6.7/10
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Living It Up (1954)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 23 July 1954 (USA)
An unsophisticated stationmaster from provincial New Mexico fraudulently claims that he is dying in order to get an expense-paid dream tour of New York.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Jack Rose (screenplay), Melville Shavelson (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dean Martin ... Dr. Steve Harris
Jerry Lewis ... Homer Flagg
Janet Leigh ... Wally Cook
Edward Arnold ... The Mayor
Fred Clark ... Oliver Stone
Sheree North ... Sheree North - Jitterbug Dancer
Sammy White Sammy White ... Waiter
Sid Tomack ... Master of Ceremonies
Sig Ruman ... Dr. Emile Egelhofer
Richard Loo ... Dr. Lee
Raymond Greenleaf ... Conductor
Walter Baldwin ... Isaiah Jackson
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Man
Edit

Storyline

Pretty Wally Cook, a reporter for the New York Chronicle convinces her editor to let her do a series of articles on Homer Flagg, a young man from New Mexico who is believed to be dying as a result of radioactive poisoning. Before she arrives out west, Homer learns from his doctor that the diagnosis was a mistake and he's perfectly healthy. That doesn't stop them from accepting Wally's offer of an all- expenses paid trip to New York. Everyone in New York takes pity on Homer, while Homer and his doctor try to keep up their pretense. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY'RE LAFFIN' IT UP! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 July 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der sympathische Hochstapler See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Living It Up was based on the 1953 Broadway musical Hazel Flagg , which was based on the 1937 David O. Selznick-United Artists film Nothing Sacred (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). Nothing Sacred , in turn, was suggested by the short story "Letter to the Editor" by James H. Street. Nothing Sacred , which was directed by William Wellman, was written by Ben Hecht, who also wrote the book for Hazel Flagg and receives onscreen credit for Living It Up . Carole Lombard played the dying "Hazel" in the 1937 film and Fredric March portrayed "Wally." Sig Ruman played "Dr. Egelhofer" in both the 1937 and 1954 pictures. Dancer Sheree North (1933-2005), in her first significant screen role, also played the star jitterbugger in Hazel Flagg . Only three songs from the Broadway show are performed in Living It Up -"Every Street's a Boulevard in Old New York," "How Do You Speak to an Angel?" and "You're Gonna Dance with Me." A snippet of the show's song "Who Is the Bravest" is also heard in the film. HR news items add the following actors to the cast of Living It Up : Hazel Boyne, Philo McCollough, Tom Tutwiler, Jack Gaines, Jr., Stuart Holmes, Lucille Lamarr, Lou Brown, Bill Roberts, Helen Dickson, Millicent Patrick and Jane Easton. The appearance of these actors in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a 26 Apr 1954 LAT item, a special preview of the picture was held at George Air Base near Victorville, CA. As noted in a 16 Jul 1954 HR news item, the film then had a special two-day premiere in Atlantic City. Modern sources claim that, at Jerry Lewis' behest, the film was screened in Jun 1954 at the Brown Hotel, where Lewis had performed as a teenager, at Loch Sheldrake in the Catskill Mountains. The picture was re-released in Sep 1965. (AFI) See more »

Goofs

When Dean Martin is singing and playing guitar in his physician office, he is holding an acoustic guitar. His fingerings do not match the music and the sound is that of an electric guitar, not an acoustic guitar. See more »

Quotes

Homer Flagg: [to Dr. Harris as he sees a skeleton in his office closet] You probably thought nothing was wrong with him either!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest: Living It Up (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

That's What I Like
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Bob Hilliard
Sung by Dean Martin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Favorite Martin and Lewis Movie
3 April 2007 | by Isaac5855See all my reviews

LIVING IT UP is a reworking of the Carole Lombard classic NOTHING SACRED now tailored to the talents of the 50's greatest movie team, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Lewis takes on the Lombard role as Homer Flagg, a small town schnook, who after exposure to radiation, believes he is dying and when word spreads all the way to Manhattan of his misfortune, a reporter for a big New York paper decides to treat Homer to a vacation in the Big Apple, sort of a final fling before Homer meets his maker. Martin plays Steve, Homer's doctor, who discovers before the arrival of the reporter, that Homer isn't really dying, but agrees to play along so that Homer can go to New York and is even more willing to play along when he meets the reporter, played by the lovely Janet Leigh. Growing up in the 60's, I had seen Jerry Lewis movies and I had seen Dean Martin movies, but I was almost an adult by the time I learned that they had made movies as a team. This laugh-a-minute comedy was my first exposure to them as a team and it is my favorite outing of theirs and is a part of my permanent video collection. Martin and Lewis are a well-oiled machine and Janet Leigh makes a lovely leading lady There's also a great comic turn by comic veteran Fred Clark as Leigh's boss, whose character name is Oliver Stone! Sheree North also makes a memorable cameo at a jitterbug contest. But this is a Martin and Lewis show all the way, highlights including Dino's crooning of a love song to a photo of Audrey Hepburn and the duo's now classic "Every Street's a Boulevard in Old New York." This is Martin and Lewis in their prime and a comedy classic that's still funny fifty years later.


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