought this movie was very good! Doris Day is an excellent actress and always fits into any role. She can do comedy as well as dramatic acting, and also relived the true stories of Ruth Etting in "Love Me or Leave Me," Grover Cleveland's wife in "The Winning Team," and now the lyricist Gus Kahn's wife in this movie. Danny Thomas does a fine job playing Gus Kahn. Here is an important quote from the movie that Gus Kahn made that stuck with me long after I finished watching the movie: "People today do not know how to say I love you, so I am writing the words for them from my heart."
One person found this helpful
See all reviews