Till The Clouds Roll By

 (367)6.42 h 15 min194713+
Biography of songwriter, broadway pioneer, Jerome Kern. Judy Garland's and Angela Lansbury's songs are among the highlights, including a mini production of "Show Boat", plus Lena Horne and a singing and dancing Van Johnson.
Directors
Richard Whorf
Starring
June AllysonLucille BremerJudy Garland
Genres
Arts, Entertainment, and Culture
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Kathryn GraysonVan HeflinLena HorneVan JohnsonTony MartinDinah ShoreFrank SinatraRobert WalkerGower ChampionCyd CharisseHarry HaydenPaul LangtonAngela LansburyPaul MaxeyRay McDonaldMary NashVirginia O'BrienDorothy PatrickCaleb PetersonWilliam 'Bill' PhillipsJoan WellsLyn WildeLee WildeJohnny JohnstonJohn AlbanJohn AlbrightJean AndrenStanley AndrewsGloria Joy ArdenLee BennettMargaret BertCharles BradstreetLinda BrentArnaut BrothersAlma CarrollLucille CaseyAnn CodeeBruce CowlingJames DarrellHarry DennyElspeth DudgeonRalph DunnDick EarleEd ElbyRex EvansJames FinlaysonBess FlowersSally ForrestWilliam ForrestByron FoulgerMary Jane FrenchHerschel GrahamJames GreyCharles GriffinWilliam HalliganMary HatcherRussell HicksStuart HolmesReed HowesFred HuestonLilyan IreneMaurice KellyThomas LoudenCharles MadrinMickey MalloyLouis ManleyMatt MattoxFrank McClureBeryl McCutcheonBob McLeanLeonard MellenTony MerloHoward M. MitchellBert MoorhouseGeorge MurrayHazard NewsberryRobert Emmett O'ConnorPenny ParkerGeorge PetersLee PhelpsJames PlatoLee SmithLarry SteersTom StevensonRay TealIrene VernonAlice WallaceDon WaysonEsther WilliamsLarry WilliamsDouglas Wright
Producers
Arthur Freed
Studio
Reel Enterprises
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

367 global ratings

  1. 68% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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George GoldbergReviewed in the United States on June 16, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
5 stars for the music, 0 for the drama.
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The 5 stars are for the musical numbers, all of which are simply great. Show Boat, All the Things You Are, Look for the Silver Lining, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, They Didn’t Believe me – sung by June Allyson, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Lena Horne, Angela Lansbury, Dina Shore, Tony Martin and Frank Sinatra. These are the most popular songs of their time sung by the greatest singers of that time in the way they were meant to be sung. The costumes are gorgeous, the choreography is terrific, the scenery is fine. It just doesn’t get better.

That is, for the music. As for the drama, a 0 rating is generous for this farrago of nonsense. The actor who plays Kern is so lackluster he looks like he couldn’t compose chopsticks. The English girl he meets in a picturesque cottage which he walks into when his bike gets a flat and sits down uninvited to play the piano (known in England as in America as criminal breaking and entering), and whom he marries, was in fact a barmaid he met in a pub. Worse, much worse, this English girl is played by a Canadian actress who makes no attempt whatever to mimic an English accent; surely they could have gotten an English actress, or an Aussie or a Kiwi or even an American or Canadian able to produce English diction, but they didn’t, and it makes the scenes in England just peculiar.

But all that is as nothing compared to the central drama of the film: Kern’s relationship with Jim Hessler and his daughter Sally. Nearly all the drama of the show involves them, much of it highly emotional; at one point, Jim’s death almost ends Kern’s composing, though he has yet to do Show Boat. The only trouble with this story is that neither Jim nor Sally actually existed; they are made up out of whole cloth to add drama to this biopic. This fiction was produced after Kern warned the producers that his life really was not all that interesting. No surprise there. Most composers’ lives are interesting only for the music they produced. The life of a short, dumpy fellow, poor as a church mouse who hung out with a few friends and visited pubs and brothels in Vienna a couple of centuries ago, would have no interest to anyone if Franz Schubert had not produced over 600 of the most beautiful songs ever composed. A man who spent his whole life playing the organ in his church, teaching the children Latin and then sitting down at his desk to work, would likewise hold no interest centuries after his death apart from the music that Bach bequeathed us. So it goes, for popular as well as classical music: composing is hard work, and no one with an interesting life would have time to do it.

But that does not justify making up a life story and presenting it as the life of a famous composer. This biopic, which spends so much time on the fictional Sally, fails to even mention the daughter that Jerry and Eva Kern had in real life (she married the band leader Arte Shaw). My suggestion is by all means to download this wonderful show, but to fast forward past all the non-musical parts; I sure wish somebody would have warned me to do that.
10 people found this helpful
Ralph PaulsenReviewed in the United States on August 11, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
horrible transfer from film to DVD
Verified purchase
I watched this musical on TCM, and it is wonderful, colors are bright clear correct, sound very good, wish I could say the same for this DVD, the colors are all washed out, people are green, out of focus, sound distorted, the list just goes on and on, I am amazed that anyone in this day and age still makes bad transfers from film to DVD, stay away from this disc
12 people found this helpful
Annie Van AukenReviewed in the United States on June 12, 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
They jes' keep rollin' along
Verified purchase
Founded in 1993, Chandler, AZ. based AFA ENTERTAINMENT wholesales and retails PD motion pictures in both full and widescreen formats. Cover art is often repros of vintage movie posters. They also provide a transfer to DVD service for videotapes and 8mm home movies. Their film dubs offer no commentary, deleted scenes, subtitles or other bonus features. Quality of these unrestored transfers is based on condition of source material, which can vary from very good to only fair.

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TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY is a curious MGM musical in which the studio bookends two superb medleys of Kern & Hammerstein songs around an overlong, overwrought and uninteresting biopic of composer Jerome Kern. A few song gems are showcased in-between but for the most part, the chosen tunes that Kern penned prior to [[ASIN:B001OIO3DM SHOWBOAT]] and [[ASIN:B000H6SXLU ROBERTA]] are forgettable.

Metro got many of their contract players involved in this project, yet were unable to find a British actress (or an American who could fake the accent) to portray Kern's future wife Eva. Canadian Dorothy Patrick fails badly here, as does Lucille Bremer (pronounced 'Braymer') as Sally Hessler, daughter of Kern's mentor (woodenly played by Van Heflin). Bremer's chance to shine falls flat; she retired from acting only two years later.

In the starring role is Robert Walker. It's hard for this Boomer to watch him and not think of RW Jr. as [[ASIN:6300213129 Charlie X]] from classic Star Trek, Season 1, ep. 2. Walker Sr. improves as Kern ages and is best in the picture's last couple of reels.

Dinah Shore's vocal is typically unappealing, Lena Horne wears too much pancake. Most surprising in a good way is Van Johnson's song and dance bit. He's excellent! Johnson later starred in a TV musical, a 1957 Technicolor special for CBS entitled [[ASIN:B000E4JLSE THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN]]. His hoofing and pipes are even more impressive in this fairy tale adaptation.

Although Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra are given prominent billing on home video covers of "Clouds Roll By," their roles are minor, especially Frank's. His one-minute warbling of "Old Man River" at the tail of that second song medley concludes a most ordinary cinematic experience, one that despite good color photography and costumes is truly a lesser MGM musical.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.

(6.5) Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) - Robert Walker/Dorothy Patrick/Van Heflin/Lucille Bremer - plus: June Allyson/Gower Champion/Cyd Charisse/Judy Garland/Kathryn Grayson/Lena Horne/Van Johnson/Angela Lansbury/Tony Martin/Virginia O'Brien/Dinah Shore/Frank Sinatra (uncredited: Esther Williams/Jimmy Finlayson/'Snub' Pollard)
10 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on December 18, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very well done
Verified purchase
This was a wonderful movie.. the music,the costumes, and the big productions..I loved It!
3 people found this helpful
David R. AllenReviewed in the United States on November 4, 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
Til Clouds Roll By (1946 MGM) Is Vintage Big Time MGM At It's Big Money Best.
Verified purchase
Til Clouds Roll By (1946 MGM) Is Vintage Big Time MGM At It's Big Money Best.

It's about the life of Jerome Kern and his stage show music.

MGM was the biggest movie studio during the still on-going "Golden Age Of Hollywood," still was supported by not-yet illegal movie houses owned by MGM's parent company, Loews, Inc.

The studio had stars and talent of all kinds and flavors still under contract, and 1946 was the year when Americans attended movies in movie houses in greater numbers than any time in history, before or since.

It was a big musical at a time when musicals were still mainstream movies, demanded and expected by movie audiences. It was from an era when singable, easy to hum, remember, and share songs were central to American culture, and when everyone still knew tunes and lyrics from pop songs from two decades before they were born.

Til Clouds Roll By (1946) starring Robert Walker was a nostalgia movie about hit songs Jerome Kern wrote from the years before World War I into hit songs he wrote for Fred Astaire/ Ginger Rogers Hollywood black and white musical movie hits of the 1930's.

In those days, 10 years ago was recent, and hit songs 20 years old were still sung widely and performed often. The culture didn't change, and beautiful songs like the ones in Til Clouds Roll By (1946) starring Robert Walker were preserved and revered.

No more, sadly.

Many good musicals appeared in the movies in the 1940's, and these often showcased great songs from earlier times. The musical movies lost currency and prestige, and are not honored by today's cultural archivists and nostalgia mongers. But they were good and should not be forgotten or overlooked.

Til Clouds Roll By (1946 MGM) starring Robert Walker is an example of a big time MGM musical filled with movie stars, wonderful set decoration, costumes, and talent teaming up with other talent.

It was and is a crowd pleasing movie, big, bright, wonderful, and common is a good way....not pretentious or arty, not troubled or burdensome in any way.

It was designed to keep people attending movies in 1946 happy, and it's easy to see why it was a big success back then.

Movies like Til Clouds Roll By (1946 MGM) starring Robert Walker don't make "Best Movies Of All TImes" lists like the ones the Library Of Congress or the American Film Institute publish and publicize.

That's a shame because this is an important movie, and certainly was back in 1946, well thought of for good reason.

It's corny in some spots, but the good parts are so good, any and all flaws and shortcomings can and should be forgiven.

Other pop (show) music "bio pix" profiling other then famous stage music composers were also made during this period, none famous or honored on "Greatest Movies" lists, but all worth seeing, flaws or no flaws. These included movies about Cole Porter (Night and Day [1946]), George Gershwin (Rhapsody In Blue [1945]), Lorenz Hart (Words And Music [1947]).

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Written by Tex Allen, SAG Actor.
5 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Poor quality release
Verified purchase
Great movie, great music, extremely poor quality release. All the colors are washed out and blurry. Hold out for better quality elsewhere.
3 people found this helpful
Me2Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thoroughly enjoyable!
Verified purchase
While familiar with the musical Showboat (& other books by Edna Ferber) I wasn't as versed on Jerome Kern & his other music. What a delightful 2+ hours I just spent. The music and lyrics are wonderful so now I have more songs that ring in my head. If you like the musicals of yesteryear you'll love this! This was fun, and seeing actors/singers i'm familiar with in their later years as so youthful was part of that fun.
Annie Van AukenReviewed in the United States on December 29, 2010
3.0 out of 5 stars
They jes' keep rollin' along
Verified purchase
TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY is a curious MGM musical in which the studio bookends two superb medleys of Kern & Hammerstein songs around an overlong, overwrought and uninteresting biopic of composer Jerome Kern. A few song gems are showcased in-between but for the most part, the chosen tunes that Kern penned prior to [[ASIN:B001OIO3DM SHOWBOAT]] and [[ASIN:B000H6SXLU ROBERTA]] are forgettable.

Metro got many of their contract players involved in this project, yet were unable to find a British actress (or an American who could fake the accent) to portray Kern's future wife Eva. Canadian Dorothy Patrick fails badly here, as does Lucille Bremer (pronounced 'Braymer') as Sally Hessler, daughter of Kern's mentor (woodenly played by Van Heflin). Bremer's chance to shine falls flat; she retired from acting only two years later.

In the starring role is Robert Walker. It's hard for this Boomer to watch him and not think of RW Jr. as [[ASIN:6300213129 Charlie X]] from classic Star Trek, Season 1, ep. 2. Walker Sr. improves as Kern ages and is best in the picture's last couple of reels.

Dinah Shore's vocal is typically unappealing, Lena Horne wears too much pancake. Most surprising in a good way is Van Johnson's song and dance bit. He's excellent! Johnson later starred in a TV musical, a 1957 Technicolor special for CBS entitled [[ASIN:B000E4JLSE THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN]]. His hoofing and pipes are even more impressive in this fairy tale adaptation.

Although Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra are given prominent billing on home video covers of "Clouds Roll By," their roles are minor, especially Frank's. His one-minute warbling of "Old Man River" at the tail of that second song medley concludes a most ordinary cinematic experience, one that despite good color photography and costumes is truly a lesser MGM musical.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(6.2) Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) - Robert Walker/Dorothy Patrick/Van Heflin/Lucille Bremer - plus: June Allyson/Gower Champion/Cyd Charisse/Judy Garland/Kathryn Grayson/Lena Horne/Van Johnson/Angela Lansbury/Tony Martin/Virginia O'Brien/Dinah Shore/Frank Sinatra (uncredited: Esther Williams/Jimmy Finlayson/'Snub' Pollard)
One person found this helpful
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