In San Francisco in 1850, a Russian Countess runs away from an arranged marriage to a Russian Prince and falls into the arms of an American sea captain who occasionally poaches seals in Russian Alaska.
Thornton Sayre, a respected college professor, is plagued when his old movies are shown on TV and sets out with his daughter to stop it. However, his former co-star is the hostess of the TV show playing his films and she has other plans.
Snobby TV star (Clifton Webb) worries that he is out of touch with the younger generation and that's why his TV show is failing. He becomes a Boy Scout leader in an effort to "get in touch.... See full summary »
In early 1900s' Pennsylvania, Mr. Pennypacker has two company offices and two families with a combined total of 17 children. With an office in Harrisburg and an office in Philadelphia, he ... See full summary »
Industrial designer Howard Osborne (Clifton Webb) wants his daughter Jacqueline (Anne Francis), shortened to Jake by her efficient-minded father, to follow in his footsteps and study abroad... See full summary »
In the 1890s, Sgt. Major John Philip Sousa, leader of the Marine Corps Band, meets Private Willie Little, inventor of an instrument he calls the Sousaphone...and Little's girlfriend, shapely showgirl Lily. To support his growing family, Sousa leaves the Marines and forms his own band; Willie and Lily go along. Though he'd rather write ballads, Sousa's marches bring him increasing fame; from their debut in 1892 the band is a great success. But Sousa's 'no wives' rule threatens the romance of Willie and Lily...as does the Spanish-American War.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
According to Paul Bierley's biography of John Philip Sousa, "John Philip Sousa, American Phenomenon", several musicians who had played under Sousa attended the world premiere of the film but walked out in disgust. See more »
In the film the famous Sousaphone was invented by Willy Little. In actuality the first sousaphone was developed by James Welsh Pepper in 1893 at the request of John Philip Sousa. See more »
John Philip Sousa:
Upon my word, ma'am, I've never danced with so charming and graceful a two-stepper.
And upon mine, sir, I've never danced with so charming and flattering a liar.
See more »
During the opening display of 20th Century Fox's logo, Sousa's "Semper Fidelis" was played instead of the usual 20th Century fanfare See more »
Some releases include at the end a clip of the real John Philip Sousa leading the band in one of his famous marches. See more »
What should be understood is that Stars and Stripes Forever is in no way a full biography of the famous March King which was the nickname given to John Philip Sousa. It is rather a portrait of the era known as the Gay Nineties in America where Sousa first achieved his reputation and prominence. Also included is a romance between fictional characters played by Robert Wagner and Debra Paget.
In that beard with those pince nez glasses, Clifton Webb looks remarkably like John Philip Sousa in that period and by reputation, Sousa was as much a dilettante as Webb normally played on screen which made him perfect casting. After leaving the Marine Corps band, Sousa formed his own orchestra which became world famous and toured the globe well into the Twenties.
But our story concerns Sousa the March King. Though he composed all kinds of music, it is his marches that have come down today and have given him his reputation. The Marine Corps official march, Semper Fidelis, was composed by Sousa and the incident involving President Benjamin Harrison as depicted in Stars and Stripes Forever is somewhat true. The Marine Corps Band was playing at a White House reception and the Harrison who was not the most social of presidents ordered Sousa to speed up the tempo so the receiving line would move at a brisk pace.
Ruth Hussey is cast in the Myrna Loy type role of the perfect understanding mate for her genius husband and she fulfills the role admirably. Even Clifton Webb does make you forget you're watching Clifton Webb and you do think you are seeing the real Sousa.
Stars and Stripes Forever is an admirable film and of course the finale does have several bands and marching armed forces personnel playing and marching to Sousa's most famous composition.
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